A Lahore High Court division bench on Tuesday dismissed a federal government application seeking withdrawal of a stay order against construction work for the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project within 200 feet of several historical sites along the train’s route.
The bench observed that the federal government had no role in the OLMT project and, therefore, its application against the stay order was of no legal value. The hearing was adjourned till April 5.
Earlier, Advocate Azhar Siddique, counsel for petitioners, submitted that the government was spending huge sums of money on just one project in a situation when public hospitals in Lahore were not equipped with enough beds to cope with an emergencies like Sunday’s terrorist blast in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park.
The LHC had issued the stay order on February 28. On February 16, former AGP Salman Butt had submitted the petition seeking cancellation of the stay order. He had said that the federal government was a necessary party to the project and questioned the jurisdiction of the court to intervene in a policy matter. He said that in its several judgements, the SCP had suggested that courts should refrain from intervening in policy matters. The AGP said that projects of public welfare like the metro train should take priority over preservation of heritage sites.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2016.