LAHORE - Hundreds of people staged a violent demonstration yesterday in Dera Gujran near Manawan in continuing row of anger against the multi-billion Orange Line Metro Train project.

The enraged residents of the area attacked the workers and machinery on construction site, burnt tires and blocked the main Grand Trunk Road for traffic for hours.

The contractors stopped the work at site following the protest. Police reached at the spot after half hour and did not act against the furious locals.

The violent demonstration was the follow-up of Samanabad episode, in which the protestors had broken the fences of under-construction metro train last Wednesday.

The locals had blocked the road, ransacked the public property along the road side.

The Lahore Development Authority is constructing the Orange Line with the investment of China. The project - going to cost $1.6 billion and complete within 27 months - is being said a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The train route will be 27.1 kilometer long spread from Ali Town to Thokar Niaz Baig to Dera Gujran where the protest held on Sunday.

Angry residents in Dera Gujran (the last point of the train) said the government was not paying them the compensation against their land being acquired for the project. They claimed the market value of the land was around Rs400,000 per marla and the District Collector rate was Rs110,000 per marla, but they were being offered Rs50,000 per marla only.

“We are not demanding the money as per market value but according to DC rates,” the protestors told The Nation. They said they would not vacate the land until be paid the payment according to the DC rates.

“The PML-N government made us homeless and closed our small businesses. We will continue protest and keep stopping work until we will be assured the payment,” they warned.

At the same time when the anger was being displayed in Manawan, Pakistan People’s Party brought scores of people at Jain Mandar to protest against the project.

Skipping every other opposition party in the province, the PPP workers who included women and children chanted slogans against the Punjab government.

They were also protesting against the provincial government’s plan to evict them to make way for the train project. The protesters blocked the road for traffic which was diverted to adjacent roads until the demonstration ended after around two hours.