CM Shehbaz pays surprise visit to Orange Line Metro Train sites

09:46 AM | 9 Dec, 2017
CM Shehbaz pays surprise visit to Orange Line Metro Train sites
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LAHORE - Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif paid a surprise visit to monitor development work on Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project in Lahore on Saturday, a day after the top court gave a go-ahead to the mega-project.

Flanked by his official staff, the CM met engineers and other members deployed at various sites of the project and directed them to complete the project as early as possible besides congratulating them over the court’s decision.

Shehbaz Sharif, who was briefed about the latest status of development at different points of OLMT project, said that the project would facilitate commuters, vowing that it would be the biggest successful plan of Punjab government.

Supreme Court clears track for OLMT

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on Friday scrapped a decision announced by the Lahore High Court regarding Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project.

The bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, comprising Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Maqbool Baqar, Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, had reserved the verdict in April.

Accepting the pleas of Punjab government and others, the apex court ordered the Punjab government to complete the project.

The apex court ordered the authorities to take measures for the protection of ancient heritage buildings in 30 days. These sites include Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Chauburji, Zebunnisa’s Tomb, Lakshmi Building, the General Post Office and others.

About 78 percent work on the 27.1-kilometre long project has been completed.

Petitioners set to challenge verdict

As the apex court gave a green signal to the Punjab Government to continue the OLMT project, the members of the civil society who were petitioners in the case vowed to continue their struggle by filing a review petition in the apex court.

The civil society activists warned that Shalamar Gardens and Lahore Fort might be removed from the list of world heritage sites because of the supreme court's decision.

'Today we faced defeat, but we will continue our struggle to save this city,' said Kamil Khan Mumtaz, chairperson of the Lahore Conservation Society. He was of the view that the verdict would leave a negative impact on Pakistan in terms of heritage protection.