ISLAMABAD: Granting conditional approval to the Punjab government, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of multi-billion Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project setting aside the verdict of Lahore High Court (LHC).
The apex court allowed the provincial government to go ahead with the train project provided it fulfills 31 conditions including ensuring the safety of historic places.
Justice Maqbool Baqir of the three-judge bench of the apex wrote a dissent note.
SC’s bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal had reserved the judgment on April 17 in a case of the metro train on a petition filed by Punjab government.
Earlier, Lahore High Court ordered to safeguard and preserve the historic buildings and mosques situated on the route of Orange Train.
The proceedings in SC began after Punjab government had filed petitions with the apex court following LHC’s verdict ordering halt of Orange Line construction.
The other judges of the bench are Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.
The apex court ordered the government to complete the train project on its planned date; however, it directed it to constitute two committees within 30 days to oversee the technical aspects of the project.
The bench had clubbed together several identical petitions filed by the Punjab government, National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak), Punjab Mass Transit Authority, Lahore Development Authority and Civil Society Network.
The LHC in its August 19, 2016 ruling, ordered the government to suspend the construction of the train project within 200 feet of 11 heritage sites.
Story first published: 8th December 2017