islamabad - National Engineering Services Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd (NESPAK) on Saturday challenged the Lahore High Court judgment on Orange Line Metro Train Project in the apex court.

NESPAK is the consultant for the metro train project along with China Engineering Consulting Group.

The Lahore High Court on 19-08-2016 had restrained all work within 200 feet of the five heritage buildings and the five special premises. It had also set aside the NOCs issued by the DG Archaeology and Chief Secretary’s Committee under Antiquities Act 1975 and Special Premises Ordinance 1985.

The DG Archaeology was directed to engage independent consultants consisting of panel of experts of international status, preferably in consultation with UNESCO, to carry out fresh independent study regarding protected immoveable antiquities and special premises. The provincial government has also been directed to frame rules under section 22 of Antiquities Act 1975 and section 11 of Special Premises Ordinance 1985.

The petitioner said apart from 11-person expert in environment, they also deployed 250 persons at various sites of the project for the supervision of work.

It said the high court has erred in ignoring and disregarding the national and international expertise, experience and status of the NESPAK .

The high court has erred in refusing to accept the report ‘Vibration Analysis of Viaduct: Evaluation of Effects on Heritage Buildings’, which establishes beyond any shadow of doubt that there will be no danger to any of the five heritage building and the one special premise (Lakshmi Mansion) either during construction of the viaducts or during operation of the electric train.

It said that the report on ‘Vibration Analysis of Cut and Cover: Evaluation of Effects on Important Buildings’ also establishes that there will be no danger to any of the four special premises either during the construction of underground track or during operation of the electric train on the underground track.

The LHC has failed to consider that the effect of vibrations caused by construction equipment and operation of electric trains on structures is to be determined by the experts in structural engineering, civil works, transportation and construction, and not by the archaeologists.

The high court has ignored and disregarded that not a single structure on either side of the viaducts already constructed on 25km of the Orange Train track has been damaged by construction of the viaducts, and it is simply presuming that the damage to heritage sites and special premises may occur.

The LHC has also ignored and disregarded that not a single structure on either side of the cut and cover portion in which piles have already been drilled, only about 0.5km of the track has been damaged by the said drilling. It is simply presuming that the damage to special premises may occur on account of drilling.

The high court has erred in holding that NESPAK reports are not independent as it consultant along with China Engineering Consulting Group, for the Orange Train project.

The petitioner said it is very unfortunate that the high court had cast aspersion on its credential, while the fact is that it is Pakistan’s premier consultant in structural engineering, civil works, transportation and construction.

It said the high court has ignored and disregarded the ground realities that hundreds of structures already exist within the 200 feet radii of all the five heritage buildings and five special premises. Therefore, there can be no reason not to allow beneficial development in the public interest in the vicinity of the same.

The petitioner said that they have 43 years of recognised national and international experience, expertise and status, therefore after their reports on Vibration Analysis there is no requirement of further study or report by other panel of experts.

It said the high court has not considered that any such panel of experts will also have to be paid by the provincial government and this panel’s report will be open to the same objection that it is not independent as it was paid by the Punjab government.

The petitioner said that the LHC has erred in holding that the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) 59 pages report, produced by Dr Ayesha Pamela Rogers, Managing Director of Rogers Kolachi Khan and Associate cannot be regarded as an independent report because it was prepared for the presentation at the UNESCO Istanbul meeting in July 2016.

The LHC report also erred in considering that the Orange Train Project will immediately benefit 250,000 (rising to 500,000) passengers per day living on either side of the track, who belong mostly belong to low and lower middle income groups.