1.         Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) (C 171)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2000-2012

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 121,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 975,000, UNESCO/Norway Funds-in-Trust, UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust, Getty Foundation, Embassy of the United States of America in Pakistan

Previous monitoring missions

October 2000: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2001 and June 2003: UNESCO 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; April 2018: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 5 February 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents/. A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission was carried out from 23-29 April 2018, further to the Committee’s request at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016). The mission report is also available at the link above. The State Party’s report provides information on progress with a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:

 The Reactive Monitoring mission reported as follows on the Orange Line Metro project:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

While the efforts of the State Party to address the recommendations with regard to conservation of the property are acknowledged, little progress has been made since 2012 concerning control of urban development and encroachment, when the State Party was already in the process of enforcing the 200 ft-wide buffer zone. It is understood that, in the framework of Pakistan's legislation, this entails the relocation of inhabitants, although the lack of control over urban development and encroachment is clearly related to deficient management mechanisms and regulations.

In 2017, the Committee expressed its deep regrets that the State Party had not invited the Reactive Monitoring mission, as requested in Decision 40 COM 7B.43, and that no exhaustive impact assessments had been undertaken for this project, including the visual impact assessment requested by the Committee, in order to determine any and all impacts that the project may have on the OUV of the property, and thus whether and how these might be mitigated.

The joint mission finally took place in April 2018, following the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s December 2017 decision to approve the project, which was already nearing completion at the time. The mission found that, from 2007 onwards and until the World Heritage Centre received third-party information in October 2015 and requested feedback, the State Party failed to inform the World Heritage Committee of the Orange Line Metro project, despite the potential impacts of the project on the OUV of the property, as would have been its obligation in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. Nor did the State Party inform the 2012 mission to the Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, although the property had then been on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 2000. The project was not mentioned in Section II of the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting (2011-2012) for the property (http://whc.unesco.org/document/164711). Additionally, the 2018 mission was unable to obtain information on the reasoning that led the Department of Archaeology of the Government of Punjab to issue, in November 2015, a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) for the project, based on the assessment by an Advisory Committee.

As highlighted by the 2018 mission’s conclusions, there is no doubt that the construction of the Orange Line Metro, which is set to pass just in front of the south side of Shalamar Gardens, has irreversible impacts on the attributes of OUV relating to the artistic and aesthetic accomplishments of the property at the time of its inscription.

In addition to the visual impacts of the new construction on the main perspectives to and from the property, and on its appearance from both outside and inside the garden, the property is to be further impacted by the heavy noise of the Orange Line Metro which, once it is in operation, will add to the already substantial noise and pollution impacts of the Grand Trunk Road. This masterpiece of Mughal construction will be removed even further from the oasis of peace and tranquillity that it was intended to be and thus, lose more its ability to convey its full meaning.

It is especially regrettable that such impacts could have been avoided, if the alternative routes presented to the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission had been pursued.

In accordance with the conclusions of the 2018 mission, it is suggested that the Committee consider placing the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, so that the State Party can show its good will to cooperate and proceed immediately with the full and exhaustive implementation of all mitigation measures and recommendations put forward by the mission. Finally, it is of crucial importance that, before any of the proposed measures are implemented, detailed project studies be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, and that implementation only start after positive feedback has been received.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.14

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7B. 43 and 41 COM 7B.96, adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to address the Committee’s recommendations with regard to the conservation of the property;
  4. Takes further note of the decision of the Honourable Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that has given 31 directions with regard to protection, preservation and conservation of the property;
  5. Expresses concern that the State Party did not inform the World Heritage Committee of the Orange Line Metro project before any irreversible decision was taken, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, especially in view of the impacts of the metro line, and notably its route and construction process, on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Also expresses concern that, despite the Committee’s previous decisions, the Orange Line Metro in Lahore has been almost completed without a satisfactory, comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the project;
  7. Notes the efforts of the State Party in implementing all mitigation measures during the construction phase of Orange Line Metro Train Project (OLMTP) and requests that close monitoring and implementation of vibration control, noise, air pollution and visual mitigation measures directed in the order of the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan and suggested in various studies will be ensured during the operation phase of Orange Line;
  8. Notes the impact on integrity and authenticity of the property;
  9. Takes note of the outcomes of the April 2018 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, including the evaluation of the current condition of the property, and also requests the State Party to implement the mission’s recommendations;
  10. Further requests the State Party, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to submit, in relation to future projects, detailed project studies to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies and to ensure that implementation only start after positive feedback has been received from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, a report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.