LAHORE: The citizens and notables of the city have welcomed the City District Government Lahore’s (CDGL) decision to restore the Gawalmandi Food Street to its previous status, calling it a positive step to preserve the culture of the historical metropolis.

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajjad Ahmad Bhutta had said in a handout on Monday that the CDGL would restore the Food Street to its previous state to provide locals and tourists an opportunity to enjoy local and continental food.

Senior member of the Lahore Bachao Tehreek Iram Aftab told Daily Times that the government had done the city a huge favour by allowing the Food Street to run in Gawalmandi. She said the citizens were concerned about the demolition of roads, arches and other decorations from the street. She said they would be happy to see the street restored.

Aftab said Lahore used to be the cultural hub of the region and people from different regions like Afghanistan, Central Asia, Kashmir and other parts of South Asia used to visit and migrate to the metropolis in search of better opportunities.

“The phenomenon brought a lot of cultures and their food to the city. It led to the culture of food bazaars in the Walled City, which remained open throughout the night,” she said.

British writer and tourist Qalendar Memon said the restoration of the Gawalmandi Food Street was a victory for the people of Lahore, and it meant that no one could deprive a nation of its culture as long as it was alive to it. He said the restoration decision was a sigh of relief for the tourists familiar with the place and the thousands whose livelihood was associated with it.

Memon said it was also important for the district government to facilitate the residents by providing them an alternate route out of the locality, so that they could have a sense of ownership and pride at the Food Street.

He said the Food Street would be virtually dead if the government would allow traffic to pass through the narrow alley during the hours when it is open to visitors. “It is really important to close the door and make it a visitors-only place for a few hours to keep it active as a specialised food bazaar,” Memon said.

A week: Data Gunj Bukhsh Town Municipal Officer Javed Rasheed Chohan, who has been assigned the task to restore the Food Street to its previous state, told Daily Times that the authorities had already deployed workers to finish the renovation and repair as soon as possible.

He said the development work would include sewerage installation, repairing of the road, and other facilities. Chohan said the town administration was expecting to finish the job in a week.

However, he said he could not say for sure about the reinstallation of arches and gates as it was not mentioned in the restoration plan he was sent by the DCO’s office.

Source: Daily Times