LAHORE, Nov 9: The Punjab government had reportedly planned to build an elevated bus pathway along the canal but the idea had to be dropped because of the Supreme Court judgment barring cutting of trees and establishing a heritage park there.

The judgment was given after the Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the cutting of the trees along the canal to facilitate its widening. The issue was raised by the Save Lahore Movement spearheaded by noted lawyer and environmentalist Dr Parvez Hasan and Imrana Tiwana.

Lahore canal emanates from the BRB canal and runs through the east of the city. The 60km waterway was built by the Mughals and upgraded by the British in 1861.

Official sources told Dawn on Friday that the government’s initial thought was to run the bus service on three routes --- Ferozepur Road, canal bank roads and Multan Road. But the idea of using the canal roads had to be dropped because of the Supreme Court intervention at the time of their expansion.

Now, sources said, it was being actively considered to introduce the system also on Multan Road. Though a major decision was yet to be taken, briefs were being made on the subject.

Multan Road has recently been built from Thokar Niaz Beg to Scheme Morr after decades of neglect. And work on widening its stretch from Chowk Yateem Khana to Chauburji has also been started.

Sources said the authorities had already started designating spaces for the construction of piles for the anticipated elevated pathway for the bus service.

They could not answer as to how the pathway would be built over the newly-constructed portion of Multan Road from Thokar Niaz Beg to Scheme Mor without damaging it. They admitted that millions of rupees were spent on the reconstruction of this portion and its damage would be alarming.

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