Taking heritage for granted: Private company organises wedding at Lahore Fort | Pakistan Today

Taking heritage for granted: Private company organises wedding at Lahore Fort

–Fatima Fertilizers had taken permission from WCLA for a corporate event but illegally held a wedding ceremony at the Royal Kitchens instead

–Government springs into action after social media users express concern over the horrific misuse of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

LAHORE: Taking heritage for granted, Fatima Fertilizers Company Limited, took permission from the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) to hold a corporate dinner at the historic Lahore Fort’s Royal Kitchens and illegally conducted a wedding ceremony there instead of the planned event.

The issue was raised on social media where people from all walks of life expressed their concern over the horrific misuse of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When contacted, WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said that a First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged against the company.

He also said that Bilal Tahir, the in-charge of Lahore Fort, had been suspended from his duties until the completion of an inquiry against him.

“We have confiscated the security deposit and we will also seek a penalty from the company,” he added. He further said that WCLA has never allowed any entity to hold weddings or birthdays at heritage sites.

It is worth mentioning here that the WCLA DG had earlier told a private news channel that no wedding was held at the heritage site, instead a private function was arranged by a company.

According to documents available with Pakistan Today, Fatima Fertilizers Company Limited had originally requested permission for a private dinner on January 9, at the Royal Kitchens of Lahore Fort for 100 guests.

The approval was subsequently issued for a corporate dinner of 100 guests against a fee of Rs500,000 with a number of conditions.

“The competent authority is pleased to grant permission for a private dinner at Royal Kitchens, Lahore Fort on January 9 against an amount of Rs500,000 and security amounting to Rs100,000 refundable through pay order after the event,” the permit letter stated.

The letter also explicitly stated that fireworks, firecrackers, live cooking, oil lamps, aerial firing would not be allowed at any place inside the monument. Moreover, it restrained the guests and hosts from fixing any hooks and nails in any structure or using glue, paint, and tape against the historical structure. It also explicitly stated that nobody would be allowed to scratch the furniture.

“Electricity and security will be arranged by the organiser and nobody would be allowed to conduct recordings for any commercial activity as no commercial activity is allowed. The structure arches and glass doors should not be damaged or pasted or nailed with any kind of material. Moreover, hard drinks are not allowed,” the letter stated.

“Access to the rooftops of the Royal Kitchens will not be allowed and generators and extra lighting will be the responsibility of the event organizer. No security weapons will be allowed inside the monument,” the letter added.

The letter further stated that no wedding ceremony would be allowed and in case a wedding ceremony is held, an FIR would be lodged against the client and the event would be stopped forcefully.

“The violation of the above-mentioned conditions shall make the organiser liable to prosecution under the relevant laws and this permission shall be treated as cancelled forthwith. The permission is subject to NOC from District Government,” the letter concluded.

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