₹40-crore push to Lahore’s food street replica plan at Ur­ban Haat

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Punjab/haryana - Man­deep Kaur Narula let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

AM­RIT­SAR : Af­ter the first at­tempt to es­tab­lish a replica of Lahore food street un­der Ur­ban Haat project failed, the state govern­ment has now given a new push to the project un­der pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) mode, with the plan of con­vert­ing the site into amuse­ment cen­ter be­sides open­ing fa­mous eater­ies there.

Ur­ban Haat is ba­si­cally a re­stored and re­vamped her­itage struc­ture of old Guru Teg Ba­hadur Hospi­tal, near Sum­mer Palace of Ma­haraja Ran­jit Singh. Amid much fan­fare, the project, worth ₹11.5 crore was in­au­gu­rated by the then deputy chief min­is­ter Sukhbir Badal in SADBJP regime on May 15, 2016.

How­ever, af­ter the 10-day in­au­gu­ral of Am­rit­sar her­itage fes­ti­val at the site, some fa­mous eater­ies had ini­tially shown in­ter­est in open­ing their busi­nesses here, but it was packed up within few months due to scanty foot­fall. Lack of pro­mo­tion, pub­lic­ity and va­ri­ety in the amuse­ment cen­ter were also the rea­sons for its fail­ure.

Mean­while, as the Pun­jab govern­ment has leased out the struc­ture un­der a pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) to a lead­ing com­pany from North In­dia, “Food Li­brary”, it has rekin­dled hope for the suc­cess of the project.

Dis­clos­ing the plan to con­vert the Heart (Haat) of the holy city into a hub of eater­ies and craft shops, Amar­jit Singh, mar­ket­ing head of the com­pany, said, “the plans for the project have been de­vel­oped keep­ing in mind in­creased cul­tural and so­cial im­por­tance, tourism and re­vamp­ing of food junc­tion. Apart from set­ting up In­dian food and cul­tural brands, many of In­ter­na­tional food and shop­ping brands have been in­vited as well.”

“Maps have been drawn and agree­ments done with all the brands. Re­pair work at the Ur­ban Haat will be­gin in a month and the stalls will be fixed soon af­ter that. A to­tal of ₹40 crore is be­ing spent on this project. How­ever, the all new ‘Food Li­brary’ at Ur­ban Haat will be thrown open to pub­lic on Au­gust 15, this year,” he said .

As per the plan of the com­pany , a gym, bad­minton court, ayurvedic mas­sage cen­tre, ban­quet hall, a spa cen­tre and other com­mer­cial cen­ters will be opened in­side the struc­ture, be­sides eater­ies.

He added, “As it is the heart of Am­rit­sar as well as Pun­jab, 50% of eater­ies and craft shops will dis­play Pun­jabi cul­ture and food hab­bits. Along with it, a ho­tel with 20 lux­u­ri­ous rooms and a ban­quet hall will also be set up in­side the premises.”

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