What and How?

Lahore is a great historical city without any doubts. Rich culture, delicious foods and vivacious people.
The landscape in recent years, according to my personal view, has been getting worse. Hardly would you find some place without billboards, wires and dust.

Here is a couple of questions for you.
what you like most about Lahore?
how Lahore could be more beautiful, like any other international city?

I guess if we just remove, or at least decrease, billboards we are going to get a better view.
What do you think?

13 Comments so far

  1. Sani (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

    Get rid of Rikshas. Build boundries along side of the road. Get rid of Gadha Gari. Bring the pollution level down. Lahore is one of the most alive cities i have ever visited. The only thing thats concerns me and gives me a heart ache is the level of pollution and dirt found in Lahore. Lahore is exceptionally beautifull and it drowns me that no one takes care of it.

  2. iceCube (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

    I love the powerful ambience the city has.

    As for improvements…
    Build nature strips along the roads; don’t leave any area with loose dirt. Basically, plant more trees and save the ones that are already there.

  3. MIMA (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

    Icecube +1

    Sani, how can a gadha gari be a source of pollution? I know you are going to attempt to be very smart and say, animal droppings on the road are a big source of pollution but let me tell you, there’s a law that a gadha gari or taanga owner has to hang a bag under his/her animal’s ass to avoid messing the ground, but no one cares about this law. The point is, this law needs to be implemented properly, NOT getting rid of gadha garies or taangas because they are a source of livelihood for a big number of people in Pakistan.

    I like EVERYTHING about Lahore

    Now my opinions to make it even better:

    1. Get some cash out of car owner’s pockets(who happen to have money since they’r already driving a vehicle) and make it mandatory for them to get their vehicles checked and maintained at regular intervals to lower the level of CO2 emission.

    2. Lahore’s land is a natural source of greenery so just plant some grass (doesn’t have to be expensive grass), at every piece of vacant land to avoid dust problems.

  4. Blind_mans_bluff (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 12:23 am

    I have been living in Lahore for the past 23 years and a witness to its development and destruction simultaneously.No doubt the life has become fast paced with rat race for money,the SUV culture, opening of eateries at every corner and turn of the road,but somewhere in this mad rush we have lost the peace and serenity that was the very essence of Lahore life.I recently returned from serving a tour of duty in the Northern areas for three years with face glowing like turnip and lungs purified by the clean air of the Gilgit and Skardu.Yesterday i took a walk to the nearest market to do some petty purchase.It was a road through hell with all that honking horns,soot and mono-oxide of vehicles exhausts,dust blowing rash drivers hurling abuses at each other to keep the lane.After reaching home i spat an ounce of black phlegm in the sink and dropped in the chair to sooth my nerves with some light music.What has happened to this city? Is this the price of progress? Can it be called development?.Yes we need pollution control and green belts,places oozing with ambience and glitter,shopping malls with logos ‘you name it and we have it’, roads bustling with small and big cars but what makes a city worth living is how much you feel at home and ease there?.How much you own and associate with it?.If your daily life becomes a struggle for survival instead of a joy ride due to lack of basic civic facilities like clean efficient public transport,friendly population and neighborhoods,parks,playgrounds,libraries to relax and learn.Good colleges,universities and other seats of learning.A vibrant,vivid,colorful art and cultural scene.Most important of all citizens who care about the betterment and improvement of their city.Why our festivities are only tied to Basant alone?.Are we that much fun starved and lacking occasions and chances to celebrate that we have to wait for a whole year to have a day of hurrah.The most culturally and historically rich area is also the most polluted area of Lahore.Isn’t it a reason to worry and do something? These are not relics of past but something which gives the city its identity and character.Make this city a little more green and clean so that we don’t have to cover our noses while roaming its streets and bazars.
    Lahore has changed.For better or worst that depends upon individual’s circumstances and experiences.If i were to turn back the clock i would say the Lahore of 80’s was much of a reason for nostalgia than this madness in cement and bricks.

  5. Purple Pineapple (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 1:09 am

    why would you get rid of rickshaws and gadha gari and tanga. when i think of lahore that’s what i think of. there has to be other ways to make lahore better, without getting rid of hallmarks of the city.

    there is too much dust, and everyone agrees with that. i totally agree with teh grass and green areas. but they have to be maintained in such a way taht it doesn’t take a lot of the precious water resources we have. how about those platns that are indigenous to that area?

    also get rid of ALL those cars! there is no space for even a bike now! there should be some kind of restriction, or sme kind of carpool system to lighten the roads. plus, all kinds banners hanging here and there are so not helping with the image.

