Lahore the second largest city of Pakistan is located at east bank of River Ravi. A beautiful BRB canal runs through the city almost cutting it into almost half. Lahore being the capital of Punjab, largest province of Pakistan, is the centre of all activities of the province. Being a historical city, almost 4000 years old and being the capital of Punjab for more than 1000 years, Lahore adds to the charisma of Pakistan also because of the distinctive position it holds in Pakistan.
The people of Lahore to emphasize its uniqueness say “one who has not seen Lahore is not born”. Lahore is the city gardens, city of historical buildings, city of cultural activities, centre of fashion, film & music industry, city of restaurants & shopping malls and city of educational institutions, hence truly called the heart of Pakistan.
||City District of Lahore
||2014 sq. km
||218 m AMSL
||6,485,175 (2006 est.)
||6396 Persons/sq. km
|| Mian Amer Mahmood
Lahore enjoys air, rail & road connections with rest of the country. The newly built Allama Iqbal International Airport is now enough to cater the needs of Lahore and its adjacent cities, as regular national & international flights are made from here. Lahore is a major railway junction serving links to major cities. On the south of Lahore National Highway N-5 links Multan, on North West & North runs Motorway M-1 and National Highway N-5 towards Gujranwala. On the west it is linked with Textile city of Faisalabad with an excellent 4-lane highway, built on BOO (Built operate & Own) basis. A historical Grand Trunk road which was a major artery during subcontinent era, originally built by Sher Shah Suri, the afghan ruler, leads toward Indian border passing through the city
Lahore city is surrounded on the east by District Kasur bordering India, on the west by Sheikhupura and North West by Gujranwala. River Ravi is one of the five rivers that flow through Punjab. Lahore city covers a total land area of 1014 km², but the city is still growing at a considerable rate.
Like other parts of the country, Lahore enjoys four weathers, facing extremes of each. During summer months of May to July, temperature can climb up to 47°C. After summer, monsoon starts with heavy rainfall, followed by winter in December where temperature can drop below 0°C.
Lahore is the economic hub of Punjab, the second largest hub of Pakistan after Karachi, undoubtedly, the centre of business and industrial activities. From textile to footwear, steel mills to auto manufacturers, tanneries to upholstery, educational institutions to software houses, Chemical to pharmaceutical factories, almost every kind of industry has its presence either in the outskirts of Lahore or in the industrial zones. Major industrial zones include Kot Lakhpat, factory area, and Sundar industrial estate. Along with these major industrial units are located on Lahore Sheikhupura Road, Lahore Gujranwala Road, Multan Road, Ferozepur Road and Raiwind Road and on the other outskirts of Lahore. LSE (Lahore Stock Exchange) is the second largest stock exchange of Pakistan is located adjacent to Mall road.
The city is seeing foreign investment in government & private sectors. It has witnessed the boom of housing sector.
Lahore also hosts major IT companies established in Pakistan, notably Net Sol Technologies Inc, Systems Limited, Tech Logix and Xvor.
As Lahore expands the commercial centres are popping up. The new 8-lane Jail Road, Main Boulevard Gulberg, Centre Point & Ferozepur road have the tallest buildings of the city which are mostly shopping malls and business centres and yet more are being built. Lahore will soon be home to the tallest hotel in Pakistan, the new Pearl Continental Hotel.
More & more people are migrating to city as it provides them with promising opportunities, resulting in the boom of construction industry. There are numerous housing projects in the city.
Lahore is famous for its pharmaceutical companies, footwear, auto manufacturers, textile made-ups, handmade carpets, software houses, tents & tarpaulin industry, Steel mills, Tanneries, leather garments, bicycle industry, construction companies, electric appliance manufacturers. Etc. Lahore is also famous for handmade carpets and is best known for designs of single wefted & double-wefted.
Lahore's most famous tech-bazaar is the Hafeez Center said to be largest of Asia.
It is a very busy shopping centre and one will be able to find all types of software, hardware, mobiles and all kinds of gadgets for personal use with good prices.
CULTURE AND DEMOGRAPHY
Lahore is a city of unique culture, ultimate charm and matchless enigma. This enigma was saturated into the city over the course of centuries. It can be best described as a city that is just so wonderful, so very fabulous, that city itself speaks of certain vibrancy, certain zeal, and a spirit of life, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It is that maturity of the city, which manifests itself in the various parts of Lahore. It is present in the monuments, in the bazaars, in the old buildings lining the Mall and in the vast expanses of the parks & sports grounds. Above all the great Lahori spirit “Zinda dilan-e-Lahore” is visible in the people of Lahore. That’s what makes this city unique.
