LAHORE, Nov 10: A new public entrance to majestic Mughal monument Shalamar Gardens, a World Heritage site, is being constructed that will also have facilities like a modern canteen, car parking etc, archeology department officials told Dawn.

The officials said the Punjab government had transferred a 13-kanal piece of land to the department for the purpose. A sum of Rs26 million would be spent on the project, they added.

The officials said the existing entrance to the monument had no parking facility and the ticket booths there had also gone outdated. The visitors, they said, had to park their vehicles on the road and in the rush hours traffic congestions were frequent.

The project was under consideration for the last many years and finally got Punjab government nod. Initial work on it started in January.

Officials said the new entrance would house four ticket booths, six toilets, a canteen, three gift shops, water coolers and parking facility having the capacity to accommodate over 200 vehicles and motorbikes.

After its completion in June 2013, the new facility located in front of Naqar Khana would be used as the only public entrance to the monument.

They said the tenders for running canteen, gift shops and parking would be issued after the completion of the project. A boundary wall would also be constructed around the area.

The officials said work on the second and third terrace of the gardens is also under way under the master plan initiated in 2005 and would complete by 2014. They said work on the walkways and boundary wall was on. Cut brick work and that of red sandstone was also being carried out.

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