LAHORE - Punjab Law Minster Rana Sanaullah Khan tried to woo the Opposition on Line Orange Metro Train project while winding debate in the Punjab Assembly yesterday.

After hearing the law minister, the Opposition had left with little to oppose the project although its leader Mian Mahmudur Rashid vowed to continue to raise voice against the project which was being constructed with money that was right of 100million Punjab people and not exclusively of Lahore.

He termed the project economic murder of the people. Rashid reduced the strong fury of the Opposition to only two demands that funds earlier allocated for other development projects should not be re-appropriated to the Orange Train and just compensation made to the affected property owners and they be additionally compensated with three-marla each land of the LDA as alternative residence.

Earlier, the joint Opposition had created scene against this Rs166billion mega project and staged a walk chanting Orange Line namanzoor, Orange Line namanzoor.

The noise and sloganeering created by the Opposition was returned with same quantum by the Treasury this all entailed an uproarious situation which persisted for about half an hour not to let anyone pick up any sense from what was parliamentary secretary was responding to the adjournment motions in the meantime. Speaker Rana Iqbal tried to control situation but to no avail.

Sometime after walkout the Opposition returned to the House and rejoined the proceedings. The law minister said the Opposition should not have picked bones with the Government Treasury if its prolonged protest inside and outside the House was just for two demands which the government was ready to consider. He said no penny from the ongoing development schemes has been re-appropriated to the Train.

He said Rs1500million saved from energy projects after federal government agreed to bear their expenses, Rs700m spared from Ujala lamps and another Rs700million saving was shifted to the Train. He said no ongoing project would be affected and if any shifting of money could be found out the same would be returned to the original development scheme.

He offered Leader of the Opposition to join the chief minister for sharing suggestions on the Train and himself knowing what was going on. The law minister said the Train and the Metro Bus have come through 25-year long experts study conducted on the transportation needs of the citizens. If these projects would not have been commenced, transportation problems would have become more acute than that of Karachi.

He said no property owner was opposed to the project but he demanded proper compensation that was provided. He said only 1/3 of the compensations remains while the rest have been met.

Rana Sana ending one issue stirred up the second by pinching the Opposition with three years old episode wherein he said, the joint Opposition had sought a meeting with the CM to get the development funds released.

The words of Sana irked the Opposition Leader and he denied the episode saying, they are not fond of meeting the CM although getting development funds is their right as a matter of serving the electorate.

Earlier, during the question hour on the Departments of Food and Women Development, the Parliamentary Secretary for Food Asadullah failed to satisfy the Opposition on the question of installing treatment plants at ice factory across Punjab.

The chair referred a question to the Food Committee to know when anti-adulteration mechanism would be put in place all over the province.

Responding to query on the payment of sugarcane growers, the Parliamentary Secretary said Chistian Sugar Mills Sarghoda has been sealed for defaulting payment. The Opposition challenged the answer saying the Mill actually exited in Bahawalnagar and was freely doing its business while protesting farmers being booked by the police.

Asadullah whose reply mainly depended on the chits coming through the Secretary concerned, insisted, it was near Silanwali Sargodha. This triggered an argument between the two sides over location of mills and the chair had to seek voting in the House to decide it existence. The majority vote of treasury decided the Mills in Sargodha and sealed.

In the official business the House started debate on the Irrigation system in Punjab. Minister for Irrigation Mian Yawar Zaman was on his legs when the Opposition pointed quorum which was not found complete. On it, the Chair adjourned the proceedings at 10am Tuesday.