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Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

Pakistan
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Financial resources
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • 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)
  • Demolition of two of the tanks and partial demolition of a third tank of the hydraulic works of the Shalamar Gardens (issue resolved)
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1290

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1290

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2019

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

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 5 (from 1981-2000)
Total amount approved : 121,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 30 January 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents, which provides the following information:

  • During the construction process of the Orange Line Metro (OLM), the State Party has been implementing 31 directions provided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, including monitoring, vibration control, noise, air pollution and visual mitigation measures;
  • Civil works for the OLM in front of Shalamar Gardens have been completed;
  • The State Party considers that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) including a Visual Impact Assessment (VIA), and the vibration analysis (for both construction and operation) did not indicate any un-mitigatable adverse impact on the property and that no critical attributes of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), have been directly or indirectly impacted. Consequently, the State Party determined that reporting to the World Heritage Committee under Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines was not required. The State Party contends that the contemporary visitor is not affected by occasional views of the OLM;
  • The State Party has held a number of meetings to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the recommendations of the 2018 joint mission and has advised that the Committee will be informed of progress;
  • Some specific restoration/conservation actions have occurred for the Aiwan/Summer Pavilion, the historical gateway, the brick pavement, the wooden ceiling, and commenced for external waterways on the eastern side of the perimeter wall (part of the Mughal hydraulic system of the Royal Hammam), the resting chamber, the corner tower of the lowest terrace and the perimeter wall of the Gardens. A green area, planted with trees, is expected to screen the view of the OLM;
  • An Antiquity and Special Premises Fund was created and dedicated to monitoring, renovation and reconstruction work of 11 protected and special premises in Lahore.

On 11 July 2018, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party to provide clarification on the third party information reporting the collapse of a wall in the Lahore Fort, due to heavy monsoon rainfall. In September 2018, the State Party submitted a report, which was reviewed by ICOMOS and comments were transmitted to the State Party for follow-up action.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The State Party implemented the OLM project without satisfactory technical and planning studies, and without informing the Committee, despite the provisions of the Operational Guidelines and the Committee’s repeated requests to halt and revise the project. The Committee was informed of this project via third-party reports in October 2015, at which point this major urban infrastructure project had been under consideration for eight years. As the Committee noted with concern in the past, the HIA for the project, which was only produced in April 2016, is not in line with internationally recommended standards for such studies, notably the 2011 ICOMOS Guidelines, and does not address the full range of impacts of the project on the OUV of the property.

Despite the Committee’s requests, no serious consideration was given to possible alternatives to avoid adverse impacts on the property and its OUV. The need for improved public infrastructure and reduced environmental impacts of vehicular traffic is acknowledged, but as shown in previous analyses and conclusions by the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, the assessments provided in the State Party’s reports were not exhaustive and failed to take all impacts into consideration and to explore the least harmful options.

The April 2018 joint WHC/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission concluded that the OLM should have been planned so as to prevent adverse impacts on the property by avoiding running immediately in front of the main entrance to the Shalamar Gardens. The mission confirmed the negative impacts on attributes relating to artistic and aesthetic accomplishments and highlighted that the Shalamar Gardens suffer from such obvious and very significant visual and noise impacts that the property will no longer be an oasis of peace, as described in its Statement of OUV. The mission also provided recommendations to mitigate some of the impacts. However, there is no definitive indication that the mission recommendations are being implemented, although the State Party has advised that feasibility studies are underway.

The State Party has aimed to address some of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s directions, e.g. through a 2-week experimental operation of the new metro line to test vibration levels, by reducing the trains’ speed when they operate near the property, and by revising design specifications for the stations. It is important that the monitoring results be communicated to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, and the Committee may wish to request the State Party to provide this information as soon as it becomes available.

Both the construction along the southern wall, decided by a specially appointed Special Committee of Experts, and the creation of buffer zones, as suggested by the Master Plan and carried out by the Archaeology Department, involve the acquisition of land and houses to create open space around the Shalamar Gardens. The revision of boundaries, under consideration with the Government of Punjab, would involve the displacement of a large number of people residing in the neighbourhood surrounding the property, and studies are being carried out to identify appropriate solutions. All of these actions require careful technical investigations and appropriate social measures.

The Committee may wish to reiterate its request that the State Party submit detailed project studies for proposed mitigation measures to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, and that implementation only start after positive feedback has been received. Furthermore, in the absence of significant progress in the implementation of measures recommended by the 2018 mission to address the ascertained danger to the OUV of the property, the Committee may consider the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in accordance with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.

