News Analysis |
The Orange Line Metro Train project has finally restarted construction after the waiving of various stay orders that had halted the project earlier. The authorities have announced that Mall Road will be closed for three months due to construction causing a great deal of traffic problems for the residents of Lahore.
Mall Road is one of the busiest roads in Lahore and is the main route used by millions of residents to reach various destinations across the city. The Orange Line Metro Project was halted by the Lahore High Court due to the fact that the construction risked the debilitation of prestigious heritage sites. These heritage sites include the Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh, Lakshmi Building, Chauburji, Zebunnisa’s Tomb and the General Post office.
The company has started construction activity near all the heritage sites where work was previously halted owing to the stay orders given by the Lahore High Court.
An important point to be noted is that these heritage sites are protected under the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance 1985, and Antiquity Act 1975. Due to this there were various cases of litigation filed against the project that claimed the project was illegal.
However, the stay orders have now been waived and the Supreme Court has given the go ahead to the project on the condition that all the precautionary measures dictated by the court are followed throughout the construction of the metro.
The Orange Line Metro Project is a 27-kilometre metro train project that is being funded through a $1.65 billion (Rs. 165 billion) soft loan by China’s Exim Bank. The official project documents revealed that an approximate amount of $1 billion would be directly transferred to the Chinese contractors for procurement of the stock and the remaining amount would be transferred to Pakistan for the completion of the construction project.
Mall Road is one of the busiest roads in Lahore and is the main route used by millions of residents to reach various destinations across the city.
The project was launched by Shehbaz Sharif in May 2014 in collaboration with a Chinese Company. The official deadline for the completion of the project was supposed to be December 25th 2017 however the project has been embroiled in litigation causing the initial target date of completion to not be reached.
Earlier today one of the contractors by the name of Shahid Saleem said that after the implementation of precautionary measures as per the demands of the Supreme Court, the company has started construction activity near all the heritage sites where work was previously halted owing to the stay orders given by the Lahore High Court.