LAHORE – After Gawalmandi Food Street meets its tragic end, another food street known as Heritage Street in Anarkali is likely to be closed down sooner or later.
Both food streets have become a part of a tourist’s guide to the Old City and if Anarkali Food Street ceases to exist like Gawalmandi Food Street, city will be deprived of its one of the biggest attraction for tourists around the globe.
According to sources, authority concerned is giving serious thought to shut down Anarkali Food Streets on the similar ground that led to sad closure of Gawalmandi Food Street. The so-called basic reason that was given regarding closure of the Gawalmandi Food Street was to address the longstanding complaints of residents of the locality that it had become very hard for their families to move in and out of the their houses at evening time when street had been closed for vehicular traffic. The residents also complained that their female members faced some harassment like eye-teasing while passing through the food street.
Sources confided that shutting down Gawalmandi Food Street was a politically motivated move. Sources revealed that PML-N leaders were behind the step as they did not like the management of ‘food street’ due to its patronisation by PML-Q. PML-N office bearer who was true lover to food street seeking anonymity told The Nation that matter would have been settled down had shopkeepers in food streets been ready to pay extortion to the PML-N local leaders. He said that it was truly matter of extortion that was denied and as a result Lahore had to lose its famous tourist site.
A number of people living around Gawalamandi and Anarkali Food street said: “It seems that Punjab’s new rulers cannot stomach anything that started during Gen Musharraf’s regime; how could they allow the street to flourish in the heart of their political stronghold knowing that it enjoyed the former president Musharraf patronage? Certainly, in doing away with this popular haunt they might have rid the country of yet another remnant of the Musharraf era but not without depriving Lahore of one of its star attractions.
Source: The Nation