Last Pole Standing; No More

This week I was back in Lahore. To my horror and surprise, the poles that I wrote about in my earlier blog entitled Last Pole Standing, that had been standing since 1917 were finally brought down by Lahore Cantonment Board (A Military run organization). They considered them as nuisance on the sidewalk and are now no more.

The poles had survived for over 91 years, but could not survive the current military regime. Let’s hope and pray that such senseless acts are not repeated and our historical and heritage is preserved for future generations to see our history and society.

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Last Pole Standing

Last Pole Standing

Lahore, is an old and historical city. In fact, the mega metropolitan is over 2,000 years old. It has seen many cultures, religions and invaders leave their impact over the course of centuries. Most recently, it were the British who had designated Lahore as the capital of United Punjab (India, Pakistan provinces of Punjab etc). The city now has over 9 million inhabitants and is Pakistan’s second largest city and most definitely its cultural capital.

Now, according to the records that I have been digging up, it seems electricity reached the city around 1909. And within a decade was spread all over the city. As it happens, I chanced upon one of the earliest electricity poles in the city dating back to 1917. Yes, they still survive and two such poles can be found on Zafar Road (Off Abid Majeed Road) in Lahore Cantt.

As the picture depicts, these poles were installed in Cantonment area around 1917 (the date is carved on each of the poles). There are now only two such surviving pieces left on the street. In fact, one of them is already broken down in two the other is still intact.

Last pole almost standing

Culturally, we should be preserving them as they are almost 100 years old and carried one of the first electricity based power in Lahore. They are our living heritage.