Model Town, Lahore

Model Town, Lahore

Model Town Lahore is one of residential suburbs of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located next to Faisal Town, Gulberg, Garden Town and Township suburbs of Lahore.

Contents

History

Model Town, established in 1921, was the fruition of Dewan Khem Chand’s lifelong dream to see the establishment of a “Garden Town”. Advocate Khem Chand’s unshakeable belief in the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity are the values of cooperation upon which the principles of co-operative societies are founded and also the reason why Model Town was established as and still is a co-operative society.

On Sunday, 27 February 1921, about 200 persons assembled in Lahore's Town Hall under the chairmanship of Rai Bahadur Ganga Ram and decided to establish a cooperative housing society to be named as garden town.

The meeting approved Diwan Khem Chand's proposed housing scheme based on cooperative principles in the suburbs of Lahore to solve housing problems and also to provide improved sanitary and better living facilities for the residents, and thus the government was requested to provide a 2000 acre (4 km²) plot of land.

The residents of Model Town, who owned their spacious houses, were retired judges, rich businessmen, traders and upmarket store-owners. Many high court judges, doctors and engineers had also moved to Model Town from the city. Included among the residents of this best laid-out residential estate of Lahore were college professors and officers of the civil service. The famous communist leader BPL Bedi, who had studied at British and German universities, lived here. His son Kabir Bedi became a famous actor in post-independence India.[1]

Model Town Society

A preliminary committee of 21 members was formed under the chairmanship of Khan Bahadur Sir Sh. Abdul Qadir to frame the by-laws and to carry out other necessary work in connection with the formation of the society. As a result, The Cooperative Model Town Society Limited was formed and subsequently registered under the Cooperative Societies Act II of 1912 in 1924. The principle objectives of the Society were:

  • To conceive, design, develop and maintain a garden town.
  • To buy or otherwise acquire land, buildings, and other moveable and immovable property.
  • To provide services and construct, manage and maintain works, and other infrastructure of various kinds for the convenience and benefit of the resident members.
  • To sell, mortgage, and lease land, houses, homesites, buildings, and all moveable or immovable property as necessary for carrying out the objects of the society.
  • To build residential houses and other buildings for private and public use and for the convenience of members etc.

On 1 April 1941, the Government of the Punjab transferred 1,963 acres (7.9 km²) situated in Rakh, Kot Lakhpat Tehsil, District, Lahore and the transfer deed was registered with the Sub-Registrar, Lahore, on 25 April 1941.

Grewal's Group served Model Town as a Member in Assembly or as a construction (repair) of Model Town.

Evacuee property

The Society was declared Evacuee property after the Indo-Pak partition in 1947, as about 1100 out of 1300 members emigrated to India. The case went to Chaiman Rehablitation Committee and they gave the historic decision in 1960 that Society should pay Rs 100 and all assets and liabilities were shifted back to the Society. It was then placed under the management of Mr. Riaz-ud-Din Ahmad, agent to the custodian for Model Town. On 19 March 1962, 25 representatives of the Model Town Society held a meeting under the chairmanship of Khawaja Hafiz-ullah and discussed the legal status of the Society and further steps to be taken in connection with the reconstitution. As a result, the institution was registered as The Cooperative Model Town Society (1962) Limited, Lahore on 9 January 1963 by the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Lahore Region. New bylaws of the society were registered under the Cooperative Societies Act 1925.

The basic tenets of the society, however, continued to be the same as were originally planned, namely "to promote the economic and social interests of its members, particularly to plan, establish and maintain a garden town".

Taking over by the administrator

The Society, unfortunately, could not maintain its standards and the management staggered until April 1982 when the administrator was forced to take over the Society. The management of the Society was superseded under MLO No. 856, dated 30 March 1982. The general body and the managing committee were dissolved. All the powers and functions of the managing committee and general body were vested in the administrator. The legal status of the society continues to be a Cooperative Society registered under the Cooperative Societies Act 1925, supervised and controlled by the Registrar, Cooperatives Punjab, Lahore.

Return of the elected managing committee and general body

Lahore Model Town is a cooperative society based on the cooperatives principles of self-help, self-governance, self-finance and mutual cooperation.

