The orange line is an under construction line of the Lahore Metro. When completed it will connect Raiwind, Multan Road, Mcleod Road, Lahore Junction railway station and the Grand Trunk Road. It will be the country’s first mass rapid transit train system. It will be developed and financed by the Chinese government and is a part of the China-Pakistan economic corridor. The corridor will be capable of accommodating two trains running both up and down the track, ferrying up to 30,000 passengers per hour.
Although the construction started early July 2015, the citizens of Lahore have some serious concerns regarding the historical sites; Chauburji, GPO, Shalimar Gardens. A campaign was started by the Lahore Conservation Society under the name of Rasta Badlo. This campaign protests against the violation both the Antiquities Act 1975 & The Special Premises Preservation Ordinance 1985.
The Pylons of the overhead Orange Metro Train are within the Roundabout of Chauburji, when as per law( Antiquities Act . Section 22) a minimum distance of 200 feet has to be observed – Violators face 3 months Imprisonment and a Fine – A Plaque on the monument states the same. The same Law applies to Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh & Dai Anga’s Tomb on GT road.
The citizens are not against development and believe that a city like Lahore needs such projects. However, they want their sites saved. They believe that these heritage sites are representative of their culture and should be preserved. All the construction that needs to be done should be away from these sites, so that they are not damaged. Several protests have been organized in favor of this campaign. This campaign is being led several famous people of our country: Nayyar Ali Dada, Kamil Khan Mumtaz, I.A.Rehman, Arif Hassan, Yasmin Lari, Fauzia Qureshi, Sajjad Kausar, Ajaz Anwar, Attiq Ahmed, Feryal Gauhar, Salman Rashid, and Salima Hashmi.
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, also issued a statement addressing the concerns of the people.
However, according to the people, this statement is only an eyewash because there is a clear violation of the law.
People who are interested and want to register their concern can sign the petition here.