Preserving the Royal Shalimar

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Punjab Archeology Department has prepared a PC-1 worth Rs.300 million for the preservation of historical Shalimar Garden.

Commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1637, the Shalimar Garden was located 6 kilometres (5 miles) east of Lahore. Encroachments, garbage heaps around the garden’s wall and environmental pollution were seriously affecting the historical monument.

The Garden was included in the world heritage endangered list and some two years back the federal archeology department decided to remove it by taking appropriate measures and finally the Punjab government allocated Rs.300 million for its preservation and conservation.

“The process of preservation and conservation cannot be accelerated owing to its artistic nature,” said DH Archeology Department, Punjab Orya Jan Maqbool while talking to The News. He said that the city government had successfully removed encroachments along the wall of the garden whereas now negotiations were going on to establish a buffer zone of at least 30 feet around the monument.

“Construction of houses in buffer zone is a very sensitive issue and as per survey conducted by the department almost 106 houses are falling in this. The department has already requested the city government to make appropriate plan to shift these houses from the buffer zone,” he said. Work on the restoration of Naqqar Khana had already been started and Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) was renovating Garden’s lawn, said Orya. He said that walking paths would also be restored.

Talking about different problems, he said that the government should ensure a clean atmosphere in and around the monument for prolonging its life. He added that the district government should control the encroachments and garbage from outside the garden.

As per PC-1, sources said that the department had planned to preserve/renovate water channels and tanks, walk ways, middle terrace and dividing wall, stair ways at upper terrace, perimeter wall, Aramgah-e-Shah Jahan, corner towers, Summer Pavilion, Khabgha building, main entrances, moor craft building, public toilets, the old well and water reservoir, royal hamams and Daulat Khana-i-Khas.

Sources said that provision for urgent and petty repair was also a part of PC-1 while purchase of a vehicle, import of red sand stone and illumination of the garden are also included.

The News
March 6, 2006

Snap Source: Salaam Pakistan

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