The very air of Lahore is enough to set the mind spinning in admiration. Someone has wrote “When the wind whistles through the tall trees, when the twilight floods the beautiful face of the Fort, when the silent canal lights up to herald the end of another chapter in history, the Ravi is absorbed in harmony, mist fills the ancient streets, and the havelis come alive with strains of classical music, the spirit of Lahore pervades even the hardiest of souls.”
Lying on the main trade and invasion routes to the sub-Continent, Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and hordes. It shined in its glory during the rule of the Mughal Dynasty. The Mughal emperors, who were famous as builders, gave Lahore some of the finest architectural monuments. Beginning from about 1525 A.D., Lahore started becoming a thriving cultural center of the Great Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperors beautified Lahore with palaces, gardens and mosques. When it came under the control of British regime, further new buildings erected were a blend of beautiful Mughal, Gothic and Victorian architecture.
The city since has known ages of cultural, intellectual, musical, literary and humanistic evolution. There is an old saying, that in every Lahori, there is a Mughal prince.
Few cities of the world, if indeed any, can lay claim to such a wonderful history.
Punjabi language is the most widely spoken language in Lahore. Since Punjabi language spoken in Lahore has a different accent from other cities, Lahori (one who lives in Lahore) is recognized by this different accent.
According to the 1998 census 86%, of the population are Punjabis, 10% are migrants, about a million Pashtun refugees in Lahore. Finally, the Seraikis at 0.4% number about 32,000. However, these are old statistics. Over last 7-8 years, Lahore’s demography has changed a lot. The population has risen up to 8 million approximately as more and more people from all over the Pakistan are moving to the city. Most widely spoken languages still remain Punjabi (various accents), Urdu, English, Seraiki and Pashtun.
Its cultural activities continue 365 days a year and believe that city of Lahore never sleeps. It’s a festive city, the people of Lahore celebrate don’t miss any traditions throughout the year.
Basant is the festival of Punjab that announces the arrival of spring. People from all over the country and abroad come to the city to enjoy festival. The important part of this festival is basant night, where kites are flown in the night under the electric lights. Various musical shows, food festivals take place on the roof tops of buildings, houses and old Lahore. Kite flying competitions take place all night & day long next day evening.
Mela Cheragan (festival of oil lamps) is another popular event in Lahore. It is celebrated along with Basant and is related to Shalamar Garden, which is decorated with lights & lamps.
National Horse and Cattle Show is the most famous annual festivals. This week long show is held at Fortress Stadium. Participants from all over Pakistan come to display their finest horses, camels, cattle, etc. Display of various cultures, colorful dances, through floats is also part of the festival. Several games also take place at the occasion, which include animal races. The most delightful game is the tent pegging. It is ended with a show of splendid fireworks.
A recently added activity is The Lahore Marathon, which is part of an annual package of six international marathons. The Lahore marathon race carries prize money of approximately US$ 100,000. More than 20,000 athletes both from Pakistan and all over the world come to Lahore to participate in this event. It was first held on January 30, 2005, then on January 29, 2006 and on January 14, 2007. More than 22,000 people participated in the race in year 2007.
Beside these events, Christians & Sikhs especially enjoys their festival with their religious fervor. Easter & Christmas is enjoyed by Christians with zeal and special arrangements are done by the local government for them. Special sweets & cakes are prepared by Bakeries for them.
Sikhs across the border from India come to Lahore to join their annual religious festival at Gurdawara Punja Sahib and Nankana Sahib. Again special arrangements are done for them.
Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, Rabi-u-Awal, are the religious occasions which are enjoyed with religious zeal by Muslim.
National occasions, like Independence Day 14th August, Pakistan day 23rd March and Defense day 6-sepetember are celebrated with national spirit. People full of joy throng the streets of Lahore singing and dancing. On these national occasions, parks & recreational spots are flocked by people.
The City-District of Lahore comprises nine administrative towns and one separate cantonment area. Following are 9 administrative towns to which Lahore has been divided into:
Allama Iqbal Town
Aziz Bhatti Town
Data Ganj Baksh Town
These 9 towns comprise 150 Union Councils.
List of Towns in Lahore City District:
- Ravi Town
- Shalamar Town
- Wagah Town
- Aziz Bhatti Town
- Data Gunj Bakhsh Town
- Samanabad Town
- Gulberg Town
- Iqbal Town
- Nishter Town
- Lahore Cantonment (administered by the cantonment board of Pakistan army).
