In a meeting held on Monday, the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) and Heritage Conservation Board (HCB) have declared 18 more buildings within the Lahore as heritage properties.
Amongst the attendees was Yusaf Salahuddin HCB Chairman, Architect Nayyar Ali Dada, Historian Faqir Saif Ud Din, Director Punjab Archaeology Department, Kamran Lashari WCLA Director General, Najam us Saquib WCLA Director Conservation, Shahid Nadeem WCLA Director Administration, Asif Zaheer WCLA Director Marketing and Mubashir Hassan WCLA Deputy Director Conservation.
Last year, 16 properties were deemed as heritage sites by the WCLA and the total number of heritage properties inside the walled city of Lahore is 247.
Amongst the buildings declared heritage recently are: Lahore Fort, Dhayan Singh Haveli (Chuna Mandi College Complex), Badshahi Masjid , Hazuri Bagh and Allama Iqbal Tomb , Oonchi Masjid Sootar Mandi , Sunehri Masjid , Masjid Saleh Kamboh , Oonchi Masjid (Bhatti Gate) , Roshnai Gate , Delhi Gate , Chitta Gate , Lohari Gate , Kashmiri Gate , Sheranwala Gate , Bhatti Gate , Paani Wala Talab , Ayaaz Tomb, Gurdawara Dera Sahib and Shahi Hammam.
The buildings were considered for the heritage certification by WCLA under chapter 5 and section 23 of the WCLA Act 2012, which states the authority may, “in consultation with HCB, for purposes of conservation of heritage and by notification in the official gazette, declare a building, structure, land, building fabric, urban open space or work in the walled city of heritage value”.
Faqir Syed Saifuddin said, “WCLA is taking good steps as heritage and historic buildings including gates, havelis and houses should be protected so that the beauty of the city remains intact and there is legal ownership after declaring them as heritage properties as well.”
Mubashir Hassan remarked that it was crucial to deem buildings and sites as heritage properties in order to preserve the history of Lahore. He further said,
The properties declared as heritage properties in 2018 have been sent notices to inform the owners about it and also public hearings were held. Now, we are waiting for the list to be printed in the official gazette. The ones declared as heritage properties in 2019 will also be following the same procedure and we will be holding public hearings and fulfilling legal formalities in line with the WCLA’s Heritage Rules, 2017 while declaring the properties as heritage. It is need of the hour to declare these buildings as heritage properties so that we save what we have in the walled city now.
Kamran Lashari, WLCA Director General remarked that the meeting had other matters to look at and asked the board to be gracious enough to advise on those.
The other agendas included the development of a buffer zone around Lahore Fort and we have noted the suggestion of the board. The important thing was to declare the heritage properties and now we will be coming up with more properties to be declared as heritage in the next meeting.