Work on walled city project soon
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