A plea

In the light of the recent events that have caused havoc among the citizens of Lahore due to the “orange line” construction, I would like to bring up two of the utmost important issues today. I want this letter of mine to serve as a conscience alert to all those sitting in power and all those who have a voice that can make a difference in the current situation.
Orange line project is not just a development project, it is asking for a lot in return, from the people of Lahore. This project demands people of giving up their houses to construct a route for the train which is no way acceptable to them thus resulting in protests against the authorities. People claim that the government officials are threatening them to hand over the houses for the project in return for a extremely poor amount, which merely is a formality by the government to cover up  the snatching and give it a legal exchange of properties in return of money.
The effectees demand the government to either change the project route or use tunnel technology, failing which the private land/property demarcated for acquisition, would never be handed over to the government at any cost. Some claim that the they’ve been residing the respective houses for decades now and naturally have an attachment with the place and would not like to give it up for a useless project.
People are complaining that they are being threatened by the government and LDA officials to handover the houses for the prices the government is offering or they would be responsible for the consequences.
Now my concern Mr. Editor is, what consequences is the government talking about? Where are the courts or the media that is paying no heed to the people getting affected by this cruelty and are fearing for their lives as well as their properties? Do they have no right to put up their demands for their own pieces of land that they are not even willing to give in the first place?
Secondly, I have my fears for the historic sites of the city that are being prey to the construction too.
The orange line /metro project would result in more serious and irreversible damage to the property of Shalimar gardens and its outstanding universal value. For which it was inscribed in the world’s heritage list. The question arises that why the Punjab government didn’t take UNESCO on board before making the plan or before launching the civil work for project?
According to the engineers, the historic sites are not in the position to stand the vibrations caused by the train that would pass and would result in falling down as they have not been preserved in the best of conditions.
My point of addressing these two issues in this letter is, to waken up the ones sleeping in their comfortable chairs in the provincial assembly of Punjab as well as the national assembly and ask them what they have in minds. Would it be fair to the people of Pakistan to get deprived of its heritage? Or is it fair for the citizens of Lahore to become homeless just for a development project?
Mr. Editor, I request you and all the media authorities to raise these questions in front of the government so that something could be done to tackle the situation. Maybe the government could compensate the people with more money and maybe the route that passes from near the heritage sites could be changed to avoid disastourous circumstances. This letter of mine is a plea to all the people sitting in or outside the government to please think about the consequences of this development project and be fair with the ones getting affected.

Author: Orange train mess

Dreamer.freelance writer. This blog is an attempt to give an insight on the lives of the ones suffering from the government's insensitive policies. It's a step taken to bring their voices to the masses.

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