Work on walled city project soon

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

MULTAN—Work on Rs 26 mil­lion Haram gate seg­ment of the walled city project would be­gin within next 15-20 days to mark the be­gin­ing of a mega ini­tia­tive which of­fi­cials be­lieve prom­ises a pos­i­tive change in the life style of well over 100,000 res­i­dents of Multan Walled city. The gov­ern­ment has al­ready re­leased a sum of Rs 239 mil­lion to Project Man­age­ment Unit (PMU) Multan that is re­spon­si­ble for ex­e­cut­ing the project for con­ser­va­tion of Haram gate, ‘Musafir Khana’ and ‘Sarafa Bazaar’.

DCO Nadir Chatha, the project di­rec­tor of Multan walled City project, had told a gath­er­ing of in­dus­tri­al­ists last Wed­nes­day that work or­ders to ex­e­cute the project would be is­sued shortly. An of­fi­cial as­so­ci­ated with the project told APP that ten­ders for Rs 26 mil­lion seg­ment of the project i.e con­ser­va­tion of Haram gate would be opened on June 14 and some five to six firms hav­ing ex­per­tise in con­ser­va­tion and fil­tered out through a pre-qual­i­fi­ca­tion process would file their bids.

Multan Walled City project was ini­ti­ated by the gov­ern­ment with the as­sis­tance from Italy un­der Pak­istan Italy Debt Swap Agree­ment (PIDSA) in 2006 to pre­serve the her­itage of Multan which many be­lieve was one of the old­est liv­ing cities on earth. The his­tor­i­cal Haram gate had cracks vis­i­ble on its one pil­lar and it would be re­stored to its orig­i­nal form while spa­ces on its eastern and west­ern sides would be dec­o­rated with trees, park, and whole struc­ture would il­lu­mi­nate ev­ery night through a so­lar pow­ered sys­tem, said an of­fi­cial.

One part of ‘Musafir Khana’ had been dam­aged badly and the project would also cover its restora­tion and con­ser­va­tion. Old fash­ioned wooden win­dows, wood­work, wooden gates would be re­paired and in­stalled. ‘Musafir Khana’ is a struc­ture above jew­ellers shops where devo­tees used to live upon their visit to pay re­spects to Hazrat Musa Pak Sha­heed. There are 87 jew­ellers’ shops un­der­neath Musafir Khana mak­ing an 80 me­ter long string of shops. Of­fi­cials said that a pro­posal was un­der dis­cus­sion to in­stall wooden gates at each shop to make them look like more orig­i­nal and ori­en­tal. More­over, Sarafa bazaar would also have a roof over it to save cit­i­zens from sun­light, how­ever, its de­sign and ma­te­rial to be used was still un­der dis­cus­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey con­ducted by Italian ex­perts with as­sis­tance from dis­trict gov­ern­ment in 2011, walled city spreads over 1.25 square kilo­me­tre area on a mound much higher than the sur­round­ing city ar­eas and had 127,000 pop­u­la­tion, 70 per cent of them youth.—APP

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