SC allows Punjab Govt to construct Orange Line Train project

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Justices Ejaz Afzal Khan, Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Maqbool Baqar and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel were also part of the larger bench hearing the case today.

The proceedings in SC began when Punjab government had filed petitions with the Supreme Court after seeking expert opinion following Lahore High Court's verdict ordering halt of the Orange Line construction.

The court declared judgement of Lahore High Court as null and void and allowed the Punjab Government to complete the project.

Although the apex court has allowed the Punjab government to go ahead with the project at the same speed, the bench has set 31 conditions to ensure the project's transparency.

The court also directed the provincial government to form two technical committees within 30 days to oversee technical aspects of the project.

On August 19, the LHC had barred the provincial authorities from carrying out construction work within a distance of 200 feet around 11 heritage sites including Shalamar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Chauburji, Buddhu ka Awa, Zebunnisa's Tomb, Lakshmi Building, General Post Office, Aiwan-e-Auqaf, SC Lahore registry building, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at Nabha Road and Baba Mauj Darya Bukhari's Shrine.

The other committee will assess any losses suffered due to the suspension of construction work due to the LHC decision.

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

The heritage sites are protected under the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985 and Antiquity Act, 1975.

Welcoming the decision, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the "people have won today over the vested interests..."

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