LAHORE - The Lahore High Court dismissed yesterday an application of federal and Punjab governments challenging stay order on construction of Orange Line Metro Train project within 200-feet radius of eleven historical buildings of the city.

A division bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh passed the order and held that the federal government had no role in construction of the project, so it had no right to challenge it.

The bench also held that No Objection Certificates (NOCs) were issued in violation of rules for the project while an advisory committee made by the Punjab government to review the project was illegal.

During the course of hearing, Advocate General Punjab Shakilur Rehman Khan contended that the litigation against the project based on mala fide intention because the project was purely for public interest. He stated that the stay on the work of project was causing loss of millions of rupees on the project.

In response of a question by the court regarding inclusion of the petitioners in Advisory committee, the law officer responded that the this exercise was purely technical in nature, the petitioners have not brought any defect on record in the Feasibility Report, vibration analysis or any other technical aspect of the project.

He requested the the bench to recall the stay order and allowed the government to resume construction work of the project.

The counsel of the civil society, Advocate Azhar Siddique, opposed his arguments and stated that the government was influencing court by the state of loss of million of rupees.

After hearing both sides, the division bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh dismissed the stay application of the federal and provincial governments and adjourned further hearing until April 5.

On January 28, the LHC stayed project of Orange Line Project within 200-foot radius of 11 historical monuments of the city on several petitions challenging construction of the project. The petitioners had termed it a big threat to historical monuments and cultural landscape.

In another case, the LHC gave an opportunity to Chief Executive of Quaid-i-Azam Thermal Power Project Ahad Cheema to explain his position in writing for holding additional charge of the post of Lahore Development Authority Director General.

Cheema appeared before the court of Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan along with Advocate General Punjab Shakilur Rehman Khan. The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by a woman.

Previously, Cheema ignored courts’ orders. At this, the court had summoned him to explain his position. During yesterday hearing, the law officer and Cheema pleaded the court to give some time to answer court’s queries. The court accepted the plea and adjourned further hearing until April 27.