These 9 towns compromise of 150 Union Councils.
Various interpretations about the origins of Lahore are present. The most interesting is that it derives from the word loh-awar, which means a fort as strong as iron and which also refers to the fort built to protect the city.
Another version says it was founded about 4,000 years ago by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic “Ramayana”. This refers to a subterranean temple attributed to Rama, still present in the Royal Fort.
In the middle of the 200A.D., Claudius Ptolemeus an astronomer and geographer had mentioned about a city called “Labokla”. Labokla was situated on the route between the Indus and Pataliputra (Patna), in a country called Kasperia (Kashmir). Kasperia was extended along the rivers Bidastes (Jhelum), Chandra Bhaga (Chenab) and Adris (Ravi). Hence Labokla is identified as Lahore.
Lahore is also identified with Sanghala which used to be a stronghold of Kathaean tribe.
Diadorus another historian mentioned about Sanghala during the raid of Alexander the Great. Alexander had crossed the Hydraotes (Ravi) to fight against Sanghala and then Kathaeans.
A Chinese, Hwen Thsang, visited the Punjab in 630 A.D., he found the walls of Sanghala completely ruined, but their foundations still remained, and-in the midst of the ruins he found a small portion of the old city, still inhabited.
According to another Chinese traveler, Taki, in 633 A.D., the capital of Punjab was between Lahore & Pindi Bhatian.
Umayyad Muslim Mohammad Bin Qasim conquered Indus valley in 712 A.D including vast part of Punjab, thus putting Lahore under Muslim rule.
The city afterwards came under Ghaznavid dynasty during 977A.D. to 1187A.D. It continued as such under the rule of Muhammad of Ghor as well as under several sultans of Delhi. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni placed it under the rule of his governor, Malik Ayaz. Later it came under the rule of renowned emperor Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak 1206 A.D. From 1524 to 1752 Lahore was part of the Mughal Empire
Under Muslim emperors especially Mughal regime, came the dawn of golden era for Lahore and vicinities. During Akbar's rule from 1584 till 1598 A.D., Lahore became the capital of his empire. Akbar built a new fort on the fundamental of old fort. Later Mughal Emperor Jahangir extended the same fort. Shah Jehan the son of Jehangir was an admirer of great Mughal architect. Shah Jehan not only built the Famous Taj Mahal but also extended Lahore fort and built many other structures in the city. During 1658 to 1707 A.D., the last Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, built more monuments that included Badshahi Mosque and Alamgiri Gate next to the Lahore Fort. The Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and many settled in Lahore.
After the demise of Mughal dynasty, it came under the rule of Sikhs briefly. The Sikhs rule in n the 18th century was a bad period for most of the area extending till Multan, which was plundered by Sikhs. An example is that Badshahi Mosque was used by the Sikhs as stable of their army. This growing Sikh influence resulted in clash with British army who defeated Sikhs in 1849.
The British, after defeating Sikhs, added to the architect of Lahore. They also turned some parts of the Fort into tennis courtyards hence damaging the original structures of the court. At the same time they took steps to preserve the old buildings¸ built new administration buildings, Railways station and separated the defense by building a separate Lahore cantonment.
In early 19th century Muslims of the subcontinent started their struggle for an independent country. Muslim league was formed in 1920. On 23rd March 1940, in front of the Lahore Fort at Iqbal Park a congregation of Muslims was held. Here a resolution was passed in which the demand for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of subcontinent was raised. Now Minar-e-Pakistan stands at the Iqbal Park reminding us that historic day.
Pakistan got its independence on 14th August, 1947. Millions of Muslims migrated to their new homeland Pakistan. At Walton Railway station biggest refugee camp was setup. A monument is being built at the same spot where refugee camp was setup.
In 1965 & 1971, India waged unannounced war against Pakistan and Pakistan successfully defended itself. Lahore played a major role in the war and Indian army was well punished.
In 1974, Muslims leaders met in the Islamic Summit conference at Lahore. A summit minar has been built to mark the day in front of provincial assembly.
1996 cricket world cup was played in the subcontinent. Lahore hosted the spectacular final one day at Qaddafi stadium.
