LAHORE: The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) is restoring and conserving Dewan-e-Aam, Doulat Khana and Kharak Singh Haveli at Lahore Fort after allocation of Rs60 million for these monuments by the Punjab government, Pakistan Today learnt on Friday.
According to details, the restoration work of the monuments, which includes waterproofing of roofs, realignment of arches and lime terracing, will be completed by November this year.
The WCLA officials said that the authority’s conservation team is presently conserving several sites inside Lahore Fort, including Makatib Khana and Moti mosque, adding that the work on revamping the fort’s canteen area will also be started soon.
WCLA Assistant Director Historic Research Samina Fazil said, “Dewan-e-Aam, which is the most attractive and prominent feature of the grand fort, was built by Emperor Akbar. It is a hall of forty pillars and most-visited tourist site in the fort as the visitors are fascinated by its marble balcony and other features. The basement of Dewan-e-Aam is another wonder that was revealed last year and now the team is working on its conservation as well.”
“Doulat Khana is the upper chamber and its entrance is from Dewan-e-Aam. It was closed for the public long ago. Now it is being conserved and after the work is completed, it will be opened for the tourists.”
She added that the Kharak Singh Haveli was part of the quadrangle of Jahangir and built as a residence of Kharak Singh, son of Ranjeet Sigh. “When the fort was taken over by Ranjeet, some Sikh structures were added in the fort and this Haveli is one of those structures,” she said.
A tourist Mohsin Ali, while commenting on these locations, said, “I was wondering why some monuments were covered with green coverings but then I read the board stating work in progress. I am really glad to know that these sites are being restored by the WCLA as these were poorly maintained. I am a frequent visitor of Lahore fort and I come here for study purposes. I have been observing good changes in Lahore Fort from the last three to four years and it is good to see that things are improving.”
WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said that it is the prime responsibility of the authority to restore these important monuments. “It is a high time for us to preserve and save the heritage sites for our coming generations and show our rich heritage to the world. Lahore Fort is very important to us and we are working day and night for its betterment in all aspects, including tourism and conservation. Actually conservation is a slow process and demands a lot of patience. We are simultaneously working on different sites at the fort so that things are improved speedily,” he added.