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Ghanta Ghar comes back to life.

Byline: Sabih Ul Hussnain

PESHAWAR -- Municipal Corporation Peshawar (MCP) and Local Administration of the city has materialized the present government's commitment about zero tolerance against encroachments by taking a huge step in this regard.

Recently, the area around the famous and historical Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) has been cleared of all kinds of encroachments providing the Peshawarites especially youth to have a clear and full view of the historical monument.

The PTIled government has shown its seriousness in giving Peshawar its historical shape back and the antiencroachment drive is supposed to be the right step going in the right direction. This way the historical places like Ghanta Ghar will be given a rebirth and also will help the historians and the archeologists a chance to trace the remaining part of FaseeleSheher, the old wall of the city, which is yet to be found and could only be seen in the maps dates back to 1936.

Ghanta Ghar Bazaar, a busy area, was also targeted by city administration as a part of the major operation against encroachments and more than 3000 shops, kiosks and illegal stalls were demolished which revealed the historical site of 1900s.

Before the said drive there were stalls and kiosks of fish sellers and this bazaar was a big fish market which on one hand was a major cause of traffic jam and on other hand it also diminished the beauty of Clock Tower. The residents of the area and shopkeepers of Kareempura Bazar, attached with Ghanta Ghar Bazaar, expressed satisfaction and appreciated the effective most antiencroachment drive in the history of Peshawar. Qasim Habib, a resident of the area and a graduate from University of Peshawar, talking to The Frontier Post said that foreign tourists used to come here to see the historical place but unfortunately returned due to pathetic situation of Bazaar the number of the tourists has decreased.

Clock Tower was built in 1900 to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the Empress of India; the tower is named after Sir George Cunningham, former British governor and political agent.

Archeologists believe that this Cunningham Clock Tower is the one among four other historical clock towers in Pakistan. The other three towers are in Karachi, Faisalabad and Multan.

The Tower was designed by the then Municipal Engineer of Peshawar James Strachan and it stands 26 meters (85 ft.).

The tower was painted in 2003 by the government. However, since then, no maintenance work has been done except demolishing the encroachments recently and high tension electric wires hanging around the tower are yet to be fitted on alternate place in order to preserve beauty of this historical site from being diminished.

The effective and massive antiencroachment drive has also left thousands of people unemployed.

When contacted for comments Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Usama Waraich, an active participant of drive, said that they had limited them up to specific Ft.

He, however, said that if someone found violating an inch of limits he would be sent to jail with the fine of Rs. 50,000.

"The provincial government is also taking care of those whose kiosks have been demolished and directing not to devastate their business so in this regard the MCP is discussing the matter and soon they would be marked a substitute to run their businesses likely outside the main city," added

Usama ADC.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 5, 2015
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