LAHORE - Raising different questions over the construction of Elevated Expressway from Gulberg to Motorway-II by acquiring land on urgency basis, the Lahore High Court has directed the Punjab government to submit a comparative budget report on the said project and on education and health in Punjab.

A full bench of the LHC headed by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali shah and comprised Justice Amin-ur-Din Khan and Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza was hearing the case on Friday.

In previous hearing, a single bench comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had issued a stay order against construction of Elevated Expressway through Shadman, LOS, Samnabad to Motorway II.

As the arguments started, the bench raised many questions over the matter that what is the scope and nature of urgency required to invoke Section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act? The bench asked the law officer whether building Elevated Expressway Road/Main Boulevard Gulberg to Ring Road/Motorway M-2, And whether the Lahore falls within the scope of ‘urgency’ under section 17 of the Act.

Whether issuance of notification under Section 4 of the Act must be preceded by detailed feasibility in the shape of PC-1? Whether feasibility must provide for Environmental Impact Assessment, other feasible alternatives and the result of private negotiations for purchase of the land in question? And what is the scope and importance of Section 5-A of the Act, which deals with public objections.

A number of petitions had been filed against the construction of elevated express way. The petitioners submitted that the government had imposed an emergency like situation and acquiring land from them by demolishing their homes to build the expressway.

They said the government also did not convey them covey them the reasons behind this urgency. The petitioners requested the judge to set aside the ‘Emergency Plan by the government to acquire land for this purpose from the local residents.

The court will resume hearing on November 17.