Public space: Work on Pak Tea House moves ahead full steam

Renovation to be completed July 7, fast food will be served.

Rameez Khan June 22, 2012


The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) has set a 15-day deadline (July 7) for completing the work on Pak Tea House after a stay on the property was vacated on Wednesday.

Work on Pak Tea House began a day after the stay was vacated. The stay order had been obtained by Zahid Hussain who claimed to have possession of the land through a lease agreement with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). The CDGL has allocated Rs8.5 million for the renovation of Pak Tea House.

A lease agreement for 11 months has been signed between YMCA general secretary Samuel Pervez and Data Gunj Baksh Town administrator Saira Afzal. The agreement will be extendable indefinitely until Pak Tea house remains in business. CDGL would pay Rs10,000 as monthly rent. There is no clause for an annual increase in rent in the agreement. Tea and food at Pak Tea House will be subsidised by the CDGL.

The summary moved by Lahore Commissioner Jawad Rafique Malik had proposed that the Pak Tea House be supervised by the commissioner or the DCO and that the government provide Rs8.5 million grant for the renovation.

Pak Tea House would be run by a committee that will be formed by the commissioner.

Additional Director Security Col (retd) Younas Bherola said he expected the renovation work to be completed in fifteen days. He said there were cracks in some walls and the roof needed to be repaired. He said the stairways would also be widened. He said the kitchens would also be rebuilt. He said the entrance of the Pak Tea House would be moved in order restore its old look. He said fast food would also be served.

Col (retd) Bherola said parking would be provided opposite the building and that the tyre shops established next to the Pak Tea House would be removed.

He said the renovation would be made keeping in view the architectural style of other buildings on The Mall. He said the Tea House would be able to accommodate 60 to 70 people at any time.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.


Pro Bono Publico | 9 years ago | Reply

@haroon omar: Thanks for reminding of the memories. Let us hope that despite the bureaucratic involvement reported in the story, the governing mafias will spare the Tea House, and let the real writers/intellectuals run its affairs.

haroon omar | 9 years ago | Reply

I am glad to know that Pak Tea House is under going renovations. It was the center for intelectual discourse where writers like my aunt Altaf Fatima, my mother Nishat fatima, Attorney Ijaz Batalwi, Writers like Intizar Hussain, Ashwaq Ahmed, Ashiq Batalwi, Siraj Munir, Dr. Agha Suhail would test their intelectual prowess and discuss the latest short stories or afsanas. Hot tea and samosas fueled the discussions. Politics was at the back burner.Articles, poetry and short stories were read aloud and crtiqued in an open minded manner with sophisticated humor. I remember those good old days with fondness. I looked forward to go with my mother (Nishat Fatima) to Pak Tea House for the piping hot tea and samosas.

First stop before Pak Tea house was 12 Lawrence Road, Altaf Fatima's house, adjacent to Saint Anthony's School. We some times took the Tanga and trotted to Pak Tea House. Tea, biscuits and Samosas were excellent, so were the discussions and comparisons between Ghalib's poetry and Faiz. A regular ledger was kept to jot down the proceedings of the meetings.

The questions is who will fill the spaces vacated by the intelectual giants of yesterday?

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