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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Areas of Development
I.2) Transportation System
1.3) Quality of Life
2. Basic Planning Principles for Railway Stations
2.1) Two Levels of Need
2.3) Conservation of Resources
2.4) Re-Useable Structures
2.5) Minimizing Variables
2.6) Physical Segregation
2.7) Social segregation
3. The Role and Structure
Pakistan has been undergoing a speculative development and restructuring boom alongside a
dismantling of strategic planning and an increased market pressure on providing facilities to the end
users. In this context Pakistan Railway Authorities have been under increased pressure from the
government to make profits and to finance desperately-needed investment from revenue or asset
The opportunity now arises for an alternative plan (or plans) to be devised, based on community
initiatives, and priorities be generated democratically. This note is intended to help the debate on
what the brief for such an alternative should be.
As we all are very well aware of the fact that now the world has shrunk to a room size by the
introduction of electronic media, fiber optics and mass communication. All these inventions have
been playing a vital role in development for the last one decade. The irony of situation is that we are
lagging behind in this field, as compared to other developing countries.
We have examples, and above all we could set unprecedented examples, for that matter to curtail
the problems that arise due to our conventional tools and methods.
FIRST step to achieve this goal is to give a commercial out look to the entire department.
Re-organization of the department on commercial grounds is the key to success of the department.
The SECOND big footstep would be to give a physical appearance to ensure the end users, security,
comfort and economy. This could be achieved by implementing innovative ideas in Development
and Designing of individual Stations.
The Projects, for the Development of Railway Stations at Gujranwala and Sialkot are of complex
nature. Both involve intricate traffic circulation requirement for the proposed railway terminals as
well as for the proposed development schemes in its neighborhood. The entire inter-city traffic will
experience a major shift, which would have a very positive impact on the existing land use pattern
as well as on the traffic circulation.
A concurrency exists in the location of two respective sites, at Gujranwala and Sialkot Railway
• Most important of all the facts is that the two Stations lie in two major industrial center of
Pakistan i.e. Gujranwala & Sialkot.
• Both the sites are ideal as they are located in the center of respective cities.
• The potential of the two sites has been maximized, by utilizing maximum space according
to urban development standards.
The Section-I of this report gives a general outline of areas of development that will lay a
foundation for the development schemes in a broader urban context.
Whereas, in Section-II of this report, we have selected Sialkot Railway Station Site for a detailed
Study. However Master plans for both the Stations have been designed and incorporated in this
AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT
Main line stations should be well-connected points on the network as they have been
designated for decades as the optimum points for generating developments and
Ironically, however, these projects are taking place too late - at a time when there is
a slump in market prices. The development of railway stations is thus proposed to
contribute to a sustainable development not only in short term but long term as well.
Moreover, it would help to generate revenues not only for the maintenance of
individual stations but also for the future development of state of the art, central
means of communication.
The Railway Stations under study have levels of concurrency in terms of issues
related to their immediate environment at macro and micro levels, and then on
broader perspective of being located in industrial cities is yet another important
common factor. Another similarity that lies between these cities is that the two cities
have emerged as industrial cities without apparent endeavors of the Government of
Pakistan. Both the cities house industries which is interdependent. The city of
Sialkot is famous around the globe for leather and leather products and stainless steel
fabrication of all sorts. The city of Gujranwala developed its light industry in
electrical appliances and steel mill products.
A huge amount of revenue in terms of taxes and export duties is collected from these
cities. Very recently these cities have been recognized as major centers of exports
across the country as well as outside the country and importance is being given to
these cities for the development of industry.
The industries that mushroomed after this recognition shows a very well organized
setup as compared to the one that used to be a decade ago.
During the entire course, very less attention was given to the means of
communication. The only effective and efficient way recently introduced by the
Government of Pakistan was the Dry Port near Sialkot.
Here the role Pakistan Railways was entirely neglected, either due to political
reasons or otherwise, perhaps, as slow means of communication. Now the Railway
Authorities are under pressure to organize themselves as an alternative means of
communication not only for these cities but also for the entire country. This is
definitely a very practical proposition which will help railway authorities
substantially to generate revenue.
Even now the conditions are not that worse as they would be after ten or fifteen
years. The areas which have not been touched by other departments still waiting for
entrepreneurs like Pakistan Railways to give them a Midas Touch.
Fortunately the Railway Department owns a huge property all over Pakistan. They
have properties in and around railway stations and housing colonies as very useful
assets. These properties could be very helpful in the Development of Railway
Department as well as for other developments, on modern concepts.
Following are few concepts in the backdrop of Pakistan Railway authorities as
investor and developer, the terms and conditions of which could vary according to
the interests of railway authorities.
Indeed these suggestions need a very detailed survey of existing trends and
directions of market economy of these stations.
Most of Pakistan Railways property has now been subject to prospective large-scale
developments, using vacant (or vacatable) land and air rights. These projects have
provided some of the largest development sites, among them; PHA (Pakistan
Housing Authority) scheme stands to be the largest.
1.2 Transportation System
Pakistan finds itself now in an impasse to extend its means of communication. It has
for decades lacked the steady maintenance and upgrading of its public transport
system which most developed countries have had or underway in case of developing
Pakistan’s railway network is very nominally expanded since the 40’s and successive
plans for major railway tracks and railway department have been defeated by
political resistances - the latest in 90’s. Progress made with traffic-calming measures,
environmental management of traffic, services have all been extremely weak by
It is now clear that, in the next years, Pakistan will have to live with the transport
system it has and adapt its activities to what the system and the environment can
1.3 Quality of Life & Recreational facilities
Quality of life in Pakistan causes great concern. The shooting cost of living is, for
many, not matched by salary differentials. Time spent in traveling, usually in bad
conditions, is excessive in the eyes of many of us.
