LAHORE - The Punjab government has conducted test run of Orange Line Metro Train, but it has yet to get endorsement of Unecso for the project.

The 42nd convention of the World Heritage Committee will take this issue up at a meeting in Bahrain next month.

According to documents, the government has submitted its response, which has to be taken up by the world body in its next sessions, but still it is not clear who will represent the country at the international forum as the government’ s tenure is about to end this month.

Reliable sources told The Nation that a summary has also been moved to the World Heritage Committee for a delegation but the responses submitted by the government lacks the required progress as the government once again said the issue of urban encroachment has yet to be dealt with.

Interestingly, the government allowed Reactive Monitoring Mission, which visited the project last month, but it has to submit its report at the next session, which will be held from June 24 to July 4 in Bahrain. The sources said visual impact assessment report has also been prepared but it is awaiting review of the world body on heritage. May 20th was the last date for registration of delegates.  The 42nd session of Unesco’s World Heritage Committee on protection of the world cultural and natural heritage will be held in Manama, Bahrain from 24 June to 4 July.

In the Asia-Pacific, number 14 category is about the report on Pakistan’s Shalimar Gardens in Lahore. It is pertinent to note that the 41st session of WI IC was held in July 2017 at Krakow, Poland. WHC in last session made 8 decisions (recommendations) on the state of conservation of Shalimar Gardens to which Pakistan submitted replies in two parts.

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WHC announced that Reactive Monitoring mission will be invited immediately after the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The government said in its response, “In accordance with the decision of the World Heritage Committee, Reactive Monitoring Mission has been invited immediately after the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding the Orange Line Metro Train Project on 8th December, 2017.” Orange Line Strategic Counsel Khurram Chugtai, who represented the government at the last two sessions in Turkey and Poland for his input, refused to make any comment on the situation.