LAHORE - Besides Orange Line, Shalimar Gardens is also facing a challenge of Sunday Bazaar, the holding of which may cause damage to its outer wall.

A world heritage site, Shalimar Garden is among the 11 historical sites of Lahore which fall in the route of Orange Line Metro Train Project. The Lahore High Court has been moved to change the route. However, an amount of Rs6.12m has been set aside for preservation and restoration of Naqqar Khana Complex at Shalimar Garden in budget 2016-17.

Archeology Deputy Director Afzal Khan said they do not have any mechanism to stop people from setting up the stalls near the garden’s wall. “Now and then, the security guards at Shalimar Garden keep asking the people to shift the stalls. Sometimes they budge, but ignore the warning most of the time,” he said.

Afzal further said that there was no harm in it “as we maintain the minimum distance from the outer wall of the Shalimar Gardens”. This matter is actually directly related to the Shalimar Town administration, he added.

Shalimar Town Administrator Malik Tariq Mehmood told The Nation that the town administration had written a letter to the SHO concerned to remove the stalls if the shopkeepers set them up in future, and the matter is also in the notice of DSP. “The Shalimar Town administration has not approved Sunday bazaar and we will not tolerate the occupation of any space of town in future. Further, I have instructed the Town Officer Regulation Akhter Butt to look into the matter and zero tolerance policy will be adopted in future,” he added.

The Shalimar Gardens has been under continuous conservation. Last time, the work at Shalimar Gardens took place in 2006 under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO’s ‘Conservation and Preservation of Shalimar Gardens’ in collaboration with Getty Foundation of USA and cultural section of UNESCO Islamabad section. After that, in November 2006, a project report supported by a grant from Getty Foundation was submitted.

Experts say the practice of activities along the wall would be discouraged in longer run.