Further, the collapse of part of a wall at Lahore Fort should be considered a warning about what could happen in the future to the actual part of the Picture Wall, which is located a few meters away from the affected place. The Committee may request the State Party to report on the effectiveness of the roof waterproofing systems and the new and old drainage systems of runoff water in the open courtyards and in the historical buildings in the Fort, and particularly those corresponding to the Picture Wall sections. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.72
Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) (C 171)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to address some of the Committee’s requirements with regard to the conservation of the property and the directions provided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in particular in relation to the construction and operation of the Orange Line Metro (OLM) project, such as the planting of trees which may screen the view of the OLM from the property and the test operations to evaluate vibration levels, and requests that the method and outcomes of all monitoring activities, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), including a Visual Impact Assessment (VIA), and the vibration analysis previously undertaken by the State Party be communicated to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Notes the creation of the Special Committee of Experts and Technical Committee under orders of the Supreme Court which oversee and monitor the Orange Line Project, and further recommends that similar regulatory committees be set up by the Directorate General of Archaeology for Orange Line related operations and future projects to enable informed decision-making processes, in compliance with the provisions of the World Heritage Convention and its Operational Guidelines;
  5. Also notes the State Party’s advice that a number of conservation projects have been implemented in and around the Lahore Fort component of the property, including the conservation of murals, and also requests, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, that the State Party submit full details of the work undertaken and of any plans for future projects, before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse;
  6. Urges the State Party, in dialogue with the Advisory Bodies, to discuss the recommendations of the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission concerning the mitigation of the OLM’s impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in light of the outcomes of the VIA, and the vibration analysis undertaken by the State Party, as a basis for a feasibility study of mitigation options and 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 prior to the commencement of these works, which should only proceed once positive feedback has been received;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to conduct careful and thorough technical investigations when revising the property’s boundaries and proposing buffer zones and to consider appropriate social measures, particularly if any of these actions to create open space around the property involves the displacement of people residing in the neighbouring areas of the property, as a result of the acquisition of land and houses;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to report on the effectiveness of the roof waterproofing systems and the new and old drainage systems of runoff water in the open courtyards and in the historical buildings in the Lahore Fort, and particularly those corresponding to the Picture Wall sections;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.72

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.14 adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Regrets that the State Party did not inform the World Heritage Committee of the Orange Line Metro (OLM) project, nor acknowledged that the construction of OLM has considerable impacts on the attributes relating to artistic and aesthetic accomplishments in the 16th and 17th centuries, as recognised at the time of inscription, and also regrets that the State Party did not give due consideration to alternative options before irreversible decisions were taken, despite the provisions of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, especially with regard to the impacts of the OLM, its route and its visual predominance in the landscape on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to address some of the Committee’s requirements with regard to the conservation of the property and the directions provided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in particular in relation to the construction and operation of the OLM project, such as the planting of trees which may screen the view of the OLM from the property and the test operations to evaluate vibration levels, and requests that the outcomes of all monitoring activities be communicated to the World Heritage Centre as soon as they become available, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Notes the creation of the Special Committee of Experts which oversees and monitors OLM-related operations and future projects, in cooperation with a Technical Committee, and recommends that they act as a regulating body to enable informed decision-making processes, in compliance with the provisions of the World Heritage Convention and its Operational Guidelines and in close consultation with the Directorate General of Archaeology of Punjab;
  6. Also notes the State Party’s advice that a number of conservation projects have been implemented in and around the Lahore Fort component of the property, including the conservation of murals, and also requests, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, that the State Party submit full details of the work undertaken and of any plans for future projects, before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse;
  7. Further regrets the insufficient implementation of the recommendations formulated by the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission, notably concerning the mitigation of the OLM’s impacts on the OUV of the property, and strongly urges the State Party to implement all these recommendations, and especially to:
    1. Divert vehicular traffic away from the Shalamar Gardens by redirecting traffic in one direction away from the component site, making the GT Road pass behind the newly constructed OLM viaduct, and by constructing an additional motorway further to the south of the property for traffic in the opposite direction,
    2. Combine the construction of the additional motorway with the creation of an intermediate green belt to create a separation between the property and the motorways, and develop a more extended green area with tall trees, creating a natural “mask” between the component site and the OLM,
    3. Divert vehicular traffic on all other sides of the Shalamar Gardens to surrounding streets and introduce a Noise-Sensitive Zone around the component site,
    4. Construct a tube of soundproofing triplex transparent glass along the tracks between the Shalamar Garden and the Pakistan Mint stations, which could also help mitigate the visual impact on the component site, and affix glass curtains on the roadside and on the piers along the viaduct bridge to combat noise and air pollution,
    5. Revise the protective Buffer Zone of the Shalamar Gardens to include the three remaining hydraulic tanks, reveal the historical Grand Trunk Road at its original, lower level and create a pedestrian area alongside the south façade, including the adjacent Mughal pavilion, with a view to possibly connecting it with a future pedestrian road going around all sides of the Gardens,
    6. Immediately restore the external waterway along the outside façade of the Perimeter Wall, which was part of the Mughal hydraulic system of the Gardens,

and further requests the State Party to submit detailed designs for the implementation of the mitigation measures set out in paragraph 7(a) through 7(d) above, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to the commencement of these works, which should only proceed once positive feedback has been received;

  1. Requests furthermore the State Party to conduct careful and thorough technical investigations when revising the property’s boundaries and proposing buffer zones and to consider appropriate social measures, particularly if any of these actions to create open space around the property involves the displacement of people residing in the neighbouring areas of the property, as a result of the acquisition of land and houses;
  2. Requests moreover the State Party to report on the effectiveness of the roof waterproofing systems and the new and old drainage systems of runoff water in the open courtyards and in the historical buildings in the Lahore Fort, and particularly those corresponding to the Picture Wall sections;
  3. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020, with a view to considering, in the absence of significant progress in the implementation of the mitigation measures recommended by the 2018 mission to address the ascertained danger to the OUV of the property, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2019
Pakistan
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)
Danger List (dates): 2000-2012
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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