Mass massacre of Canal-side trees

It has been reported in the print media that that govt. is chopping down 10000 trees along the Canal, in order to convert 2 lane road into 3 lane, can we do something to prevent the beauty of Canal in this regard…..
Shoaib Ikram Ahmed – shoaibikram@gmail.com

The Canal Bank, one of the loveliest parts of Lahore, has been bursting at its seams due to criminal neglect and lack of planning by authorities over the years. They woke up too late and have now decided to widen the Canal Bank from Dharampura to Thokar Niaz Beg to serve vested interests. So 160 trees have been already chopped down and over 400 more are to be axed shortly. The Canal, which reminded you of some great European cities like Amsterdam in sheer beauty, greenery and ambience is to be widened and converted into a bland motorway robbing it of its natural charm and its rows and rows of trees, some over a century old. In any other civilised country this would evoke a national crisis. But what do you expect from our “enlightened rulers” who seem quite oblivious to such traditions? – The Nation

In my opinion, if they do not add a third lane; congested traffic jams and burning engines would add more toxic pollution to air, which, may end in doing more damage to Lahore’s ecology.

12 Comments so far

  1. momers (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 1:46 am

    Guys, this move was on the table since last year…
    The news on sunday reported it i clearly recall it and the Nazim dude or whoever said that we will look into it.
    And i was just dreading tis very thing. I cant believe they have actually started doing this.
    Just yesterday i was making khayali-puloaos as to how the issue of congestion on the road can be tackled. Can we make an elevated road…with support pillars designed ingeniusly…put in the middle of the canal or something. then i realized we are still a friggin DEVELOPING country and wont be upto sucha task.

    I am sure we will very verysoon see a huge response and a public outlash…BUT this thing has to be made visible.

    Every one shoudl crfy up a storm in their capacity. Those of us who can get in touch with the press should do so.
    LUMS walo… get moving guys…lums has had a history of some social activism in the past and this would be a good issue to raise.
    SO getting the point? LUMS walo…get NCA walas on board…cuz they are also active…
    Some lums wala..give Yasser Hashmi a call and ask him ..or what …rather..get in touch directly with Shoaib Hashmi….he frequently writes about lahore..and marvels at its historic beauty. He can also biztify ppl in his Taal Matol Posts.

    PROTEST is what is called for AND…MEDIA SPOTLIGHT.
    Some one make sure as well that The SHEHR section of the upcoming NEWS On SUNDAY report this…

    I keep saying SOMEONE…since i am not in the country currently.

    OH and some one…grab a camera…and photograph the entire road….picturise both the banks of the canal…from JAllo to Thokar…so ppl will be able to see (in the future) what became what…

    SAVE THE CANAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. momers (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 1:57 am

    oh and thrid lane is no solution…at least not a permanent one.

    Whats is needed are alternate routes..and the Ring Road should sevre that purpose. and till that is completed…
    And when out city planners dont have a long term plan for the city…such haphazard moves will be the norm.

    Dows any one know if our city evenmaintains a GIS for the city? i seriously doubt it. No one in the city managemnt is able to see the bigger picture.
    A nation of short sighted ppl we are…never look at the far reaching consequences or the bigger pictures…just get done what serves the purpose at the moment. shameful.

    god save the canal… Amen


  3. Saadu (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 2:07 am

    In my humble opinion what Lahore/Karachi or any other city of Pakistan needs is a decent public transport system such as rail/tram/metro. I personally would vote for metro. Don’t go the Japanese way and say Oh we’re gonna make a magnetic one or one which is suspended off of a roof or what not.. just build something that can move tons of people from one place to another FAST and make it cheap enough that people prefer to use that than take their car out. Start small and go big, I’m sure they cant cover the whole Lahore but dammit start somewhere… What will they do in 20 years? Add a 4th lane? Buy us all hovercrafts? We need a transit system and we need it now. Come survey Amsterdam, take examples from Bombay. And make it future proof so the tracks can be used to put trains on if needed.


