Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1981
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger 2000-2012
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 121,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total amount provided to the property: USD 975,000, Norwegian Funds-in-Trust, Japanese Funds-in-Trust, Getty Foundation, United States Embassy in Pakistan
Previous monitoring missions
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
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/
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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents and addresses a number of conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
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.
Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.96
The World Heritage Committee,