LAHORE: The first-ever Automatic Train Operation (ATO) technology would be utilised to operate the Orange Line Metro Train (OMT). OMT Steering Committee Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan revealed this on Wednesday while addressing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) presidents and general secretaries of constituencies in Lahore. On the occasion, MNA Mehr Ishtiaq, MPAs Majid Zahoor and Chaudhry Shahbaz along with other officials of concerned department were present. Khawja Ahmad Hassaan said first mobilisation advance has been paid to the Chinese contactor, CR-NORINCO, which has already started manufacturing a total of 27 trains for this system. “Latest technology will be employed for fabricating these trains while the rolling-stock will be fully computerised, automatic and driverless. The train driver will be present but he will not physically operate the train, unlike conventional train drivers in the country,” he added. Hassaan said that despite various impediments, the OMT project was very much on track, as manufacturing of the trains has already been started by the Chinese contactor while the civil works were being executed by the local companies. He said that each train would comprise of five cars and every car would have the capacity for carrying 200 passengers. “Each train will give ride to 1,000 commuters at a time. A total of 27,000 travellers would travel through 27 trains during a single operation. Maximum speed of the train will be 80km per hour and the end-to-end 27km long journey from Ali Town Raiwind Road to Dera Gujran will be covered in just 45 minutes,” he informed. Initially, he said, more than 250,000 passengers would get benefit from this train and the figure would rise up to 0.5 million in three years of its commencement, adding that separate seats with dissimilar colours would also be provided for special persons. He further said that construction work of OMT was stopped at certain points due to restraining orders, however it was in full swing in other places as per schedule and would be completed on time. He informed that pre-cast U-tub technology, used in construction of the metro track, has been prepared and was being tested for load these days. “This will help in further expediting the construction work,” he added. The committee chairman lauded the release of first tranche of loan amounting to more than Rs 33 billion for OMT by the EXIM Bank of China despite speculations and propaganda. He observed that opponents of this project did not want welfare of the masses and wanted to hamper this project by creating uncertainty, adding that provision of such a huge amount from China was disappointing for these elements. He urged them not to make this project controversial, as it aimed at the welfare of the masses.