‘UN bodies’ concerns over Metro train baseless’



The Punjab government spokesman has termed the reservations shown by representatives of two (non-famous) subsidiary organisations of the United Nations regarding Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project as “baseless”.

The spokesman made it clear that a sum of Rs 20 billion had been allocated for paying compensation to the owners of the land being acquired for Orange Line train.

He said that the rate of this compensation was about double as compared to development projects completed earlier in the city, adding that more amount was being paid to the affectees as compensation for loss of their businesses.

The spokesman further said that a proposal was also under consideration for paying up to Rs 20 lakh per marla to the occupants having no ownership documents of their properties in congested and remote areas. He made it clear that the track of Orange Line train had been designed in such a way that minimum land should be required.

He said that all legal demands had been fulfilled under the Land Acquisition Act for acquiring land from the owners of the properties falling in the route of the track. He further said that the route of Orange Line Metro train had 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 was 27 km and 26 stations would be constructed on it. He said that this track would pass through the busy and congested areas and more than 2.5 lakh people would benefit from it on a daily basis.

The spokesman said it was wrong to say that changes were being made in the route again and again, adding that besides meeting all legal demands for the conservation of historic buildings situated along the route of metro train, additional expenditures were being made for keeping its track away from these buildings to a possible extent.

He further said that 4.5 kanal (85 marla) land was being especially acquired at a cost of Rs 35 crore for keeping track of train at least 29 meter away from Shalamar Gardens. He said that 1.5 kanal (30 marla) land was being acquired at a cost of Rs 9 crore for keeping train (16 meter or 52.5 feet) away from Chaburji.

The spokesman said that 1.7 km track of metro train was 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 Rs 7.7 billion which was more than double.