22-month-long halt augments Orange Line Train cost to Rs260 bn

Owing to 22-month-long halt, cost of landmark Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project (LOMTP) has augmented to whooping Rs260 [$2.6 bn] from the early estimated Rs165 bn [$1.6 bn].
As per details, Punjab government had kicked off construction work of LOMTP on 25th of October, 2015. On pleas filed by civil society’s activists, Lahore High Court (LHC) had ordered to suspend the construction work within 200 feet of 11 historical sites to save them from damage.
Nine out of 11 locations—where work was halted on LHC’s order— including Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Buddhu Ka Awa, Lakshmi Building, GPO, Aiwan-e-Auqaf, Supreme Court’s Registry building, St. Andrew s Church, Lahore and Darbar Mauj Darya Bukhari including fall in Package-I while the Chauburji and Zeb-un-Nisa s Tomb fall in Package-II.
The whole landmark project consists of four packages.
Package-I begins from Dera Gujrana and ends at Chauburji. This route is 13.6 kilometer long and 88pc construction work on this package has been completed.
Package-II begins from Chauburji and ends at Ali Town. This route is 13.5 kilometers long and 37pc construction work on this package is still pending.
The depot located at Dera Gujrana in Lahore makes Package-III of the LOMTP and 84pc construction work on this site has been concluded.
Stabling yard of LOMTP located at Ali Town makes Package-IV of the landmark project and 82pc construction work on this site has been completed.
As far as electrical and mechanical work is concerned, only 32pc has been finalized.
Apex court’s verdict
Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Friday has given green signal to Punjab government to continue construction of Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project in Lahore.
Announcing the reserved verdict after seven months and 20 days, the court accepted provincial government’s pleas that were filed against Lahore High Court’s August order (LHC) to stop the construction within 200 feet of 11 historical sites in the metropolis for safety purpose.
SC has directed the authorities to take measures for the protection of ancient heritage buildings in 30 days. These sites include Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Chauburji, Zebunnisa’s Tomb, Lakshmi Building, the General Post Office and others.
The bench has also asked to start the project for two weeks on trial basis and also ordered to form green belt around Chauburji.