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Lahore Cantonment

LCCHS (Lahore Cantt Cooperative Housing Society) was establish on 19 March 1975 with the Registrar Coop Punjab. The business of the Society was carried out through a Management Committee (MC) consisting of 11-15 members. During 1989, in the general meeting of the members a byelaw, authorizing serving army officers to cast vote through postal ballot for electing MC members and making policy decisions was passed. This did not suit to some members due to their vested interests. Therefore they challenged the decision in the High Court. In 1991 High Court suspected the MC and instructed all the power of MC to Commander Lahore Corps. In order to improve the efficiency of LCCHS, the Society was converted into Defence Housing Authority on 2 Jul 1999. first through a Provincial Ordinance and finally through Federal DHA Order of 19 September 2002.

The Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Pakistan very kindly promulgated DHA Order No 26 on wed 19 Sep 2002 for the reconstitution of Defence Housing Authority Lahore. After promulgation of Chief Executive Order, DHA is entirely a changed organization. It now has reinforced powers and the jurisdiction to acquire land any where in the province of Punjab.

Lahore Cantt is located in the eastern part of Lahore city. It is an open place as compared to the rest of the Lahore city. Pakistan's Army has maintained its setup in Lahore by deploying two of its Divisions in Lahore Cantt, namely the 10th and 11th Divisions. The Headquarters of 4 Corps is also located there. The Allama Iqbal International Airport is also located in Lahore Cantt. As far as public places are concerned, the most famous among these is Fortress Stadium, which contains a big market and a park. There is a sub-cantt in Lahore Cantt, known as Mahfooz Shaheed Garrision. It is located near the Indian border at a distance of few kilometers. And it is probably the home of 10th Division of Pakistan Army.

The cantonment area in Lahore, which, up until the early 1980s, comprised a large segment of army training grounds and firing ranges, was almost entirely converted into a residential area. In effect, army exercise and training grounds were converted from public to private use without the consent of the government or the public for whose safety the land was initially provided.

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and is the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. It is popularly known as the Heart of Pakistan, due to its historical importance in the creation of Pakistan, and also being a cultural, political and educational centre of the country. It is also often called the Garden of the Mughals or the City of Gardens because of the heritage of the Mughal Empire. It is located near the Ravi River and Wagah, close to the Pakistan-India border.

Much of Lahore's architecture from the Mughal and colonial eras has been preserved. Mughal structures such as the Badshahi Mosque, Ali Hujwiri, Lahore Fort, Shalimar Gardens and the mausoleums of Jehangir, and Nur Jehan are popular tourist spots in the city. Colonial British structures such as the Lahore High Court, General Post Office (GPO) and many of the older universities still retain their Mughal-Gothic style.

Punjabi is the native language of the province and is the most widely-spoken language in Lahore and rural areas. Urdu and English, however, are becoming more popular with younger generations since they are officially supported, whereas Punjabi has no official patronage. Many people of Lahore who speak Punjabi are known as Lahori Punjabi due to their use of a mixture of Punjabi and colloquial Urdu. According to the 1998 census, Lahore's population was nearly 7 million. Mid-2006 government estimates now put the population at approximately 10 million. This makes Lahore the fifth largest city in South Asia and the 23rd largest city in the world.

After the defeat of sikhs and annexation of Lahore the British troops were stationed initially at Anarkali but later moved to Mian Mir. It was this that became to be known as Lahore Cantonment and was established in 1850 by Lt. Gen Sir Charles Napier. It was a beautifully planned cantonment with wide roads, parks and well laid-out living and unit areas.

In 1968, the Cantonment limits were extended to include a large area with an over-all rural complexion. The Cantonment with this large extension became administratively difficult to manage; therefore in 1998 it was bifurcated into two Cantonments: Lahore & Walton. These two Cantonment Boards administer large areas with a population of about 500,000 persons. They are under National Jurisdiction and have virtually no institutional links with local and provincial agencies.

The Boards which are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Ministry of Defence, perform all functions of urban management in the areas under their control, including road construction and maintenance. They are also responsible for about 50 signalized junctions, which are thus separate from the signals administered by TEPA. There is little formal coordination with the other agencies responsible for roads and transport in Lahore, although informal coordination does reportedly function. The linkage of the Cantonment Boards with the City Government transcends the scope of this consultancy, but it is suggested to institute a more regular coordination on traffic aspects in Lahore.

The city of Lahore, which contained a population of 202,964 in 1901, may be divided into four parts: the native city; the civil station or European quarter, known as Donald Town; the Anarkali bazaar, a suburb S. of the city wall; and the cantonment, formerly called Mian Mir. The main street of the civil station is a portion of the grand trunk road from Calcutta to Peshawar, locally known as the Mall. The chief buildings along this road, west to east, are the Lahore museum, containing a fine collection of Graeco-Buddhist sculptures, found by General Cunningham in the Yusufzai country, and arranged by Mr Lockwood Kipling, a former curator of the museum; the cathedral, begun by Bishop French, in Early English style, and consecrated in 1887; the Lawrence Gardens and Montgomery Halls, surrounded by a garden that forms the chief meeting-place of Europeans in the afternoon; and opposite this government house, the official residence of the lieutenant-governor of the Punjab; next to this is the Punjab club for military men and civilians.

