Lahore: Christian Foundation challenges metro train project maintaining it threatens heritage sites

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Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation (CCIF), has challenged the Orange Line Metro Train Project (OLMT) in Lahore in the High Court. The Christian foundation maintained that the project poses a threat to country’ cultural heritage sites. “We are not against progress and development in the city, but of course we certainly condemn the process and the methodology of this project,” Michelle Chaudhry- President of CCIF.

High Court in Lahore

The foundation claimed that the although the project will facilitate public however the route chosen goes through culturally historic sites including the Shalimar Gardens, which is a world heritage site. And 11 historic sites protected under the Antiquities Act 1975, and six under the Punjab Special Premises Preservation Ordinance 1985.

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CICF which is the only Christian organization to challenge the project maintains that the 27 kilometers Orange Line Metro Train project in Lahore threatens no less than 27 cultural heritage sites in Lahore. “We are the only organisation that has raised a voice on the vulnerability of our Churches. We will not allow this project to cause any damage to any of the concerned churches or church properties,” Michelle Chaudhry said.

“We cannot and will not sit back and let anyone destroy this 2000-year-old city, which we call home. We at the CICF are committed to stand by the people, their places of worship, the heritage and the city of Lahore,” CICF President explained.

CICF further maintained that the aftereffects of the construction work will be detrimental, as several people are at risk of losing their homes, many shop owners would be forced to move out of the route and historic churches would suffer. Despite previous assurances from the Lahore High Court, and CM guaranteeing that no church land would be touched, the situation is still indeterminate. The churches which fall in the OLMT project’s route include the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection, St Andrew’s Church, the Naulakha Church and the Presbyterian Church.