LAHORE: The Punjab government on Monday provided Rs770 million to the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) to restore buildings located on the Royal Trail.
The area includes Kotwali to Masti Gate through Chuna Mandi Chowk and Moti Bazaar and Purani Kotwali Chowk to Sonehri Mosque via Dabbi Bazaar.
The funds were approved by the Planning and Development Department chairman.
Rs667 million has been provided for infrastructure development and Rs103 million for facade improvement.
Talking to The Express Tribune, WCLA Director Marketing and Tourism Asif Zaheer said that 705 buildings would be restored using the funds. “The street and facade lengths involved are 3,057 metres and 6,114 metres respectively,” he said.
He said that the work would be carried out with technical assistance from Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The Royal Trail from Delhi Gate to Masti Gate is a 1.6 kilometre long route used during the Mughal era. Shahi Hammam, Wazir Khan Masjid, Dina Nath Well, Chitta Gate, Baoli Bagh, Sonehri Mosque, Begum Shahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort are located on the trail.
“We will ensure the restoration of the markets and residences in the same way as package-1. This is a beautiful area and has colourful bazaars. Restoration of this part will make it more attractive for tourists,” said Zaheer.
WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said that the project would entail complete restoration and renovation of the built heritage and provision of urban infrastructure and general services such as electricity, gas, telecommunication and water supply and sewerage systems.
“The specific objective of the pilot project is planning overall restoration and renovation. This shall showcase the nature of interventions required in the entire Walled City,” said Lashari.
He said that the objective of the project was to preserve the culture and heritage of the city and provide modern facilities to the residents of the Walled City. “The project also aims at promoting the tourism and economic potential of the Walled City as well,” he said.
“This project is of great importance as much emphasis is on the improvement of living standards of the locals.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2014.