State of Conservation
Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
- Financial resources
- Ground transport infrastructure
- Land conversion
- Legal framework
- Management systems/ management plan
- Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Demolition of two of the tanks and partial demolition of a third tank of the hydraulic works of the Shalamar Gardens (issue resolved)
- Housing; Land conversion (Encroachments and urban pressure)
- Management systems/management plan (Inadequate management mechanisms; lack of definition of boundaries of the Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens)
- Legal framework (Incomplete legislation)
- Financial resources (Lack of sufficient financial resources to implement management mechanisms)
- Underground transport infrastructure; Ground transport infrastructure (Development of the Orange Line Metro (aerial portion of the line))
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Adopted, see http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1290
Corrective Measures for the property
Adopted, see http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1290
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017
Total amount provided to the property: USD 975,000, Norwegian Funds-in-Trust, Japanese Funds-in-Trust, Getty Foundation, United States Embassy in Pakistan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 5
Total amount approved : 121,000 USD
|2000||Rescue programme for Fort and Shalamar Gardens, Lahore (Approved)||50,000 USD|
|1999||Archaeological, soil and design research and the ... (Approved)||10,000 USD|
|1999||Signage on-site at the Fort and Shalimar Gardens of ... (Approved)||5,000 USD|
|1981||Emergency restoration work at Lahore Fort (Approved)||44,000 USD|
|1981||Emergency restoration work at Shalimar Gardens (Approved)||12,000 USD|
Missions to the property until 2017**
October 2000: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2001 and June 2003: UNESCO experts Advisory missions; November 2005: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2009: Joint UNESCO Tehran Office/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April/May 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017
On 30 January 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents and addresses a number of conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:
- The Orange Line Metro project has been designed to minimize the impacts of vibrations on the Shalamar Gardens. A visual impact study will be submitted as soon as it has been carried out;
- Despite efforts made by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, at the time of writing this report, the State Party has not invited the Reactive Monitoring mission requested by the Committee at its last session (Decision 40 COM 7B.43). On 29 March 2017, the State Party wrote to the Director of the World Heritage Centre, indicating that the mission will be invited only after the Supreme Court’s final verdict on the case of the Orange Line Metro project has been released;
- The work set out in the 2006 Conservation Plan for the property has been carried out over the past years, for a cost of USD 2.89 million. This includes the consolidation of monuments and improvements to public facilities, security arrangements and structural monitoring measures. Concerning the Lahore Fort, work was undertaken at the Royal Kitchen where, after years of neglect, some structures had fallen and others had been submerged in undergrowth. The remains have been fully documented, ground levels lowered and retaining walls constructed. The flooring adjacent to the Sikh Wall has been consolidated, while the Picture Wall has been surveyed and its condition report been prepared in collaboration with the Aga Khan Culture Service Pakistan. Improvements have also been made to the garden planting and its water management. For the Shalamar Gardens, restoration work started in 2016 on the Naqqar Khana Complex (now the entrance) and the Hydraulic Tank, where retaining walls have been constructed;
- The Walled City of the Lahore Authority has produced a revised Conservation Plan for the Fort that is undergoing approval. A revised Conservation Plan for the Shalamar Gardens is expected to be approved shortly. Both plans will be shared with the World Heritage Centre once approved. A Revitalization Plan for the Pakistan Institute of Archaeological Training & Research has been prepared, as well as a set of training modules in the fields of cultural heritage conservation and management. This includes advice on resource requirements for the management of World Heritage and other heritage properties;
- A committee has been set up to work on a proposed modification of the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone. As displacement of people is involved, the committee includes stakeholders and community representatives.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017
By the time of the preparation of this working document, no visual impact study or detailed report on the progress made with the enlargement of the buffer zone has reached the World Heritage Centre. It should be noted that the State Party already reported in 2016 that it had begun the process of revising the buffer zone. Therefore, it would be important for the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to receive a draft of this proposal, so that a technical review can be provided.
The conservation works undertaken at the Lahore Fort and the ones currently ongoing at the Shalamar Gardens are well noted. The State Party should however ensure that all such work is documented and that the necessary archaeological inputs are provided.
Concerning the Orange Line Metro project, little detailed information has been provided in the State Party’s report. The Government of Punjab has appealed against the verdict of the Lahore High Court in August 2016, which stopped all construction work within 61 meters of eleven heritage buildings, including the Shalamar Gardens and five other special premises in Lahore. However, work has progressed on the elevated metro line in all the areas beyond this 60-metres limit, and by the time of the preparation of this working document, construction work had reached 113 m to the west and 345 m to the East of the entrance to the Shalamar Gardens. In addition, the average distance between the proposed elevated viaduct deck and the Shalamar Gardens is 17.8 m from the south-west corner and 24 m from the south-east corner of Shalamar Gardens, while the minimum distance of the proposed viaduct from the main entrance of Shalamar Gardens is 36.1 m and the minimum distance from the proposed pier of the viaduct is 41.1 m. The vertical distance from the bottom of the proposed deck is 12 m from the road level.
