Lahore, the cultural and political epicentre of undivided India, can now provide solutions to problems of urban India.
It has attracted modern Indian planners to study the city’s urban infrastructure. Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia will be visiting the city, where the Congress adopted the resolution for complete Independence and the Muslim League decided to have a separate Muslim nation, to study the its modern urban infrastructure.
“I, along with secretary, planning (Subhas Pani) will be visiting Pakistan to study what they have done to maintain urban infrastructure of Lahore despite population growth,” Ahluwalia said last week in the presence of Farzana Rana, Pakistan’s Union minister for women and former Pakistan Peoples Party spokesperson.
Lahore, despite a two-fold increase in population in the last 30 years, has been able to maintain its infrastructure, unlike many Indian cities, which are crumbling under population growth. “Lahore has modern infrastructure with its historical cultural ethos,” was a how thecity was described by veteran journalist, Lahore-born K.K. Katyal.
While Lahore will be on top of the agenda for Indian planners, they will also examine government schemes implemented in Pakistan including the newly launched Benazir Income Support Programme which provides the poor money to sustain themselves. “It is an innovative programme which covers the entire country but its benefits will reflect only after some time,” Rana said.
A commission official said Lahore was selected for the study because it has urban infrastructure similar to many Indian cities. “Lessons learnt from Lahore can help India in finding solutions to some of its urban problems like congestion,” he added.
Katyal described Lahore as nerve-centre of politics, culture and education political-cultural in undivided India, when Delhi was just a small town.