Three miles beyond is the Lahore cantonment, where the garrison was stationed, except a company of British infantry, which occupied the fort. It was the headquarters of the 3rd Division of the Northern Army. Lahore at that time was an important junction on the North-Western railway system, but has little local trade or manufacture. The chief industries were silk goods, gold and silver lace, metal work and carpets which are made in the Lahore gaol. There were also cotton mills, flour mills, an ice-factory, and several factories for mineral waters, oils, soap, leather goods, &c. Lahore was an important educational center. Here were the Punjab University with five colleges, medical and law colleges, a central training college, the Aitchison Chiefs' College for the sons of native noblemen, and a number of other high schools and technical and special schools.

The people of Lahore, when they want to emphasize the uniqueness of their town say "Lahore is Lahore". The traditional capital of Punjab for a thousand years, it had been the cultural center of Northern India extending from Peshawar to New Delhi. This preeminent position it holds in Pakistan as well. Lahore is the city of poets, artists and the center of film industry. It has the largest number of educational institutions in the country and some of the finest gardens in the continent.

Lahore is undoubtedly ancient. Legend had it that it was founded by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Some others think that the name means Loh-awar, meaning a "Fort as strong as Iron". It waxed and waned in importance during the Sultanate. Lahore came under Muslim rule in 1206 with Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and reached its glory during the Mughal period. As the Mughal power dwindled the Punjab came under the Sikh sway.

The city as we know it today, reached its peak of glory during the Moghul rulers, especially in the reign of Akbar the Great, who made it his capital. His son, Jehangir, is buried in its outskirts and his mausoleum is one of the places frequented by tourists and Lahorites alike. Close by is the mausoleum of the famous Moghul Empress, Nur Jehan, who is known for introducing the rose plant and for initiating several cultural movements in the Sub-Continent.

Akbar the Great held his Court In Lahore for 14 years from 1584 to 1598, and built the Lahore Fort, as well as the city walls which had 12 gates. Some of these still survive. Jehangir and Shah Jehan, the builders of the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Shalamar Gardens in Srinagar and Lahore, built palaces and tombs. The last great Moghul Emperor, Aurangzeb (1838 - 1707) built Lahore's most famous monument, the great Badshahi Mosque. At that time the river Ravi, which now lies a few miles away from Lahore, touched the ramparts of the Fort and the Mosque. A stream still flaws there and is known as the"Old River".

By 1765 the city of Lahore was partitioned among three Sikh chieftains, Lahna Singh, Sobha Singh, and Gujar Singh. In 1799 it was captured by Ranjet Singh. The Sikhs ruled it in the 18th and 19th centuries, and though it was their capital, they had a habit of damaging the Muslim monuments and took little interest in gardens. It is said that they took enough marble from the Moghul monuments of Lahore to build the Golden Temple at Amratsar twice over. Most of the gems that decorated the palaces and the forts were also taken out. The sikh period is known as darkest period in the history of Lahore and has been referred to as a 'melancholy picture of fallen splendor.

British were responsible for the desecration of many of Lahore's tombs and monuments. At one stage the Attorney General maintained an office at the Shah Chiragh Mosque, dak bungalows were built for the weekends at Shalamar Gardens. Anarkali's tomb was used as an office and later consecrated as a place of worship called St. Adrew's Church. It can also be conjectured that Lahore was an industrial center in the Moghul period. The famous guns which lie in front of the Central Museum and other places were molded in the foundries of Lahore. Their perfection shows that the industry was quite advanced. Within the walled city you may come across old Havelis or the spacious houses of the rich, which give you an inkling of the style of the rich and notables in the Moghul reign. Efforts are being made to preserve some of the buildings, along with their environments, but a great deal needs to be done to maintain them for posterity.

The British during their reign (1849 -1947) compensated Lahore, by harmoniously combining Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles of architecture. Victorian heritage is only next to Mughal monuments. The GPO and YMCA buildings built to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria - an event marked by the construction of clock towers and monuments all over India. They built some important buildings, like the High Court. the Government College, the Museums, the National College of Arts, Montgomery Hall, Tollinton Market, the Punjab University (Old Campus) and the Provincial Assembly. At one end of The Mall stands the University - perhaps the largest center of education in Asia. The city has built a new Campus in the quieter environments on the Canal Bank, but the old University buildings are still functioning.

Students from all over Pakistan come here to receive education. Their activities completely over shadow other aspects of the cultural life. Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque beyond the audience hall was for the exclusive use of royal ladies carved from marble having the luster of pearls. Nearby "Naulakha", a marble pavilion is inlaid with floral motifs and precious gems. Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) built in 1631 is the most richly decorated building inside Lahore Fort. it is named for the elaborate mosaic of convex mirrors set in Stucco work tracery and the gilded interior. Built by emperor Shah Jehan, for his empress and his harem, fretted marble work screens hiding the occupants from view. Lahore offers some delightful picnic spots. Tourists can find shady groves and green carpets at Shalamar Gardens, Jehangir's Tomb and the Jinnah Gardens, the Jallo Park the newly built lqbal Park and Changa Manga Forests. Boats can be hired at the river Ravi, or at Baradari, another of the river-side pleasure-houses built by the Mughals and an ideal place for relaxation.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:39:36 ZULU