LAHORE: The civil society has announced to file review petition over Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict for rewarding Punjab government to continue the construction work of multi-billion mega project of Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project, saying SC ignored the antiquity Act 1975 and directions of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).
SC in its 116 pages verdict conditionally allowed the Punjab government to resume construction work on the project and to fulfil 31 conditions ensuring the safety of the historic places.
The representatives of civil society have shown their grave concern over the SC’s verdict.
A petitioner of civil society, Maryam Hussain while talking to Pakistan Today said that SC verdict has actually nullified the protections which are given in law.
Civil society’s counsel, Advocate Azhar Siddique told Pakistan Today that the route of the project which government adopted is in violation the of the law. He said that SC had formed the technical committees comprising of experts who already made defected reports.
“Heritage is not a local issue as international bodies are the stakeholders of heritage buildings,” he said adding that SC had not included any international expert while forming the committees.
Siddique said that there were two other petitions regarding the corruption and tendering process of the project which were still pending in LHC.
“SC has demolished the spirit of Antiquity Act 1975 and UNESCO’s 1985 convention which barred any authority to construct or change anything within 200 feet of historical sites”, he added.
On the other hand, Lahore Bachao Tehreek convener Imrana Tiwana deemed the date of the verdict as a “Black Day” for the cultural and heritage legacy of the city.