Supreme Court decrees in Orange Train's favor

Supreme Court decrees in Orange Train's favor

Supreme Court of Pakistan has allowed construction of Orange Line Train project, reported Radio Pakistan.

A five-judge bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal, Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Maqbool Baqar, Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel had earlier reserved its verdict in the case after hearing arguments of all parties. The court has directed the government to ensure the safety of the heritage buildings.

The Lahore High Court in its decision on a petition filed Civil Society Activist Kamil Khan Mumtaz announced on August 19, 2016 had ordered the provincial government to suspend the work on $1.6 billion Orange Line Metro Line Project near 11 Lahore's heritage sites which included Shalamar Gardens, Chauburji, Gulabi Bagh, Aiwan-i-Auqaf, General Post Office (GPO), Buddhu ka Awa, Lakshmi Building, Zebunnisa's Tomb, St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Supreme Court's Lahore Registry building and Baba Mauj Darya Bukhari's Shrine. The committee will also be given Rs130 million in funds for the fix and renovation of the heritage sites.

It is to mention here that about 78 percent work on the project has been completed.

Following the decision, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated people on social networking site Twitter.

The committees will oversee the construction work through the historical sites and make sure no harm comes to them during the process.

The proceedings regarding the project had begun in the Supreme Court after the Punjab government and others had appealed against the LHC verdict ordering partial halting of construction as it was damaging ancient heritage sites of the provincial capital. These heritage sites are protected under the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985 and Antiquity Act, 1975.