I was doing some research and in the mean while I came across few papers indicating the progress of Walled City of Lahore for the interest of readers I would like to share few of its points with you.
Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has completed different conservation, restoration and tourism projects at Lahore Fort and inside the walled city of Lahore whereas new projects are also intented to be launched by 2020 while the schemes and projects were approved by the government under the fiscal year 2019-2020.
The projects at Lahore Fort included the conservation of Barood Khana, conservation of western façade of picture wall, inauguration of Picture wall and Royal Kitchens conservation, restoration of Deewan-e-Aam, conservation of Musaman Gate, conservation of Shah Jahan’s Quadrangle, conservation of Alamgiri Gate and Temple of Loh and conservation of Shah Burj Gate whereas the total amount released to the WCLA for Fort Projects is Rs. 50 million since June till December 2019 while the allocated budget is for the year 2019-2020 and WCLA has utilized Rs. 25 million so far on the fort projects.
The projects to be undertaken at Lahore Fort in 2020 include conservation of Moti Masjid, Conservation of Shahi Hammam in quarter area, conservation of Deewan-e-Aam basement, conservation of Dewan-E-Aam, Doulat Khana Khas-O-Aam, Kharak Singh Haveli, Akbari Gate, conservation of Makatib Khana and the northern side of the picture wall.
The projects to be started in the walled city Lahore in 2020 include project of rehabilitation of Sonehri Masjid, Chowk Kotwali via dabbi bazaar and the project cost would be Rs. 443.467 million, conservation and restoration of Mariam Zamani Masjid with a cost of Rs. 120.040 million and urban rehabilitation project of Bhatti Gate to Katri Allahdad with a cost of Rs. 500 million.
Similarly, WCLA would be working on the conservation projects in other cities of Pakistan which include Zohb Baluchistan, Okara, Jehlum, Peshawar, Rawalipindi and Muzafarabad.
The tourism activities started in 2019 included the guided tours of Taxali and Bhati Gates, Yatra Tour of Sikh Heritage Sites, Dastan –e-Ameer Khusro and Meet the Expert while a National Heritage and Tourism Workshop was also organized by WCLA.
Almost 10,000 tourists joined the History By Night Tour in 2019 which is held on every Saturday and 35000 tourists visited the Royal Trail which is a free guided tour by WCLA.
The Director General WCLA Kamran Lashari said, “WCLA has taken up projects in the Lahore Fort and much neglected areas have been given a new life after conservation and Barood Khana and Royal Kitchens in among them. We are starting the Chowk Kotwali and Bhatti Gate projects soon inside the walled city of Lahore. We aim to restore the Bhatti Gate trail on the same lines of Royal Trail and all hanging wires will be taken underground and new water and sanitation systems will be laid down. On the tourism side, WCLA started tours of different gates of Walled City like Taxali and Bhatti and also the landmark project was the launching of Religious Tourism. Yatra, a tour to Sikh Heritage Sites in walled city Lahore was introduced in 2019 and I am glad that the tourist influx in the city has increased.” It is indeed presenting soft image of Pakistan to the world in this era when every country has realised importance of tourism and is trying to develop it’s touristic places Pakistan is also striving and has taken few basic but long awaited steps due to which tourism is on the rise but we are far from our potential specially when foreigners have to indicate bizzare conditions of our immigration services.