Although in its report, the State Party argues that, on the basis of the report elaborated by the Pakistani engineering firm carrying out the project (NESPAK), there would be no potential negative impact on the Shalamar Gardens arising from vibrations on structures near the track, it should be underlined that the full potential impact of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Shalamar Gardens goes far beyond the potential impact of vibrations.
As the requested visual impact assessment has not been completed, and since no comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) in line with the ICOMOS Guidelines has been carried out to address not only the issue of vibrations, but also the visual and noise impacts, the full impact of the Orange Line Metro project is yet to be formally defined. It must also be noted that the HIA submitted by the State Party in 2016 was not in line with internationally recommended standards for such studies, and hence failed to address the full range of impacts of the project. It is therefore not clear on which grounds the State Party concluded that the Orange Line Metro project would have no negative impacts on the OUV of the property, nor on what basis the Department of Archaeology of the Government of Punjab issued a Non-objection Certificate for this project.
Since the Committee considered the project last year, construction work has continued on both sides of the Shalamar Gardens to such an extent that it is already impacting on the setting and integrity of the Shalamar gardens. If the existing sections are joined by an elevated track passing in front of the Shalamar gardens at very close distance, as detailed above, this will irreversibly compromise the authenticity and integrity of the property, thereby potentially threatening its OUV.
Taking into consideration (i) the impacts of the ongoing construction work on the setting and integrity of the Gardens; (ii) the absence of a comprehensive management mechanism which can control and monitor urban encroachment as well as the related development projects in the vicinity of the property; and (iii) the absence of any mitigation measures proposed by the State Party, it is recommended that the Committee immediately inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in accordance with Paragraph 179(b) of the Operational Guidelines.
It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to immediately invite a Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, with a view to considering whether and how comprehensive mitigation measures might be defined, and what measures could be implemented to reverse these threats, in consultation with key provincial and national stakeholders. It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to immediately stop construction work on the Orange Metro Line where it approaches the Shalamar Gardens.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.96
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add.2,
- Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.43, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
- Reiterates its extreme concern at the potential impact of the elevated Orange Line Metro, which is to pass at 17.8/24 metres from the Shalamar Gardens; and notes with concern that further construction work on the line to the East and West of the property, carried out since the last Committee, is already having an ascertained impact on the setting and integrity of the property;
- Deeply regrets that the State Party did not invite the Reactive Monitoring mission, as requested by the Committee at its 40th session, and that no exhaustive impact assessments for this project have been undertaken, including the visual assessment requested by the Committee, to determine any and all impacts that the project may have on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and thus whether and how these might be mitigated;
- Expresses its utmost concern that a Non-objection Certificate has been issued by the Department of Archaeology, and that the Supreme Court of Pakistan is likely to issue a decision on the Orange Line Metro project before the requested Reactive Monitoring mission has visited the property;
- Taking into account that (a) construction work has already progressed close to the property of the Shalamar Gardens; (b) no comprehensive management mechanism exists to control and monitor urban encroachment; and (c) the State Party has not complied with the requests made by the Committee, nor proposed any clear way forward to address the threats, considers that construction work undertaken and planned for the Orange Metro Line represents a threat to the OUV of the property, notably its integrity and authenticity, in accordance with Paragraph 179(b) of the Operational Guidelines;
- Decides, therefore, to inscribe the Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
- Requests the State Party to prepare, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a set of corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation, for approval by the Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
- Urges the State Party to suspend without delay any further work in the immediate vicinity of the Shalamar Gardens and also requests the State Party, as a matter of urgency:
- to identify an alternative location for this specific section of the Orange Line Metro project, which may otherwise continue to have significant adverse impacts on the property;
- to carry out, as soon as possible, a comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) in line with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, including a visual impact study and a study on the impact of noise, in order to inform the search for alternative locations ;
- to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, at the latest by the end of 2017, to discuss with the relevant authorities alternative locations as well as mitigation measures for the negative impacts already caused by the project, and to review the management and protection arrangements of the property, including the enlargement of the buffer zone;
- Considers that the highest priority must be given to considering how the Shalamar Gardens and their spiritual associations can be sustained alongside any necessary measures to satisfy the needs of a growing city, by setting out the precise and detailed nature of the potential impacts of the Orange Line Metro project on the OUV of the property, and whether and how mitigation measures can be undertaken before any irreversible decision is taken;
- Reiterates the great need to adequately manage and effectively control encroachment and urban development in and around the property, and therefore further requests the State Party to immediately undertake setting studies and procedures in this regard, which will be taken into account when proposing an enlargement of the property’s buffer zone;
- Notes the conservation work that has been undertaken at Lahore Fort and is in progress at the Shalamar Gardens, and requests furthermore the State Party to ensure that all such work is documented, together with any necessary archaeological inputs;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).