ISLAMABAD - The technical experts, who were assigned the task to assess the NESPAK reports on construction of the Orange Line Metro Project, yesterday submitted completely opposite findings to the Supreme Court as one supported the reports while the other found flaws in them.

A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali on October 13 had constituted a two-member commission of technical experts comprising TYPSA – Asia Consulting Engineers (Pvt) Ltd and Professor Robin Cuningham, UNESCO Professor in Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, UK.

The commission was directed to re-verify credibility of the NESPAK reports of July 2015 and February 2016 in context of Antiquities Act, 1975 and Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985.

The TYPSA – Asia Consulting Engineering, revealed that the NESPAK reports seemed to be very serious and complete from structural point of view. It is relevant with respect to safety and stability of buildings both during the construction stage and under train operation. The approach adopted by the NESPAK is conservative that gives vibrations velocities higher than actual, it added.

The TYPSA report stated: “The NESPAK reports rightly conclude that the levels obtained by calculation will be within the permissible limits and there will be no adverse effect on any of these sites.” It concluded that the reports of NESPAK are compliant with the international codes and standards. The NESPAK studies are comprehensive and complete and their results are correct with acceptable limits.

However, the Professor Robin report showed that both NESPAK reports have significant flaws in the context of Antiquities Act, 1975 and the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985. It has strongly recommended that the flaws be mitigated by the urgent commissioning of comprehensive and credible inter-disciplinary Heritage Impact Assessment.

It said the Lahore Orange Metro Train route clearly contravenes clause 22 of the Antiquities Act, 1975 and clause 11 of Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985 as its execution evidently represents a development scheme and involves new constructions with 200 feet of the five immovable antiquities, which protected under Act and the Ordinance.

The project also contravenes clause 23 of the Act as it is associated with the erection of poles to support its viaduct near the five immovable antiquities.

The report further said that the NESPAK July 2015 failed to consider the effects of vibrations from viaduct piers on two additional potentially affected buildings. These include the surviving Mughal reservoir, which forms part of the Shalimar Gardens, protected by the Antiquities Act and Lakshmi Building, protected under the Ordinance, 1985.

It said the NESPAK’s July 2015 report failed to present a physical and technical evaluation of the stability of five potentially affected monuments. The report said it was a clear failure of the NESPAK’s July 2015 report that it does not evaluate or present the potential impact and vibrations from the eventual of viaduct piers once they have reached the end of the practical lifespan.

Professor Robin report also stated that neither NESPAK’s July 2015 nor February 2016 reports make reference to the potential damage to subsurface parts of the immovable five antiquities and Special Premises.

He said the reports presented these structures as a single isolated monument while they represented portions of garden complexes within enclosing walls and gates, all of which are equally protected by Pakistani law.