Sign the Save the Lahore Canal petition

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To: Citizens of Lahore

As you may have heard, The Punjab government is planning to widen the road on both sides of the Lahore Canal, from Thokar Niaz Baig to Dharampura, as a so-called solution for the congestion on the canal road due to the rapidly increasing automobile population. The Punjab Chief Minister had announced that the project would begin immediately after Eid-ul-Azha, however, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took suo moto notice and effectively restrained the government from commencing work on the project on 27 November 2009. The government has not fulfilled its legal obligation of carrying out an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)for the project and the lack of transparency of the program is depriving the citizens of Lahore from having a say in this change.

It is the consensus of a great number of organizations and groups of concerned citizens that the Rs 3.15 billion project violates basic principles of traffic design and will not only prove ineffective in countering traffic congestion, but also lead to an outstanding number of problems related to the well-being of the public and the environment. Widened roads have historically proven to only end up attracting more traffic, and the government’s focus on providing for the car-owning citizen over the abounding majority (which requires public transport, sidewalks, public toilets, phones and drinking water) is entirely against the principles of equity. The project also means the cutting down of several thousand old trees and losing over 50 acres of the green belt, which is sure to lead to a staggering number of environmental problems including rising temperatures and carbon and toxic content, not to mention the loss of ancient species of trees and shrubs that provide shelter to a variety of birds and small animals. The historical, environmental, recreational and aesthetic value of this green space cannot be stressed enough.

We demand that our voice be heard to address these critical issues and help preserve the beauty and grandeur of our city.


The Undersigned

(This petition was prepared by Lahore Chitrikar and their initiative is acknowledged)

11 Comments so far

  1. Nabeel (unregistered) on December 9th, 2009 @ 9:36 pm

    I’ve seen very narrow roads in Turkey but they didn’t have traffic jams. Same I’ve heard about Europe that there roads are not that wide as we have in Lahore. Roads like Jail Road and Ferozpur Road; one can literally land an airplane on them.
    I believe our problem is not roads but traffic education. Our challenge is to think that how to educate people.

  2. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on December 9th, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

    @Nabeel: Very true! Traffic education and civic sense should be a part of primary curriculum in schools. However, the problem is, who takes education seriously in our schools anyways…

  3. Muhammad Ali (unregistered) on December 9th, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

    yup ppl need to follow right rules..

  4. TARIQ FAZAL (unregistered) on December 10th, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

    Rafay has highlighted the most important environmental concern for the Lahorite folks.Lahore canal’s beauty and elegance is going to suffer badly with widening of the canal road.Cutting of trees is one major aspect of the road widening project. Besides,I feel canal is going to significantly loose its charm and impact cos of wider expanse of the metalled road along its shoulders,making it look smaller and less visible. Even in its present shape it is hard for the padestrians to enjoy the beauty of the canal,in fact it feels unsafe and uncomfortable to walk over the footpath with heavy flow of traffic passing dangerously close to the footpath, in fact the motorcylists prefer to drive over the footpath during the rush hours.I have to make following suggestions:-

    a. Instead of widening the road, existing footpath alongside the canal be widened by three times its present size.That will enable canal lovers to enjoy the beauty of their canal unrufled by the interference of the road users.

    b. Traffic management is an undeniable issue but it may be addressed by developing/improving parallel/lateral roads in the vicinity of the canal.Thus providing alternate routes to the canal road rather than attracting more traffic to the canal route itself.

    c. Expedite completion of Lahore Ring road project.It should provide alternative route to the travellers seeking to enter or leave the city.

    d. After completion of works as per para ‘b’ the heavy traffic be kept away from the canal road.

  5. Z elahi (unregistered) on December 13th, 2009 @ 6:49 am

    When traffic congestion is becoming a problem we should seek alternatives which are more sustainable. Why not think of a metrosystem, or monirail?

    Im sure that if a safe and modern form of public transport would be available, less Lahories would be risking getting caught in our famous traffic jams.

  6. virk (unregistered) on December 14th, 2009 @ 8:19 am

    Expedite completion of Lahore Ring??? cut as many tree as you want. since thats not part of our planet… just leave space front of Villas on the Canal road and environment will get better… so unbelievable … till we find some solution to this issue let people suffer 24 7 who cares? Cutting few trees for common Pakistani? Haha what a joke, what worths more a tree or a Pakistani? Let’s just focus on expanding DHAs and other elite housing societies so what if they are “eating up” all our agricultural land? When we come back from EU Turkey or US we gotta stay somewhere

  7. From_NY (unregistered) on December 19th, 2009 @ 6:07 am

    What’s going on with this site? It seems to be coming to its end. It’s a shame that with so many bloggers, the posts are few and far between… :(

  8. Umar Ramu (unregistered) on December 20th, 2009 @ 1:54 am

    The Lahore canal, for those who know it should be turned into a road, it smells and it been a danger to all lahore since the begins….

    good bye canal and hello road,

    Please don’t get rid of the ghool gupay near mughalpura, they can stay,

  9. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    @From_NY: We are going through a hiatus; however, things will improve in a month. Thanks for your patience and keep visiting! :)

  10. .. (unregistered) on December 29th, 2009 @ 9:06 am

    Bloody hell I wrote a huge ass argument for the Canal Road expansion and near the end the lights went out…

  11. aaXz (unregistered) on December 29th, 2009 @ 9:26 am

    Shorter argument that I can recall is as follows.

    Traffic Jam Reason=Many lanes converging into two

    Circular road= Completion will not further help out canal. It will cater to western and eastern sides of Lahore while canal is much central.

    Trees= Stupid to thing to think that the circular road, which is longer and much wider than the canal wont cut an equal number, if not more, trees than widening the canal will.

    Mass transit= Lahore has to long distances with too less of a transit population for it to be effective, or even to look viable from a investors point of view. As for the buses, I wont even consider it with the amount of time I’ve been felt up on it anymore. And to think they make fun of Pathans for homo tendencies..

    Parallel Routes= sane option but would need to be carved out some how. Main boulevard starting from Gulberg till Johar town is an option but will eventually burden canal Fatimah Jinnah Hospital onwards.

    The canal itself= The essential central artery, without much of an alternative road. the perimeter of Lahore is fast expanding and soon an alternative routes will become central locations as well and road intending to divert traffic from the canal to the ring road will be locked as well (which makes me think they already are). Effective traffic planning on the Canal will solve much of the issue for central Lahore, and is probably the only solution for a Lahore in the future. And if you do bloody hell want to be a tree lover, push for an overhead track. And you sky lover, don’t whine and travel on the upper track.

    There.. and to think that is the abridged version.

    P.S .. .expanding side walks is the most retarded solution, or suggestion, or thought i have heard. You give us a 10 feet wide sidewalk we will still make it a damn point to walk on everything BUT the side walk. Whats wrong with walking on the grass anyway.

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