FAISALABAD-The historical buildings of Faisalabad are losing their real figure due to the negligence of the city district government.
Historical places such as Ghanta Ghar or clock tower, Ghumti tomb, Qasiori Gate and Jinnah Park, fountains and other buildings are in a state of dilapidation and their beauty is vanishing.
Faisalabad is famous for its clock tower. Such towers were also constructed in Multan, Sailkot, Samundari and some other parts of the country but that of Faisalabad has a different status among all the others. It is interesting that eight bazaars are situated around the clock tower square and where ever one goes the clock tower can be seen from there. Therefore whenever any army general gets into politics whether he is General Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Ziaul Haq or General Pervez Musharraf, the news analysts give example of Faisalabad clock tower and express that as the clock tower is seen from all the eight bazaars, the army dictators had centralised powers around them.
The clock tower of Faisalabad is not only famous but it also has an historical background. In order to express the history of clock tower, Ghumti tomb, Qasiori gate and other historical places, it merits mentioning of the British rulers' relationship with Faisalabad . British rulers had a very deep relationship with Faisalabad , a land of sand of dunes Sandal-bad.
Firstly, the relationship of British rulers with Faisalabad is that when one century and three decades before the city was established by the Britishers ruling in sub continent Asia. Queen Victoria, the grandmother of the mother of Prince Charles, was the ruler at that time of Britain, Subcontinent Asia and half of the world. The other important and noteable relationship of Faisalabad with British is that the map of the city was designed on the shape of British flag union jack. The city in the end of 19th century was named as Lyallpur after Delhis LFT Governor Sir James Lyall. Mark Grant Lyall, the grandson of Sir James Lyall was high commissioner of British in Pakistan. Anyhow, the construction of Faisalabad city started with the construction of Irrigation Department offices and houses followed by railway lines and railway station.
Queen Victoria in the beginning of 19th century scheduled a programme to visit Sub continent Asia. She had to come to Lyallpur (Faisalabad) by train from Lahore. Therefore to give him accord, a building of Ghumti was constructed. In fact it was a stage constructed to welcome Queen Victoria. The map of Faisalabad city was penciled on the design of British map union Jack therefore Queen Victoria desired to visit Faisalabad city. She had to enter the jurisdiction of the city from rail bazaar therefore Qasiori gate outside the rail bazaar was constructed. These Ghumti and Qasiori gate that were constructed in 1890 are so far present in the city but as per the historical importance their beauty and status are not maintained.
The fence was constructed as a boundary of Ghumti but pamphlets, banners are seen hanged and pasted on in it, as it was not a welcome point of Queen Victoria but a historical garbage stand.
Now, the historical Qasiori gate is in dilapidated condition due to the traditional encroachment factor of the city and the concerns of city had never bothered to struggle for the beatification of the historical places. At least, there should be no encroachment or shop near Qasiori gate. The historical city area of Faisalabad city, are under the control of district administration. It should bring Ghumti and Qasiori gates in their real beauty.
A Lyallpur hall in Chenab Club Faisalabad named after Sir James Lyall is another affiliation with the British government. British High Commissioner Mark Grant Lyall inaugurated the hall. However, many other things of Queen Victoria are present including English graveyard, Jinnah Park (old company park), University of Agriculture's old campus (old Punjab agriculture Lyallpur college building) and a residential colony named Young wala. Young wala is named after British Caption Young. Caption Young was an English engineer and first colony officer of Lyallpur (Faisalabad).
On the time of the construction of the city, a well was dug in the centre. The purpose of the well was that the people of city could have water from it. The taste of the water was not sweet but majority of the citizens got water from it. It is a century back when people used the well but in the beginning of the twentieth century it was planned that instead of well the people wanted a beautiful minar in the city. Eight bazaars around the clock tower square nowadays has become den of encroachment.
People belonging to different walks of life are demanding from concerns to take appropriate steps and action to enhance the beauty of historical buildings and places.