The Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project has cost Rs 21 billion business over the past six months, reveals a research conducted by the Lahore Metro aur Aap (LMA).
Findings of the report were revealed at a press conference organised by the LMA at the Lahore Press Club where people affected by the project highlighted their issues and appealed to the government to resolve their problems.
According to the research, the OLMT project cost Rs 21 billion business primarily to small businessmen and hawkers along the 27kilometres-long Raiwind-Multan-McLeod-Nicholson-GT Road route over the past six months due to bad planning and haphazard construction. The government never properly made or implemented the environmental mitigation plan in the EIA, it added.
The total business losses were only quantified for road-front businesses although the affectees include complete markets which could have dozens of shops as well shops in side streets which were also less accessible because of haphazard construction work.
The report detailed that the average loss was according to each business category, although Multan Road indicated on average a business loss of about 65 per cent, for the past six months.
For McLeod Road-Nicholson Road, the patch from Lakshmi Chowk to Lahore Hotel indicated losses since one year when sewerage pipes were being laid, and loss varied with 100 per cent to less along the road, it added.
The press conference was chaired by human rights activist Nighat Saeed Khan and hosted by Raheemul Haque, senior research fellow at the Centre for Public Policy and Governance (CPPG).