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Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

Pakistan
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Financial resources
  • Housing
  • 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)
  • Encroachments and urban pressure
  • Inadequate management mechanisms (including incomplete legislation, lack of financial resources)
  • Lack of definition of boundaries of the Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

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 2016
Requests approved: 5 (from 1981-2000)
Total amount approved : 121,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 1 April 2016, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents/. The Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project was submitted on 8 April 2016.

  • The conservation plans prepared for the property are currently under revision and awaiting approval by the competent body under the Government of Punjab. Conservation and restoration works at Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens have continued and improved the state of conservation of the property;
  • Capacity building of the Directorate General of Archaeology (DOA) and the revitalization of the Pakistan Institute of Archaeology Training and Research (PIATR) are currently underway. It is envisaged that this Institute will contribute to the adequate management of World Heritage properties in Pakistan;
  • More time is needed for the establishment of a larger buffer zone for Shalamar Gardens and Lahore Fort, especially since this requires consultations with stakeholders;
  • To solve the public transport issue in Lahore, the Government of Punjab commissioned the construction of the Lahore Rapid Mass Transit System. Works have now been initiated on the Orange Line, the second of four transportation lines, which will pass by Shalamar Gardens on elevated viaduct girders. The DOA has been closely following the development works and held several meetings with the executing agency to mitigate the impact on the property. A comprehensive study on the impact of vibrations on the monuments was carried out and concluded that there would be no mentionable impact. In addition, the Orange Line has been subject to a HIA conducted in 2016, in order to evaluate its possible impact on historic heritage buildings along the route and Shalamar Gardens. Furthermore, the HIA concluded that the possible negative impacts can be mitigated; visual impacts are acceptable and can be minimized and that the metro line offers opportunities to improve conservation and interpretation of heritage sites. Following these conclusions the endorsement of the project has been given by the Government of Punjab.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

It is noted with appreciation that the State Party has continued to address the conservation of the property and has taken steps to revise the conservation plan. While the authorities are addressing the need for adequate training by revitalizing the PIATR, no further details as to its organigram and timeline for its establishment have been provided.

It is however regrettable that despite repeated requests by the Committee and the recommendations of past Reactive Monitoring missions, the State Party has not yet formally established an enlarged buffer zone in order to adequately manage and effectively control encroachments and urban development at the property. This is a crucial step, especially in light of the current development proposal for the Orange Line Metro. The present buffer zone arrangements clearly lack formal recognition and can therefore be considered as ineffective. While the Antiquities Act 1975 restricts all constructions within a distance of 200 feet of a protected site, constructions on Government Land require special permission. The proposed metro line lies within the 200-feet protective zone and has unfortunately been endorsed by the Government of Punjab and the DOA.

The ambiguity of control mechanisms and the lack of effective protection is evident in the fact that the proposed location of the Orange Line Metro will pass only 12 m away from the Shalamar Gardens’ entrance and immediately above the remaining water tanks of the Shalamar hydraulic works. This particular site and the demolished hydraulic works were a recurring cause for concern and one of the reasons for the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger between 2000 and 2012. Moreover, the Committee specifically requested that the location of the remaining hydraulic works be adequately presented and protected.

While the crucial need for a public transport and its overall benefit to the population and the environment are acknowledged, the actual location of the elevated viaduct girders would certainly impact negatively the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. The HIA unfortunately does not recognize the importance of the buffer zone and interpret the lack of control mechanisms and the occurring encroachments as a validation for the location of the metro line. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee object to the currently proposed location of the Orange Line, which potentially threatens the integrity and authenticity of the World Heritage property. It is also recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to immediately suspend any further work within the section of the Shalamar Gardens and, as a matter of utmost urgency, identify an alternative location beyond the buffer zone for this specific section of the Orange Line Metro.

The ongoing development project, along with the insufficient ability to monitor and control urban encroachment within and in the vicinity of the property and to control the actions of other agencies threaten the OUV of the property, notably its integrity and authenticity. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee consider the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, should the current project continue and the remaining water tanks of the hydraulic works be damaged.

Furthermore, the State Party should be reminded of its obligation to submit to the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, technical details, including Heritage Impact Assessments, for all projects that may affect the OUV of the property before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, so that the Committee may assist in seeking appropriate solutions to ensure that the OUV of the property is fully preserved. Finally, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to discuss alternative solutions for the metro line with the relevant Government authorities and review the management and protection arrangements for the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.43
Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) (C 171)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM7B.19, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party to address the conservation of the property and the steps taken to revise the conservation plan, including the revitalisation of the training institute, although no further details as to the organigram and timeline for its establishment have been provided;
  4. Also notes that, to date, the State Party has not formally submitted a proposal for a minor boundary modification, which would include an enlarged buffer zone for the property as well as the adopted regulatory measures;
  5. Expresses its serious concern about the development of the Orange Line Metro and requests the State Party to prepare a visual impact study of the project to be presented to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies before pursuing the works of the Orange Line Metro associated with the Shalamar Gardens;
  6. Reminds the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, technical details, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), for all proposed projects that may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property prior to their approval, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property at its earliest convenience, to examine the Orange Line Metro project and to discuss the same with the relevant Government authorities and to review the management and protection arrangements of the property;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017 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 41st session in 2017, with a view to considering whether there is an ascertained or potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.43

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM7B.19, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party to address the conservation of the property and the steps taken to revise the conservation plan, including the revitalisation of the training institute, although no further details as to the organigram and timeline for its establishment have been provided;
  4. Deeply regrets that, to date, the State Party has not formally submitted a proposal for a minor boundary modification, which would include an enlarged buffer zone for the property as well as the adopted regulatory measures;
  5. Expresses its serious concern about the development proposal of the Orange Line Metro, which will pass directly opposite the entrance of the Shalamar Gardens and above the remaining water tanks of the Shalamar hydraulic works;
  6. Urges the State Party to immediately suspend any further work associated with the Shalamar Gardens of the Orange Line Metro and, as a matter of utmost urgency, to identify an alternative location for this specific section of the Orange Line Metro;
  7. Reminds the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, technical details, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), for all proposed projects that may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property prior to their approval, for review by the Advisory Bodies ;
  8. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property at its earliest convenience, to discuss alternative solutions for the Orange Line Metro with the relevant Government authorities and to review the management and protection arrangements of the property;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017 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 41st session in 2017 with a view to considering, should any ascertained or potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value be confirmed, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
Pakistan
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)
Danger List (dates): 2000-2012
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
Exports

* : 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”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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