By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday reassured residents that the State Government was on track in its efforts to complete works on both the Blue and Red Lines rail projects, which are intra-city, to strengthen the intermodal transportation system.
He said work on the Blue Line rail project was at 90 per cent completion, as contractors were working seven days a week so that Lagosians would ride a train on the rail by the first quarter of 2023.
The Governor gave the reassurance on Sunday while speaking to journalists at the Marina Train Station after about three hours of inspection of ongoing works on the Blue Line rail project and stations at the National Theatre Iganmu, Orile, Suru Alaba, Mile 2 and Marina axis of the state.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who inspected the Blue line rail project alongside some of his cabinet members, top officials of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and contractors handling the project, moved from the National Arts Theatre rail station on a construction track to Orile Iganmu, Alaba and Mile 2 stations, to inspect the four train stations on the Blue Line rail.
He said the Blue Line rail would be running on electric tracks with Electric Motor Vehicle (EMV) and therefore warned citizens to keep off the train lines and ensure they don’t walk on it.
The Governor, after riding back to the National Arts Theatre Station on a construction track, also inspected a new four-coach train, which according to him, is a typical train that will be used on the Blue Line.
He also disclosed the Lagos State Government’s plan to bring additional two sets of four-train coaches from China between September and October, adding that adequate security would be put in place at every train station and platform with the use of CCTV.
“This is the first time I am taking you on the blue line to see where we are. The first phase of the Blue line rail project starts from Mile 2 and terminates at Marina. Marina Station is an elevated station and it stretches out to outer Marina and terminates where the Governor’s residence is. At the end of the station, you could see that the track is broken into two bridges. The backtrack is for parking.
“We are happy that the contractors are working seven days a week. The major aspect apart from the Marina Station is a sea crossing from Eko Bridge to join the outer Marina. They would finish it in about three months. And by the time we will be coming back in July, the concrete construction should have been completed.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu while condemning the level of vandalism along the rail corridors warned perpetrators to desist from such evil acts. He said the government would go after companies that purchased vandalised rail tracks infrastructure, adding that culprits will be traced and made to face the wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday issued a three days ultimatum to traders under the Apogbon Bridge in Lagos Island to vacate or risk demolition of the space by Wednesday this week.
He gave the warning while driving on the bridge during his inspection of the blue line rail project and saw that traders were back under the bridge with their goods displayed after they were driven away in the aftermath of the fire outbreak under the Apongbon bridge about six weeks ago.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who frowned at the unlawful return of the traders under Apongbon bridge said the enforcement team would be deployed to the bridge after the three days ultimatum issued.