Open space and recreational land, educational and health facilities are under pressure
from the liberalized land market (and from the containment policies operating in the
region). Pollution by noise and fumes feels bad, there are great hazards for children
and many of us feel stressed.
Increased social polarization (between rich and poor) is yet another factor in
providing and improvising quality services at levels.
BASIC PLANNING PRINCIPLES FOR
Controversies over planning, transport and related issues are fought out - in the
media, in town halls and on the streets - as much in terms of images attaching to
proposals as in terms of cool scientific analysis of impacts and consequences. Any
alternative to the Pakistan Railways plan would need to be based on some clear,
appealing, ideas and images which a wide national, public, the media and politicians
can grasp and warm to.
2.1 Two levels of Need
Whose interests ought to serve?
There is a danger that a "city based" plan will only meet the defensive interests of
only those who happen to be the established local authorities and workers today - or
at least seem to do only that.
Considering it a site of such importance that it should be used in ways that serve
needs which are
* City-wide, and at
* National Level
It is not even clear that they conflict. We lack any political system to reconcile these
levels of priority, but we should try to (re) think in these terms.
A very wide definition of priorities might flow from talking to the program's workers
of central administration to the inadequacy of funds and revenues generated and
allocated for that purpose to individual railway stations. These resources for
upgradation programs need to be organized for a quick action plan.
2.3 Conservation of Resources
Many of the kinds of resistance that have been expressed (lately in our report on
railway stations in 1993-94) to the Pakistan Railways Authority (and to comparable
schemes elsewhere in the world) stem from people's concern to conserve.
There is, of course, great scope for contradiction and confusion within and between
conservation groups but the case for conservation of resources with the natural
environment is now unanswerable and attention to these priorities should be a central
feature of any plan.
2.4 Re-usable structures
The structures on the site are re-usable to varying degrees and at varying costs. Some
could not 'economically' be retained while others could be. But the notion of
'economic' is an elusive one.
Enormous creativity and handling will be required here to identify, redesign and
relocate the priorities:
Essentials verses Comfort, and
Facilities verses Luxury
2.5 Minimizing Variables
There will be many variables to be minimized in the process of design. The
following is a brief description of some of which might be considered.
2.5.1 Physical segregation
As an example, Gujranwala Station was originally bounded by gates to exclude
'undesirables' and tradesmen but due to the construction of free way now the main
entrance to the station has almost lost its physical appearance and segregation from
the surrounding landuse. It is segregated crudely from the commercial area around.
Much of the development is criticized for the physical barriers placed between the
station and commercial activity around
2.5.2 Social segregation
The violence done by (e.g.) the free way project at Gujranwala Railway Station does
not flow just from physical incoherence between old and new. It is rooted as much in
the social chasm between new and up-coming planning and residents and the pre-
This is a complex and difficult problem for a Railway Station, since any upgrading
of a run-down area is likely to create conditions for the displacement of established
It may seem odd, in such an accessible location, to seek to minimize travel, however
it can be re-routed and planned, to overcome traffic problems within the city. Other
suggestions regarding the traffic controls are:
* Providing decentralized services which users would otherwise have to travel to a
* Increasing parking provisions and making public transport as attractive as possible.
The term ‘Public Transport’ here refers to only long vehicles on main arteries to
reduce congestion and traffic hazards.
All this would clearly be much easier to achieve in the context of some strategic plan
in which such aims were being pursued across the city. Such a plan would almost
certainly aim at a more polycentric city.
There is a widespread consensus that mixed-use areas are a 'good thing' though the
logic of the property development process often seems to prevent their realization.
Here is another design and management challenge.
Workers in the daytime and residents in the evenings and weekends, shops, buses,
commercial areas, clinics etc. keep the streets peopled and can share the same (few)
car parks and other activities but the keyword remains ‘organization’ of such
The housing priorities for the site have not, in our view, yet been very well debated.
The claims and contributions of many potential classes of residents have not been
Any plan should maximize housing in order to contribute to the better balance of
residential and commercial use of available space. There is also a compelling
pressure of need - from almost every section of the less-than-rich population. There
are also severe problems confronting groups like poors, bachelors from small towns,
working in these comparatively big cities industrial towns, whose resources are tight,
who need to be near to their work places (and who can live at high densities and tend
to use public transport).
Clearly one could maximize housing by using the site for nothing else. There are two
simple factors which should limit this tendency.
First is the need for mixed uses, outlined above.
Second is the problem of financial feasibility.
Should we, despite the conventional wisdom and the policies of the authorities,
consider the possibility of providing a high standard of durable goods shopping?
It would aim to attract the kinds of traders who would only operate fully with ample
parking space in the vicinity.
At a day-to-day level, too there are problems. Routine shopping has also
concentrated in fewer centers, leaving many people with long and cumbersome
journeys to get foodstuffs.
The development site with its surroundings, both physically in terms of footpaths,
roads and views, and functionally through service provisions.
THE ROLE AND STRUCTURE
Clearly it is hard to plan the stations in the absence of any plans for the city. We
should probably proceed on the assumption that sanity will prevail and that - within
the development period - measures will be introduced on the following lines:
(a) There will be some decentralization of employment within the city so we will
have a more polycentric city. In any such strategy transport routes that link
peripheral areas (and not with the center) will be improved.
(b) Where transport investment takes place, it will be concentrated on public
transport improvements and environmental management of traffic.
(c) Any future development on Pakistan Railway property, either leased or sold,
must be planned according to a set of guidelines or by-laws be formulated to curtail