Tag Archives: GOR 1

Lahore landmarks from the sky (2) – A Lahore you don’t get to see everyday

Rafay Alam’s air safari over Lahore is engaging and most delighful. Lahore from the Sky (Part 2)

The great advantage of chartering a flight (I recommend this to everyone, by the way, as one of the most entertaining way to spend an afternoon) is that you can treat it like a taxi.
After having flown over the older parts of town, I could sense that the pilots were falling to routine and were just covering a well worn “tourist” route. I asked them to fly over newer parts of Lahore.
I’ve written on Lahore’s urban sprawl, but it really stands out from the sky. Now’s a chance to show everyone what it looks like.

Above is the view from over Iqbal Town looking roughly eastwards. Note that residential housing dominates the photograph. To compare how Lahore has grown, I’ve cropped a portion of a 1927 Map of Lahore that I have.

In 1927, the only telling landmark is the line (on the top left of the map and heading downwards) demarcating Ferozepur Road. The area that is now Iqbal Town, or village Bhekewal, was mostly fields. There was no Punjab University on the Canal at the time. In fact, the land forming the University north of the Canal was used, it seems, as a rifle range. Continue reading

Lahore: Return the GOR Park

By Ahmad Rafay Alam

Several formalities need to be completed before Shabaz Sharif can once again assume the administration of this province. But this hasn’t deterred the former chief minister from letting all and sundry know that he’s back in town and that he means business. What this also means is that the previous government’s grip over the administration of the Punjab— a vice like noose that wound its way from halls of the secretariat, through every police station in the province and into the vaulted halls of the Lahore High Court— is slowly but surely loosening.

During the past few years few, if any, have uttered a word about the fate of the small triangular park that stood in the heart of Lahore’s leafy GOR-I residential district. Turning into the GOR at the intersection of the Mall and Davis Road, it stood outside the chief minister’s official residence and office. At some point this once round-a-bout was converted into a triangular “green” island. Then, to ward off the children, loiterers and die-hard cricketers a fountain was added to the middle of the island (It didn’t work: the marbled floor around the triangular fountain not only provided an year-round pitch, it gave local cricket enthusiasts three pitches instead of one.)

Regardless of whether or not any of these measures worked from keeping the great unwashed out of the line of vision of the high and mighty, the point is that this little bit of green in the middle of GOR— in front of the provincial chief executive’s nerve centre no less— was a park open to the public as a utility area. And even when over zealous policemen keeping watch at the CM’s office managed to chase away the children, loiterers and die-hard cricketers, the little island was another little example of the beauty tucked away in GOR. Continue reading