LAHORE - Construction work at historical sites for Orange Line Train project was continued despite the court’s order, a contempt petition filed against the Punjab government in Lahore High Court revealed yesterday.

Kamal Khan Mumtaz and Neelum Hussain filed the petition and pointed out that the government officials were violating court order as work for Orange Line Metro Train within 200-feet radius of eleven heritage sites protected under the laws was continued.

On January 28, the LHC stayed construction of $1.6 billion Orange Line Project within 200 feet of 11 historical sites of the city after the government’s lawyer failed to give reasons behind the change of route of the project.

The places where the work was disallowed include Lakashmi building, Shalimar Gardens, GPO Chowk, Aiwan-i-Auqaf, Shah Charagh building, Supreme Court registry, Saint Andrew Church, Baba Mauj Darya’s shrine, Ghulabi Bagh, Bhudhu ka Awa, Chauburji and tomb of Zeb-un-Nisa.

The petitioners submitted that the constructions on the above sites were carried out and the petitioner had collected evidences, confining violation of the court orders in the shape of photograph and a CD.

They pointed out that the tyranny of fate, once again, came to confront this nation in shape of trying to disgrace and disrespect the verdict of the courts. The matter of cutting trees is very sensitive and grave matter and it is against the doctrine of public trust, they submitted.

The petitioners pleaded the court to initiate contempt proceedings against director general LDA Ahad Cheema, another officials Israr Saeed, Dr Javed Iqbal,Ch Muhammad Ijaz and proposed mayor of Lahore Kh Ahmad Hassaan.

It is second time when the petitioners approached the LHC to stop the government from destroying the beauty of historical sites by continuing work on the project. In their first attempt, the petitioners successfully got orders from the court to restrain the government from carrying on work at historical sites.

The petitioners, in their main petitions, had termed the project a ‘ direct threat to the heritage of city’. They pointed out that the Rs165 billion project of the metro train was not approved by the Punjab Assembly.

They said the government was utilizing funds allocated for other sectors like education and health for the project of metro train. They pointed out that Unesco also opposed the project for being a serious threat to environment and other reasons.

The hearing on the petitions challenging construction of Orange Line Project will be taken up by a division bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh on February 15.