SITES OF INTEREST
Royal Fort – Shahi Qila
Earliest reference to the fort comes in a history of Lahur (Lahore) compiled by Al-Biruni, which refers to a fort constructed in the early 11th century. Malik Ayyaz, who ruled Lahore and vicinities a favorite of Sultan Mahmud, built a masonry fort at Lahore and repopulated the city. In 16th Century, Akbar demolished the old mud fort and reconstructed the fort and walls were brick lined.
The fort in rectangular shape has main gates in the center of the western and eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal Emperor, Ranjit Singh and British in turn contributed towards its construction of Fort.
Emperor Jahangir spread out the gardens and constructed the palaces that we see today in the Jahangir’s Quadrangle. Emperor Shah-Jehan added Diwan-e-Khas, Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) and his own Sleeping Chambers. Emperor Aurangzeb built the impressive main gate, which faces the Hazoori Bagh lying in between the Badshahi Mosque and the Fort. The famous Sheesh Mahal or Palace of Mirrors is in the North-East corner of the Fort. This is the most beautiful Palace in the Fort and is decorated with small mirrors of different colors set in arabesque patterns. Within the enclosures of the Sheesh Mahal, which was the main palace for the Queen, is the famous Naulakha Pavilion.
Naulakha is made up entirely of marble, as most of the other buildings constructed by Emperor Shah-Jehan are, inlaid with semi-precious stones in scintillating patterns. The Sleeping Chamber of Mai Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the Sikh periods.
Ranjit Singh added several pavilions on the upper ramparts. Modifications to the fort were even made during the British colonial period beginning in 1846, but consisted mainly of converting older buildings into hospitals, barracks, and other colonial functions.
Lahore Fort :
The Diwan-e-'aam (Hall of Public Audiance)
The Diwan-e-'aam located at the centre of court, was constructed in 1631-32 A.D. Shah Jahan, replaced it with court of or hall of forty pillars.
It was built by Shah Jahan approx 1645 A.D., and is the earliest Mughal mosque in the fort. It is one of three "Moti" or Pearl Mosques built in the Mughal period. The others are located at Agra Fort and another at Delhi built by Aurangzeb.
The Lal Burj, an octagonal tower
Lal burj was constructed from in 1617-31 A.D. It is decorated on the outside with mosaic and filigree while the interior is filled with paintings from the Sikh period. The lower two stories were built during Jahangir and Shah Jahan's reign.
Naulakha Pavilion is a unique marble pavilion with a curved roof. It was constructed during Shah Jahan's reign in 1631-32 A.D, for the Empress when she resided at Lahore.
It is cited as the most marvelous structure in Pakistan.
The Shish Mahal
It is a multi-storied structure close to Naulakha Pavilion. It is also part of the royal residence constructed by Shah Jahan. The whole mahal is laid with colorful glass work and paintings of Mughal era.
The Mosque was built by Emperor Aurangzeb, in a record time of two-and-a-half years. Its construction was completed by 1674 A.D. Badshahi mosque’s beautiful gateway is entirely made up of red sandstone. It has a vast courtyard measuring 161.5x 160.6 meters, perhaps the mosque courtyard in the world. The marble domes cover seven chambers. Four lofty minarets each of 54 meters stand at the four corners. In a chamber beside the gate, relics attributed to the Holy Prophet of Islam, His Daughter and His Son-in-Law are said to have been brought by Amir Taimur. Within the Mosque almost all the colors have been used for painting the floral designs but the over-all effect remains one of sobriety, piousness and simplicity.
ALLAMA IQBAL’S TOMB
Outside the Badshahi Mosque, lies the tomb of Allama lqbal, the poet and philosopher of East. The mausoleum is a mixture of Afghan and Moorish styles of architecture and is constructed entirely of red sandstone brought from Rajasthan.
Minar-e-Pakistan stands in the lqbal Park opposite to Lahore fort & Badshahi Mosque. About 60 meters tall, it was built to commemorate the Pakistan day, when a resolution was passed on 23rd March, 1940 at the very same place in a congregation of Muslim League demanding the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-Continent. The Minar is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture and has been very boldly designed. The Minar is about 60 meters tall
Three miles east of Lahore on the grand trunk road is the famous Shalimar Gardens built by the Mughal Emperor Shah-Jehan in 1642 A.D. The Garden covers an area of 42 acres and is in typical Mughal style with high walls and watch towers on all four corners. The gardens were originally spread over seven ascending terraces but only three remain now. The different brickwork of the floors of the three terraces has been repaired according to their original designs.
