LAHORE: The Lahore High Court today observed that apparently protection of the historical monuments and the issue of environmental pollution were ignored before the work on Orange Line project could start. The Court sought review report from the Lahore Development Authority and put off further proceedings until April 18.

A division bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh held the proceedings on different identical petitions challenging historical buildings of the provincial capital. During the hearing, civil society's lawyer Advocate Azhar Siddique argued on the matter. The counsel said that the environmental pollution had increased in the city as compared with the past and main reason behind it is the Orange Line project. Concluding his arguments, the counsel said that the government started the project without proper planning; protection of historical buildings and environmental problems were completely ignored. He said government took permission from the Environment Department at the time when there was shortage of staff. The proper work was not done on the report issued by the department concerned, he stated. The lawyer said all historical buildings were under threat of destruction. At this, the bench observed that it seems that no proper planning was made before initiating the project. The court directed LDA to submit review report on the project by the next hearing.

Earlier, the bench had stayed construction on Orange line project within 200 foot radius of historical buildings of the city including Chauburji, Shalamar Gardens, Buddu Ka Awa, Dai Anga tomb, GPO , Old building of SC registry, Saint Andrew’s Church and others.

Kamil Khan Mumtaz and others had filed the petition against the project terming it a threat to the cultural landscape of the city. They had prayed to the court to order the Punjab government not to destroy and damage the beautiful historic scenery of the city.