LAHORE - The Opposition yesterday did not allow the Punjab law minister to conclude debate on Orange Line Metro Train project by pointing quorum.

After heated arguments both against and in favour of Rs165 billion mega project from the Opposition and Treasury benches during the debate, Sadia Sohail Rana pointed quorum when Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had just started winding up the discussion.

The quorum remained incomplete even after ringing bells for five minutes that led to the adjournment of the session until Monday afternoon.

The Opposition legislators accused the government of spending hefty amount on a single project and ignoring issues of public importance like provision of potable water, education, health, law and order.

They said that the government was bent upon snatching shelter from the poor for carrying out the project.

Treasury legislators, however, defended the project, saying it would provide state of the art transport facilities to the masses. They said that no other funds would be diverted to Orange Line Metro Train and as such people would continue to get facilities like education and healthcare.

PPP’s Faiza Malik said that the government was increasing debt burden on the masses by taking loan on high interest. She alleged that the government has stopped work on 611 development projects to facilitate construction of Orange Line.

She said that work on the project has been started even before preparation of PC-I. She alleged that the chief minister has stopped officers from sharing any information about Metro Train. She said that the government was giving Rs60 million salaries to 27 officers who for protecting files of the CM.

PTI’s Shahneela Ruth said that the government was destroying rich cultural heritage for the sake of one project. She said that the government was demolishing four historical churches on the route of orange Line Train. She said that the rulers have nothing to do with worship places of Christians and their only interest was minting money through commission.

Raheela Anwar said that the government was spending money only on one city. She said that aquifer level was dropping fast in the province and girls could not get education due to distance of colleges and schools. She said that the government was giving rights of people in the province to one city.

PML-Zia’s Ghulam Murtaza said that employees of TMAs were not getting salaries for the last three months.

“We are not against development projects but these should not be carried at the cost of people,” he said. He urged the government to consider other projects like provision of parking facilities.

PML-N’s Waheed Gull said that Orange Line Train was a project of public interest aimed at providing honorable travelling facilities. He accused the opposition of unnecessarily opposing the project instead of giving workable proposals.

He said that no money has been diverted to Orange line and work was underway on all the projects in the province. He said that Bahawalpur would soon get 100 water filtration plants. He claimed that 10,000 megawatts electricity would be added in the national grid by 2018.

As Rana Sanaullah started speech to conclude debate, PTI’s Sadia Sohail Rana pointed quorum. As quorum remained incomplete, the chair adjourned the session until Monday.