  4. aka (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 5:44 am

    well, it’s be great if we could all believe that a mass transit system would finally be on the cards but i guess there is no such luck. The thing with the system is that it’s probably been mooted some gazillion times before only to be disposed off due to the change of the govt or for that matter some other equally crappy reason. probably, what woudl continue to happen, would be that hamhanded commersialization would continue throughout the city. I used to be in the barkat market, usman block area and look what happened to the whole place. You ahve umpteenth shops and plazas sprouting left, right and centre. We probably won’t be moving towards planned development any time soon but what does seem viable is that any new housing/ transport/ public service schemes do show up in the future ought to be scientifically thought up. here in nyc, the traffic is chaotic and you have people jaywalking all over the place. though the one thing that really works and to the convenience of which one gets addicted after a while is the metro: it may not be glitzy or squeaky clean, but it takes people where they want to go and it’s efficient! maybe, one could hope for such a development in lahore where the consumer financing has put an unmanageable number of cars on the road without any long term solutions being thought up of. As far as social activism is concerned, Cowasjee does it pretty well for Karachi and has a history of atleast writing for the underdog: we need someone to bring this into the media spotlight as well. The ring road that momers mentions was rerouted and cut in half with the result that it cannot honestly be called a ring road since the new path defeats the whole aspect of there being a periphery road. Perhaps, we will finally consider urban planning as a serious enough field to get consultants, with some comparable international projects under their belt, to really sit down and analyze wht plagues Lahore’s traffic/ urban developments and build a long term policy of what needs to be done. but maybe that’s wishing for too much!


  5. Detox (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    This had to happen sooner or later. Lahore is bursting at its seams when it comes to traffic. Adding a third lane is no solution but it is definately required. Choping of trees is unfortunate but theres no other solution. It’ll all be forgotten in no time. Remeber the widening of the Main Boulevard and Jail Road during the SHARIF era? A lot of hue and cry was raised back then and to what effect? And now these two roads are the talk of the town for their beauty. Next Up: The Mall Road. We desperately need a third lane there too.


  6. Balloon-o-Eight (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

    As far as alternative routes are concerned, there is this new one almost complete that would run parallel to the canal.

    It starts from Shauq Chowk, Shaukat Ali Road (Jinnah Hospital wali road) and passes through the whole of Johar Town directly to Shaukat Khannum; three lane newly built road with fewer intersections.

    This road is being extended to Raiwind Road from Shaukat Khannum and it’s further going to bypass Thokar by joining Multan Road near Sukh Chayan Gardens.

    It’s going to be Lahore’s longest thoroughfare.

    AND, there are serious plans of a mass transit system, AGAIN: http://lahore.metblogs.com/archives/2006/03/3_more_mass_rai.phtml


  7. momers (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

    it seems we yet again want to let repeat what has happened in the past.

    Any one ever driven on the canal in the summers? ever? in the winters?

    Mani boulavard never had that history and charm. Main boulvard was a mess…and it had to be dealt with.

    The canal unfortunately is not s a mess like that.
    Its not only the almost ancient tress along the canal but the orchards on the banks as well.

    Its an ecological disaster waiting to happen…and all we care about are new roads?!

    Paris and London even dont have such huge boulevards in places that matter for other reasons.

    The key is traffic management and not plain and simple road widening.

    Ten years down the line whats then keeping us from adding a 4th lane..or a 5th…whee does it stop?

    We have to draw the line…get the priorities right…put whats more important ahead of us.
    So its a nice debate right now about plannig and development…but the purpose of this post by the blogger was to see some action, to stop this destruction right now.
    We can all debate policy and all later but right now something else calls for attention.


  8. iceCube (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 2:32 am

    This is some serious bloody crap. Why is there such a lack of imagination in our system?


  9. aka (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 9:57 am

    well momers, i do understand what it is that you are calling attention to but it seems that it is similar to firefighting in the sense that people would be involved in moving from preventing one ecologocal disaster waiting to happen, to the other one: i remember some time back, due to massive media attention, the new Murree project was shelved. While, the activism aspect of it may be vital to prevent any repeats of what has already happended, some long term framework also needs to be developed on how to tackle these issues!


  10. GadBud Singh (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

    Mian Saab!!! mein te kehna aan ae sadkaan shadkaan putt deyo te enna di jaga nehraan bana deyo jeevein italy wich ae.Motor botaan chalan giyaan, public v khush te administration v.Transport di transport te picnic di picnic.
    Thekaidaaran ne saare Lahore nu kharab keta hoya ae,kaddi telephone aalay khudai karde ne te kaddi sewerage aalay.


  11. Lena (unregistered) on May 21st, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

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  12. Patrick (unregistered) on May 21st, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

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