Lahore: A spokesman for the Punjab government has termed baseless the reservations raised over the Orange Line Metro Train Project baseless

According to a handout, the spokesman made it clear that Rs20 billion have been allocated for paying compensation to the owners of land being acquired for the project.

He said that rate of this compensation is about double as compared to development projects completed earlier in the city.

He said that a proposal is also under consideration for paying up to Rs2 million per marla to the occupants having no ownership documents of their properties in congested and remote areas in the city. He made it clear the track of Orange Line Train has been designed in such a way that minimum land should be required so that minimum number of citizens affected. He said that all legal demands have been fulfilled under Land Acquisition Act for acquiring land from the owners of the properties falling in the route of the track. He said that the route of Orange Line Metro Train has been adopted by formal research after conducting traffic count survey.

He said that total length of the track from Ali Town Raiwind Road to Dera Gujran GT Road is 27 km and 26 stations will be constructed on it. He said that this track will pass through the busy and congested area of the city and more than 2.5 lakh people benefit from it daily. Therefore, it is wrong to say that changes are being made in the route again and again.

The spokesman said that besides meeting all legal demands for the conservation of historic buildings situated along the route of metro train, additional expenditures are being made for keeping its track away from these buildings to a possible extent. He said that 4.5 kanal (85 marla) land is being especially acquired at a cost of Rs35 crore for keeping track of train at least 29 meter away from Shalamar Garden. He said that 1.5 kanal (30 Marla) land is being acquired at a cost of 9 crore rupees for keeping train (16 meter or 52.5 feet) away from Chaburji.

The spokesman said that 1.7 km track of metro train is being constructed under the ground for conservation of GPO Building and its nearby buildings including Supreme Court Registry Building, High Court Parking/Aiwan-e-Auqaf and St. Andrew's Church constructed at Mall Road before creation of Pakistan due to which construction cost of this portion has increased 7.7 billion rupees which is more than double. By making track of train further away from these buildings, houses and business of a large number of citizens would have been affected.