The story of the Orange Line Metro Train is one of countless blatant violations of the law, deceiving the public, and getting what you want by hook or by crook.
Last year, a petition was filed by Kamil Khan Mumtaz in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging the construction of the Orange Line within 200 feet of 11 heritage sites. As a result, a stay order was issued to stop the construction until further notice.
There was a lot of outcry on social media against the construction of Orange Line when it began
Join us in our effort to save the cultural heritage through citizen's participation. https://t.co/GlazYFkQPl
— Lahore Bachao (@Lahore_Bachao) May 10, 2016
Feed the #education sectors with their reliable budget to make revolution. But also gonna look in adverting responsibilities of Institutes. #Education isn't priority . Make #EducationStrandards with Priority not advertising . #OrangeLine & #JanglaBus .
— Zulqarnain Warraich (@ZulqarnainPML) November 10, 2017
— Abrar Warraich Adv (@WaraichAdv) October 26, 2017
The reaction from the Punjab government was very defensive and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said no historical places will be harmed
He alleged that it was propaganda by opposition parties to derail the government’s plans.
However, a two-member commission constituted by the LHC found violations at five of the 11 heritage sites in June where construction on the Orange Line Metro Train had been stopped.
These heritage sites are protected by the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985 and Antiquity Act, 1975. Since laws in our country are only texts in the constitution and abiding by it is against the norm set by the ruling elite; our government refused to stop construction near the heritage sites as ordered by the LHC and challenged the decision in the Supreme Court (SC).
People disputed the Punjab Government’s claims by presenting evidence of how the Orange Line was indeed obstructing lives
Here is a short documentary capturing the plight of people after the construction of Orange Line started, it shows interaction with those who live and work near the construction sites:
Here are the thoughts of the individuals who live and work near the OLMT construction sitesLink for Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/thenationdaily/videos/10153891704316712/
Posted by The Nation on Freitag, 4. November 2016
Individual organizations have also been complaining about the construction – particularly Lahore Bachao
ORANGE TRAIN. Fact Check.Shehbaz Sharif stated on 9th October 2017. 1) Orange Line infrastructure is 75% complete. 2)…
After the Supreme Court verdict to allow the construction of the Orange Line, a verdict which was pending since March this year – there is a huge outcry on social media against allowing the metro train to be constructed over Lahore’s history
ORANGE LINE. 9. 12. 2017.The orange line verdict came yesterday. 4 of 5 judges have essentially removed legal protection…
While it's obvious that we couldn't care less for history, heritage and greenery this could have come much much earlier – at least the addition of insult to injury of the extra cost of construction now could've been avoided #orangeline #heritage #Lahore https://t.co/ro4knwdiDL
— Osama Siddique (@DrOsamaSiddique) December 8, 2017
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) December 8, 2017
What is the use of becoming a nuclear power if you can not provide #DrinkingWater to 80% of common man in #Pakistan . #PMLN is resolving Issue through provision of network of #roads, #bridges , #metro & #OrangeLine etc.
— Zulqarnain Warraich (@ZulqarnainPML) December 8, 2017
Lawyer Azhar Siddique also commented on the factual errors and misrepresentation of the case by the Government, in the Supreme Court
ORANGE TRAIN 9.12.2017 Mr Azhar Siddique, Lawyer for the Orange Train on a fraction of the factual errors and blatant misrepresentations in the Supreme Court judgement. Please do share widely. At least let it be known that the people are watching, and are not fooled.
Posted by Maryam Hussain on Samstag, 9. Dezember 2017
With a population of 1.13 million, Lahore desperately needs a better transport system. There is no denying that the building of roads and a public transport system is what this hub needs at the moment. However, the destruction of heritage sites is something which needs to be considered. People, who are protesting, are not against the idea of development – rather the idea of losing history as we develop.
Cover image via: Malik Sajjad / dawn.com