- PAD to renovate Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens lawns http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_1-10-2004_pg7_21 * Lights to be installed on lawnsMessage 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2004View Source
PAD to renovate Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens lawns
* Lights to be installed on lawns for night events
* Lawns to be given traditional Mughal look
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: The Punjab Archeology Department (PAD) will revamp the lawns of the Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens for which the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has allotted Rs 30 million. The PAD has hired a private firm to install lights at the lawns so that people can visit the historical monuments at night as well, Auriya Jan Maqbool, the director general of the PAD, told Daily Times on Thursday.
Mr Maqbool said that the PAD had neglected the lawns for many years preferring to concentrate on the maintenance of the structures of the Lahore Fort and the Shalamar Gardens. He said that Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool had instructed the archaeology department to illuminate the lawns so that people could access them at night.
The lawns will be illuminated to compliment the beauty of the gardens and a private firm has been hired for this purpose, said Mr Maqbool.
Mr Maqbool said that the PHA had been asked to prepare a proposal to revamp the lawns. The PHA has submitted a Rs 30 million proposal, but that was not enough to revamp the lawns, he said.
Mr Maqbool said that the PAD was trying to give the lawns an authentic Mughal look by decorating it with flowers, as was the norm in Mughal times. The flowers that will be used to decorate the lawns are roses, jasmines, gladioli and mogras.
Mr Maqbool sad that the PAD would resolve the problem of seating arrangements by placing more benches and chairs, which will be stylised to enhance the overall Mughal look.
Mr Maqbool said that the PAD was planning to set up a new Mughal style canteen at a hall in the fort because the old shabby canteen was not feasibly located. He said the various museums scattered around the Lahore Fort would be organised under one roof.
Mr Maqbool said that every aspect of the Lahore Fort had its own style. If one goes to Walt Disney, one sees Mickey Mouse characters playing around, said Mr Maqbool. I want the darbans at the Lahore Fort to be clad in the dresses worn by Mughal darbans. He said such details leave an imprint of Mughal life in the minds of visitors.
Mr Maqbool denied rumours that the two monuments would be used for marriages and other functions now that they have come under the PADs jurisdiction. He said that Arshad Khan, the managing director of Pakistan Television (PTV), had requested to use Lahore Fort for a PTV eid show, which he had refused. I did not entertain the request because the show could have damaged the monument, Mr Maqbool said
Mr Maqbool said that the PAD would temporarily set up an office in the Lahore Fort to inspect the renovations. However, officials of the federal archaeology department are not vacating their office in the Lahore Fort for the PAD, he said.
The department is currently helping UNESCO with the Shish Mahal conservation project but this does not mean that they use the offices there, Mr Maqbool said.
Mr Maqbool said that the PAD had not yet received its yearly budget of Rs 0.9 million for the upkeep of the two monuments. He said he had asked the finance secretary to give the budgeted funds before the electricity connections of the monument were cut off.