Think “Pani ka talaab” (a water pool) and all that comes to mind is a pond with, maybe, ducks floating in it. But this isn’t the case with the one inside the Walled City, which is actually a water reservoir.
Built in the year 1883, the Pani Wala Talaab is a relic of the British times, the only one of its kind left.
It was established at the highest point inside the Walled City so that the water could reach all the houses through the pipes.
In olden days, this was the only source of water to the entire city. Till today, it stores almost 10,000 gallons of water per day.
It is a murky huge hall where all the system is set. The roof is broken at places which let the sunrays enter the tank.
You also spot a lot of pigeons inside. There is a small alley that takes you to the staircase if you want to access the roof top.
The roof is a risky zone, and I will not recommend anyone to go up there. It is rickety. The authorities should fix it as early as possible.
The Talaab is under the control of WASA. I was not welcomed at all when I went to visit the place. I wasn’t allowed to take any photographs. I managed a few, though.
One amazing thing I noticed was the pipes that had the original date (1883-4) engraved on them. These pipes are still functional and in good form. Nothing has gone wrong with the system. I couldn’t help marvel at how well-planned the British were.
You find huge tanks inside. These tanks store water. To this day, water is supplied to most of the parts of the interior Lahore via this reservoir. As the population grew, further means of water supply were added but the Paani Wala Talaab remains the primary source.
Paani Wala Talaab is not known to many people. This isn’t a tourist spot, though it could qualify as one. The history and mechanism of its water supply is very interesting. The WASA could take a lesson or two from it.