With a length of 27 kilometers and more than 20 stations, the “Orange Line”, built by Chinese companies, is meant to reduce travel time in an ever-crowded city.

“This project will provide world-class facilities to the people of Lahore,” said Usman Buzdar, the head of the Punjab provincial government, during the inauguration ceremony.

The opening of the line came after years of delay, controversy and questions over Pakistan’s massive debt for China-funded infrastructure projects.

The subway, also criticized for endangering some of the city’s historic sites, cost about 300 billion rupees ($ 1.8 billion).

Authorities hope it will make it easier for 250,000 people to travel daily and reduce congestion in the city of more than 11 million people.

Much of Pakistan suffers from the deplorable state of public transport, which makes daily commuting to long and expensive urban areas for many poorly paid residents.

Beijing has invested more than $ 50 billion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The “orange line” was funded through the CPEC.