  6. Usman (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 3:26 am

    I like how every one just bashes to ones opinion with out facts and figures. My reason to get rid of rikshas and gadha garis are few. If either one of you ever been to Islamabad, i am curious to know if you have seen Gadha Gari or Rikshaw.
    I understand it is the source of numerous people’s livelihood, as a matter of fact seems like majority of people’s livelihood. But it doesnt mean just because people are poor, you let them do whatever they want. The major cause for Lahore’s pollution is the smoke coming out of those 4 stroke rikshaw engines.ow it would be a good idea when they get replaced by those CNG rikshaw’s but understand it will not happen overnight. The traffic is growing day by day in the city, and no there is no way to put a cap on it. People are making money and they are upgrading themselves form a cycle or motorcycle to a car. It is our Governments responsibility to rectify the situation. That is the major difference between our government and the government of civilized nations who are ruling the world now!

  7. babar (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

    rule the world or not, but dont take away gadha garis and tangas.

  8. iblees (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

    I would like to add few things, as I’ve seen in different cultural capitals of the world, in my very little travels.

    1. Less billboards – (totally agree with others here, there’s no need to whore the city with ’em!); In most (e.g., european) cities, in fact it is forbidden to raise any billboard or any direct advertisements around culturally important areas.

    2. Metro/Buses – I heard there going to be mass transit system for lahore, so I hope there will be less traffic, pollution, etc.

    3. Preserve old lahore – As we can’t apply the formula of a “city center” in lahore, but if we look at big culture hotspots around the world e.g. Granada (gharnaata), it is forbidden even for private transport to enter old city. Only public transport (buses, taxis) as a result city gets cleaner, less traffic and most people walk.

    4. Electrify Traditions – keep the tangas (why get rid of it??) it’s a tourist attraction. While donkey-carts is no fun, you can have it in the villages but not in city.

    5. Highlights(?) – related to above two points, the highlights of the city are rusting.
    Food – food street needs hell lot of cleaning!
    Monuments – The historic places are decaying, I wonder what ptdc, govt and archeology folks are doing??
    Hidden – A lot of hidden Lahore is dying in the background, subcultures, underground, parallel societies, they’re all uncut gems of Lahore. Preserve it instead of Tabooing it.

    6. Rebranding – Use urdu/punjabi for tourism promotions, peoples are stone suckers for touristic spots which sounds cool and they have no idea what it means! ;-)

    Just my random thoughts….

  9. Momekh (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 8:31 am

    Strange way of lookin at it all…

    billboards brings in the money that PHA uses to beautify what has been beautified so far, and if anyone has been keenly observing PHA’s performance, I’d say it is one of our better-performing departments in terms of efficiency.

    A year back or so, about 70 to 90 billboards were taken down from just the cavalry-to-defence road. What we need is regulation, ppl.
    Banning tangas and ‘gadha garis’ makes no sense. Banning rickshaws to be replaced with the CNG varieties makes all the sense in the world.

    Perserving old Lahore for the sake of tourism is just not on. Perserving old Lahore for the sake of history, and THEN making money out of the tourists that history brings is something to work for.

    Regulation demands prioritization, people. Colleges and schools are sprouting all around Gulberg, and MM Alam rd is hell between 1 and 2 PM. This doesnt mean we ban colleges and schools from opening, or make it harder for them to open schools. Why not shift all of the business and civic centers etc outwards? Towards Badian, Burki and/or Raiwand? London did that long time ago, so that all the traffic goes out in the morning and comes back in the evening, and not ‘here and there’ like in Lahore.

    Someone mentioned introduction of a bus service all around Lahore. As luck would have it, that bus service is out and about for some time now. Lahoris in specific, and Pakis in general, need to get our ‘seth saab’ attitude OUT to actually start using the bus service more meaningfully. If someone has a car or a bike, riding the bus is considered a freakin crime, and that needs to stop. The bus service is already good enough, middle and upper middle class blokes just need to start using ’em. Same goes for the trains.

    The ‘talk’ that needs to be paid attention to is that Lahore is to have her own subway station. Now that should help in the traffic problems.

    Billboards, sadly, are a part and parcel of every up-n-coming society. Regulation is needed. Tradition is to preserved not because of tourism, for God’s sake, but for history and in an attempt to learn from it. Tourism will automatically follow and nothing is wrong with that.

    EAch and everyone of us should partake in politics and social work at one level or the other. Make Lahore a volunteer’ed city, where the have’s work ways out for the have-not’s. For we all know, that the have-nots have been doing that for the have’s since eternity, it seems.

  10. Vaqas (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    This is great.
    Really…pretty constructive discussion. I hope someone who has the power to this all would read this.

    thanks all for your participation :)

    more comments? welcome.

    btw, Momekh, I am against billboards and PHA :P

  11. Sabyn (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 1:22 am

    I like everyyyyyyyyything about Lahore.

    Basics are severege system, roads and cleanliness etc. , we need to work on that. But its still an attraction for tourists. Lashari did quite well for tourism.

    Billboards should be timely replaced.

    We should make our teams and work on issues on our own.

  12. Ali Choudhury (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 5:10 pm

    Nobody gets a car until they pass a course in driver’s education.

  13. Sabyn (unregistered) on February 16th, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

    Ahhhh…..dUuRRRrrrrriving in Lahore. What you guys think if a traffic constable asks for FINE?

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