Goodbye, Kalma Chowk!

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Kalma Chowk, which has symbolised modern Lahore since the mid 1980s, was dismantled on Sunday to pave the way for the Kalma Chowk Flyover, sparking mixed reactions from the public, Pakistan Today has learnt. The Kalma Chowk Flyover Project is moving rapidly towards completion. Although the work on the underpass has not started yet, significant progress is seen in the flyover construction. But it is that part of the project where the old Kalma Chowk had to be dismantled, which would be replaced with a more modernised version of the monument made of steel. The Kalma Chowk monument stood tall on Ferozepur Road, one of the main and busiest arteries of Lahore.
The monument consisted of seven concrete slab-like blocks, which had the first Kalma engraved with steel on each slab and was spotted by more than 90,000 commuters a day. The dismantlement of Kalma Chowk started on late Saturday and continued all day on Sunday. One of the site managers, Munawar, talking to Pakistan Today, said that the dismantling would not take more than a day. “Two slabs were pulled out last night and the rest of the five would be removed by the end of Sunday”, he said. Munawar said that the flyover was being constructed at a lightning speed but numerous changes will be made as the project moves towards completion.
“One of the many little changes included dismantling the monument”, Munawar said. He said that at first the monument was planned to be sliced out from the foundation in one piece so it could be used elsewhere. “But now, we have made slight modifications to the demolition plan”, he said. The contracting company has now carved out the Kalma from the slabs and plucked out the slabs one by one using a crane. The demolishers are using the technique of piercing two holes through the top area of each slab and tying it with the carne arm and powering it out of the ground. While planning the flyover project, the Punjab government was presented with two solutions for the Kalma Chowk monument.
Either the monument would be raised between the spilt flyovers by constructing a platform to raise the monument or it will be positioned on either sides of the bridge. But in both cases the old Kalma Chowk was to be demolished and replaced with a new steel monument. The Kalma carved out of the old monument would be placed in the new monument. Kalma Chowk was not only a monument but a symbol of areas such as Model Town, Gulberg and Garden Town. Built during Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif’s term as Punjab chief minister in the late 1980s, Kalma Chowk kept on changing shape after its construction.
Due to the massive add-up in traffic Kalma Chowk was rebuilt several times. Initially, Kalma Chowk was a huge roundabout with grass surrounding it similar to the Liberty roundabout of today. Later when the Gulberg sector went through an intense makeover, the roundabout was converted into to a monument. Although the Punjab government has promised to rebuild the monument, citizens continue to blubber over the old monument’s removal. Passers-by were overcome with grief when the monument was being. “It represented my childhood, I grew up watch the monument as commuted between my home and school”, Ali, a resident of Askari Flats, said. “I can’t believe this structure would no longer be here, although nothing could replace the old monument but the new one better be good”, Umair, a resident of Model Town, said. “That monument reminded me of my schooldays”, citizen Asfand said.

22 COMMENTS

  1. datz nt fair…dere shud hd bn anodr way 2 build dat flyover….demolishing such things at da cost of odr nvr shows gud signs,,,:/

  2. Fuck these low grade Engineers who could not find alternative to destrying it fuck them all

  3. datz nt fair…dere shud had been anodr way too build that flyover….demolishing such things at the cost of order never shows good sign………
    <3

  4. I find it quite ironic to sit on comfortable chairs and to pass comment and criticize those who are actually working hard to develop this country! There's nothing wrong with old kalma chowk to be "plugged out" and replaced by new. In fact, the kalima written on old monument would be used in the new one. So i see no point at all of "awwwwwwwwww-ing" on such developmental work.

  5. i don t mind it if we have more better version. yes! there is no to over come da last memories of ds monument.

    i have explored many natural monuments of Pakistan spl in Baluchistan and i have strong believe of da impacts of monuments in urban life. Monuments always depicts da nation's attitudes. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.17912635

    here i must say to stop building da weapons things but our cultural identities for the better representations and attitudes.

    hops for da best.
    long live Lahore, long live Pakistan

  6. kuch new ho tou hum log khush nahi hotey kuch new na hoo tou b hum loog khush nahi hotey …………. kya baney ga hamara….v r really -ve Ppl…..

  7. aik he place tha ju mjhay lahore main sab se pahlay yad ahua tha aur wo bhiiiiiiiiiiiiii bcz wahan mere first date theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    • bht achy Dr.Sab. n Wot about my laste date in Pakistan @ Kalma chowk.remmmeber? :p

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