The Cooperative Model Town Society has been under the control of the administrator. After a lapse of twenty years the Supreme Court of Pakistan restored the society in July 2002. Accordingly, elections were held in September 2002 under the supervision of the cooperative department. Members voted to elect a new management committee on 29 September 2002, which consisted of President Khalid Ikram Malik, Vice President Tahir A Khan, and 20 members of the Managing Committee (2 from each block) and five nominated / ex-officio members. This MC was dissolved by the Registrar within 18 months for incompetence. For two years again, the Administrator ruled the Society.

The first managing committee after restoration took over the office on 23 October 2002. This MC worked only for 17 months and the whole Managing committee was packed up by Registrar for incompetence. In November 2005, on the orders of former CM Punjab, Ch Pervaiz Elahi, new elections were ordered. Elections were held in Dec 2005; Col(R) Tahir H. Kardar was elected as President and took over the charge with Tahir A Khan as Vice President. The new managing committee completed many projects and approved its first welfare-oriented budget for the fiscal year 2005-2006. Special attention was given to the development projects in the budget. An amount of Rs. 20 million was allocated for the construction of a Community Centre which remained on papers for many years. Similarly, 15 million were allocated for widening, re-paving and repairing the roads. In order to improve the water supply system, 5 new tube-wells were installed and rusted water pipelines were replaced. An amount of Rs. 10 million was allocated for this project. A new truck and 25 new transformers were purchased to upgrade the electricity system. Computerization of the office records was undertaken and more technical staff and professionals were recruited to improve efficiency.

The society’s administration took up a number of steps for the welfare of the residents:

  • Property cess was decreased from 3.5% to 2.5% of the registered value.
  • Legal heirs were exempted from transfer fees and other liabilities.
  • The electricity rates were subsidized and a relief of over 2.40 Rs. per kWh was given to the members as well as the work members.

Area and population

Model Town Society is spread over an area of 1463 acres (5.9 km²). This area is further divided into ten blocks (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K). Blocks L, M, N, P, Q, R and S are in the outskirts of Model Town and are administered by Lahore Development Authority (LDA). These blocks were named "Model Town Extension" when Model Town Society sold this land to LDA in return of developmental works.

The breakdown of the total area is as follows:

  • Residential: 819 acres (3.31 km2) = 56%
  • Commercial: 29 acres (0.12 km2) = 2%
  • Roads: 278 acres (1.13 km2) = 19%
  • Nurseries and playgrounds: 59 acres (0.24 km2) = 4%
  • Green area (parks): 278 acres (1.13 km2) = 19%

The total population of Model Town is about 100,000. Model Town Society is a unique housing area in its design and is considered a posh locality of the town. Each block has its own market, playground, mosque, triangular parks, etc., which is a rare phenomenon as compared to other housing schemes.

Model Town then and now

Following the economic liberalization of Pakistan in the post-9/11 era, Model Town has benefited from the remarkable proliferation of social elites in Lahore. Not too long in the past, Model Town was regarded as the establishment's residential dead zone. Taxis and rickshaws were reluctant to come to Model Town due to its distance from the main city, and many social elites dubbed the development "out of Lahore", given its distance from the heart of the city. However, in recent years Model Town has become a cultural center for the "nouveau riche" of Lahore's growing socioeconomic elite, many of whom who view a Model Town address as a vehicle for upward mobility in socially rigid Pakistan.

During the regime of President General Zia-ul-Haq, General Jilani (then Martial Governor of the Punjab) took extensive interest in rehabilitating Model Town, which had fallen into obscurity following the exodus of Lahore's non-Muslim elites after partition. An initiative to refurbish the image of Model Town to its former glory in colonial days was launched in the early 1980s.

Electric supply lines were relaid, street lights & sewage system installed, roads improved, and central Model Town park was developed per the original plan from the 1920s. Further modernizations, renovations of gardens, and the influx of large numbers of upper and upper-middle class Lahoris helped redefine the rundown development's image and status.

Many architects, developers, and town planners regard Model Town as the best place to live in the entire city of Lahore. Former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and recently deceased Benazir Bhutto are said to maintain homes here.

Model Town is serviced by every major bank in Pakistan, several major retail chains, and is home to a growing Lahore intellectual elite. Major department stores include a special branch of Pakistan's Makro & Pace. New developments include the Zainab Tower, a commercial district.

