ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rasheed on Friday informed the National Assembly that the Orange Train Line Project would not affect cultural heritage sites in Lahore.
Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Imran Zafar Lehgari, Nafisa Shah and Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, he said, “The Orange Train Line Project, initiated by the Punjab government from its own resources, will not cause any physical damage to the Shalimar Garden, Chauburji; so it will not bring down prestige of these cultural heritages.”
The minister said there would not be any vibration at these cultural heritage sties due to engineering structure and technology used in the Project.
Pervaiz Rasheed said heavy and light traffic was plying on the road, passing by the cultural sites without having any negative impact for last many years.
He said Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had rehabilitated and restored the Minaret of Chauburji when he was Chief Minister of Punjab, adding that restoring 12 historical doors in their original shape was the hallmark of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.
“Muhammad Nawaz Sharif government always fulfilled its responsibility regarding the protection of national cultural heritage sites” he added.
Pervaiz Rashid said that the Orange Train Line Project had been started for the poor people who used public transport for going to schools, hospital and offices.
He urged opposition parties to play their role and extend assistance for providing best and inexpensive public transport to masses instead of creating hurdles in the public welfare projects.
He said it was unfortunate that no political party came up to protect the passengers when roof of public transport touched with dangling electricity wires.
Criticizing the opponents of the Orange Line Project, he said only those people were making hue and cry over the decent public transport scheme who did not bother to visit Chauburji.
The minister said that many people were unable to attend funerals and marriages of their beloved ones, during the protest of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), but he elements who chanted the slogan `unacceptable’ were used to travel in private planes to reach Quetta and Karachi.
Responding to a question, the minister said the Orange Train Line was not part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Punjab government has started the project to facilitate poor segments of the society who had not luxury transport to use.
The minister said that financial details of the project could be obtained from the Punjab government, however, he added that officials of the Punjab government could be contacted by the committee for these particulars.
Pervaiz Rasheed also suggested the opposition parties to raise the questions regarding the financial details of the project in the Punjab Assembly through their representatives.
He said that complete fairness and transparency had been adopted by the Punjab government in the project, adding the project would be another feather in the cap of the provincial government and Punjab, thus increasing their dignity.
The minister gave assurance on floor of the House that the federal government would provide sovereign guarantee to any people welfare project of provincial governments.
“We will not delay even for a single day to any people’s welfare project forwarded by provincial governments for federal sovereign guarantee,” he added.
He said that sovereign guarantee had been granted by the federal government to Sindh government for the Thar Coal project.
Commenting on performance of the PML-N government, Pervaiz Rasheed said “We have done in two and a half years what the PPP government failed to do in five years”.