There is a marble pavilion under which the water flows and falls down in a cascade over a carved, marble slab, creating the effect of a waterfall. Across the waterfall is a marble throne for the King. At the end of the second terrace is a beautiful structure called Sawan Bhadon, with small niches on the three sides of a sunken tank. Water cascades down in sheets in front of the niches producing exact sounds of falling rain. In the olden times, small oil lamps used to burn in the niches reflecting myriad colors through the water.
MAUSOLEUM OF EMPEROR JEHANGIR
The tomb of great Mughal Emperor Jahangir lays North-West of Lahore across the River Ravi. It has a majestic structure made of red sandstone and marble. The main entrance opens out into a court-yard which was used as a Caravan Serai (accommodation for travelers) during the Mughal times. This courtyard on the right opens to a beautiful Mughal garden, which has a paved path leading to the main marble tomb. Both sides of the pavement are gardens mirror of each other.
The marble tomb is the resting place of the Emperor Jahangir and is approached from four corridors leading from the garden of which three are closed by marble.
The marble grave is inlaid with extremely beautiful floral designs. The grave has 99 names of Allah and Quranic verses. The tomb was built by Queen Noor Jehan and the Emperor’s son Shah-Jehan around 1637 A. D.
QUTBUDDIN AIBAK’S TOMB
Qutbudin Aibak died in 1210 A.D in Lahore while playing polo. His tomb is in the Anarkali bazaar. He was a patron of art and is known to have erected some monumental stone buildings in Delhi and elsewhere.
WAZIR KHAN’S MOSQUE
With an extremely wonderful and amazing architect Wazir Khan Mosque stands close to the Kashmiri bazaar. It is easily the most beautiful mosque of the subcontinent.
It was built in 1683 A.D. by Wazir Khan (Hakim Ilmuddin), who was a Minister to Shah-Jehan.
THE GOLDEN MOSQUE
Golden Mosque is situated close to Wazir Khan Mosque in Kashmiri Bazaar. It was built in 1753 A.D. by Nawab Syed Bhikari Khan, who was Deputy Governor of Lahore. Its name attributes to its three beautiful golden domes.
SAMADHI OF MAHARAJA RANJEET SINGH
The ashes of the great Sikh ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, and of his four wives and several slave girls lie in a dome adjacent to the Hazoori Bagh.
Lahore museum is situated opposite the old Punjab University campus, on the Mall Road. The Museum contains artifacts over the centuries, has a big collection of paintings dating back to Indo-Pakistan, Mughal, Sikh and British times. It has also a collection of musical instruments, ancient jewellery, textile, pottery and armory. There are relics from the, Gandhara, Graeco-Bactrian times as well as some Tibetan and Nepalese exhibits.
ISLAMIC SUMMIT MINAR
Islamic summit Minar was built in 1974 to commemorate the Grand Islamic summit held in Lahore. The heads of all Islamic countries gathered to symbolize the Islamic unity and faith.
Anarkali is the most fascinating of the city's many bazaars. The narrow alleys and lanes of this bazaar are full of exciting wares, especially traditional crafts like leatherwear, embroidered garments, glass bangles, beaten gold and silver jewellery, creation of silk - anything that you wish to bargain. It is named after the famous courtesan of Akbar's court called Anarkali, who fell in love with Akbar’s son Saleem.
ALLAMA IQBAL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Due to increasing population and old airport of Lahore was stretched to its limits. Government has built a new airport for the city that was constructed in 2003. It was named after the national poet of Pakistan Mohammed Iqbal. The new building is inspired from Mughal & modern architecture.
People of Lahore are famous for eating well. That’s why every kind of food from every nooks and corner of the country is available in Lahore. Three food streets have been developed at Anarkali, Gawalmandi and along Lahore fort. These streets are the pedestrian only areas in the evening. Here one can enjoy every kind of traditional food. More small traditional food outlets are outlets are located at Laxmi & Mozang.
Since eating is well attributed to Lahori, restaurants are always flocked especially at the weekends. One of many famous restaurants is Coocoo’s Den overlooking the Badshahi Mosque. The whole view from the restaurant is incredible, while one enjoys the food.
M.M. Alam road is famous for restaurants, where one can find a wide variety of food from traditional to continental. Modern western foods chains like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Nando’s etc are easily available.