Model Town is fast becoming a chic zone of Lahore, with demand for residences beginning to outstrip supply for the first time since the colonial era. Its large houses (8 to 16 kanals) consistently sell at up to 30 crore rupees. Model Town is famous countrywide because many political leaders live here, including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, former Mayor Lahore Mian Amir Mehmood, and many other MNAs and MPAs.

Famous eating spots

Model Town Lahore has many good places for food-lovers, like "Bhaiya Kabab shop" in D-Block Inner Market, Nafees Dhai Bhalle, Gol Gapay, Ladu Pithi in A-Block, Goshi restaurant, Sholay Restaurant (Sheesha of Sholay is the best Sheesha in the town), Sadeeq Kabab shop in C-Block Main Market, Goga Naqebia Murgh Chanay in A-Block market and Q-Block flats, Lahore's Best Smosay of Amjad in A-Block Market, Abid Shah's local chapper hotel outside almunatazir H-block and Pizza Channel in M block market.

Model Town Park

Model Town Park is one of the largest public parks of Lahore consisting of 125 acres (0.51 km2) of land. It was part of the original plan but was developed in 1990 by Governor Punjab General Jilani. This circular park is surrounded by the inner circular road of Model Town. People from all surrounding towns visit Model Town Park, as it offers a 2.5 km long circular jogging track, lush green lawns and serves as a social meeting spot. Human Development Forum [www.hdfpakistan.org], a forum of intellectuals of Model Town, including Dr. Ahmad Saeed, Dr. Akhtar Jafri, Qazi Javed, Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad, Prof. Tanvir Sadiq and others, arrange lectures on every Sunday morning in this park near the canteen on any topic related to public life. A large number of morning walkers attend these lectures, which is a tradition that has continued for many years without fail, regardless of the weather. There is a proper 'Walkers Group' who hold tea parties and dinners among themselves. They have even printed a directory of all these walkers with their residential addresses and telephone numbers.

It was declared the best park of 2007 in Lahore by the Forest Minister. About 5000 people daily visit this park. Recently a lot of development has taken place in this park, including a new rose garden, a Chambeli garden, and a families corner near the lake with new flower beds and swings for the children. An annual flower show started in 2008; prizes are given to best houses (flower-wise), Malis, etc. Mayor Lahore, Mian Amir Mehmood gave away the prizes to the residents and staff in 2008 and 2009.

Markets

In the heart of Model Town is the Bank Square Market and Central Commercial Market. In addition to the central market, every block has an individual market place for grocers and bakers, etc. A-Block Market is the hub for automobile repairs and suppliers of hardware, electrical goods, plumbing and paint. The Link Model Town Road connects Model Town with Faisal Town and Township areas. On both sides of the road, there are shops for almost everything, from timber, steel, and cement to general grocers.The famous fabrics shop Crimson fabrics is one of the most famous fabrics shop in lahore.

In 2006 the new Managing Committee under the Presidentship of Col (R)Tahir Kardar leased a vacant plot to an international cash & carry store, Makro. It has come up very well and beside having a fine shopping mall, Model Town Society has started earning good revenue from it.

Sports

Several famous national cricketers like Waseem Akram, Rameez Raja and Ijaz Ahmad live in Model Town. Sports facilities in the area include Model Town Greens, Model Town Whites (a new club in E-Block), Nawab Mansoor Academy, Model Town Club (home of renowned tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi), Amir Mehmood's Club, and International Cricket Academy (LDA).

Security

The Co-operative Model Town society is now ensuring security for its residents by building barriers at each exit except four main entrances. These barriers (gates) are closed after 9 pm and only four entrances (Ferozepur Entrance, Link Road, Mariyan, and Nawaz Shareefs entrances) are open 24 hours a day.

The crime rate has been minimized by this action. Now Model Town society is also issuing stickers for residents' vehicles.

Schools and colleges

  • The City School
  • Grand Charter School
  • Hamdard Public School, Lahore
  • Beaconhouse School System
  • Lahore Grammar School
  • Divisional Public School
  • MQ Foundation High School
  • Government Model High School Model Town Lahore

References

External links


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