Orange Line awaits green signal

AFTER two weeks of hearing, a five-member Bench of the Supreme Court reserved its judgment on the Orange Line Metro Train project on Monday. Punjab government in fact had filed an appeal before the apex court against Lahore High Court’s order that suspended the construction of Rs 45b project within 200 feet of eleven historical sites in Lahore city.
Given the importance of project, everybody was expecting that apex court will pass an immediate order but as the judgment has now been reserved, we expect that the court will not take much time in announcing the verdict as it will only cause inordinate delay in completion of the project meant for providing better transport facilities to the people. On the one hand, those belonging to civil society always complain that federal and provincial governments are not doing enough to provide mass transit facilities to people but whenever a step in that direction is taken, hurdles are created on one pretext or the other. One should understand that development work also comes with some kind of cost. While hearing the case on Monday, an honourable judge of the apex court also made some remarks that might have political connotations. Already sufficient amount has been spent on the project and shelving the project at this stage will only amount to wasting the amount already spent from the exchequer. We expect that the apex court will deliver the judgment keeping in view all aspects of the case. While seeking additional guarantees from the provincial government for protection of cultural sites, the project should be given a green signal as it will cater to millions of people on a daily basis and ease their transportation woes.

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