Pakistan's first metro train inauguration announced

Pakistan's first metro train inauguration announced

LAHORE - Pakistan’s first metro train service is slated to begin operations by March 23, 2018, in Lahore, after a go-ahead from the Supreme Court on Friday.

In April, a five-member bench of the Court reserved its ruling in a case regarding Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train, the Punjab government’s most ambitious but divisive project.

Then, this week, eight months later, the verdict was announced. The judgment set aside a lower court’s order and allowed the provincial government to continue construction work at the earliest.

The $1.6 billion project stumbled into legal troubles after the Lahore High Court stayed its construction within 200 feet of 11 historical monuments in the city. A petition filed by civil rights activists argued that the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had expressed serious concern about the rail tracks damaging the colonial and Mughal era monuments, which include the Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Chauburji, Zebunnisa’s Tomb, Lakshmi Building and the General Post Office. These heritage sites are also protected under the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985 and Antiquity Act, 1975.