GATES OF OLD LAHORE
Hazuri Bagh gate
Shah Aalmi Gate
Sheran Wala Gate
Places to visit
Famous Buildings, Monuments & Recreational Spots
Food Street Anarkali
Food Street Gawalmandi
Food Street Lahore Fort
General Post Office
Hazuri Bagh Baradari
Lahore High Court
Lahore Central Railway Station
Qaddafi Stadium sports complex
Race Course Park
State bank of Pakistan
M M Alam Road
Main Boulevard Gulberg
MOSQUES, CHURCHES, etc
Dai Anga Mosque
Gurdawara Punja Sahib
Hall Road Church
Jesus & Mary Convent
Mariyam Zamani Begum Mosque
Saint Anthony's Church
Samadhi Ranjit Singh
Wazir Khan Mosque
Tomb of Empress Noor Jehan
Tomb of Jahangir
Tomb of Lal Hussain
Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal
Tomb of Shah Jamal
Tomb of Data Durbar
Tomb of Qutb-udin-Aikbak
Tomb of Bibi Pak Daman
FAMOUS EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTES
Allam Iqbal Medical College,
COMSATS Institute Of Information Technology,
Fatima Jinnah Medical College,
Government Science College
Institute of Islamic Sciences
Kind Edward Medical College
Lahore University of Management Sciences,
University College of Information Technology
University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore,
University of the Punjab
The recent economic growth of Pakistan has seen Lahore playing a major role. Being the 2nd biggest financial & trade hub after Karachi, Lahore is centre of all kind commercial & industrial activities. Lahore has recently seen the housing sector boom and stock exchange boom. Housing sector has seen the numerous new residential projects, majority of which is in the outskirts of the city.
Some of the major projects include:
Defence Housing Authority’s new Phases
Midland Farm House
KNK Falcon Greenwood
Blue Water Villas
Similarly high-rises in commercial & semi-commercial sector are under construction and to name a few are:-
Pearl Continental Tower
Sheikh Zayed Centre
Tricon Corporate Centre
Big City Tower
The growth of city has pushed Punjab government and the city government to take huge infrastructure projects and therefore, they have taken initiative for various mega projects. Ring Road around the city, several underpasses & over passes at major arteries of the city, Sialkot Lahore motorway, Dualization of Lahore Kasur Road and Wagha road is underway. Similarly government is working on the Metro LRMTS (Light Rail Mass Transit System).
Government has introduced new emergency response centre 1122, which handles all the emergency calls around the city. Due to its good performance, fire brigade system has been given under its control with latest fire extinguishers provided to them. To keep the traffic smooth, newly educated and trained traffic wardens have been introduced to the city. Vehicle registration system has been computerized. Similarly work is going to computerize the Land Record to get rid of Land mafia.
To facilitate the businessmen and industry, government has setup new Sundar Industrial estate and has provided facilities to the old industrial estates. Several foreign companies are setting up their business in the city. Government is setting up the first Expo Centre of the city. To promote the IT exports, it is constructing a Software Technology Park at Ferozepur road. To promote the sports in Punjab, a sport city similar to the one in Dubai, is being set up at Sialkot Lahore motorway close to Ravi for which land acquisition is in progress.
The city of Lahore is facing increasingly serious food security problems mainly as a result of many constraints affecting the way food reaches the city and is redistributed within the whole urban area. Such constraints, daily faced by traders, shopkeepers and transporters, mean that consumers need to pay higher than necessary prices for accessing food, the quality of which is often less than optimal. Low-income inhabitants of Metropolitan Lahore, estimated around 50 percent of its present 6.5 million inhabitants, face a serious food security risk.
Furthermore, inappropriate hygienic conditions in urban markets and street food sales are causing health problems to consumers. Such problems can and must be solved. Finally, the quality of air and water as well as the overall environment in Lahore are being undermined by the growing number of food-laden trucks, which create traffic congestion, and the increasing amount of organic and inorganic waste generated by urban markets. These problems contribute to a progressive deterioration of the quality of life in our city.
The city of Lahore is expected to double its present population within a decade. Such high urban growth is likely to further increase poverty conditions in the city. Consequently, the security of an increasing urban constituency will progressively deteriorate.
We should be concerned with the security of our cities, not only because it is a matter of justice, but also because security, urban political stability and urban development are linked. We thus need to face our problems and take adequate steps to tackle these problems.
The challenges ahead are numerous and require, first and foremost, that the city authorities have a proper understanding of how the different requirements of Lahore are currently satisfied and will be satisfied in the next five to ten years. Secondly, we need to have common and comprehensive urban security policies and strategies. Action plans with clearly identified institutional responsibilities must be formulated.
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