SC sets aside LHC decision against Orange Line train, orders Punjab govt to complete project

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SC sets aside LHC decision against Orange Line train, orders Punjab govt to complete project

The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) to halt construction of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project.

The much-awaited judgement was announced by Justice Ijazul Ahsan on the multi-billion dollar train project almost eight months after the bench reserved its verdict on the matter in April. 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 bench had taken up identical petitions filed by the Punjab government, National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak), Punjab Mass Transit Authority, Lahore Development Authority and Civil Society Network against the Aug 19, 2016 LHC judgement suspending construction work on OLMT within 200 feet of 11 heritage sites in the provincial capital.

The apex court today ordered the Punjab government to resume construction on the train project and complete it by the planned date.

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

One committee will comprise a senior archaeology professor from Punjab University and a senior judge nominated by the chief justice in order to determine if any of the heritage buildings have suffered any damage as a result of the construction work on the project. The committee will also be given Rs130 million in funds for the repair and renovation of the heritage sites.

Read more: Orange Line may cause serious damage to Shalamar: Unesco

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

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