LAHORE: Model Town Society members are pressing the Town Municipal Administration to select a new location for the area’s Sunday Bazaar so they can push ahead with a plan to boost local commercial activities, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The Model Town Sunday Bazaar is currently located in K-Block, but its future there is uncertain because of a land dispute. About half the land is owned by the Lahore Development Authority and the other half by private individuals, who do not want a Sunday Bazaar on their plots. The matter is pending in court.

“Multinationals like Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever, Zong and others would start commercial activities in the Sunday Bazaar if it were in a permanent location,” said Saffura Perveiz Bhatti, a social activist who is one of the society members at the forefront of the push for relocation of the bazaar and a long-time Model Town resident.
Bhatti said she was one of the founders of the Sunday Bazaar in Defence in Karachi, which was originally a private venture. That bazaar has grown into one of the biggest markets in South Asia, she said, and she wants changes made at the Model Town Sunday Bazaar too.

“The bazaar has already been transferred several times. First it was in D-Block, then G-Block. Now it’s in K-Block but the case is in court. All this shifting has made it impossible for society members to invite multinationals for commercial activities,” she said. Bhatti said that Model Town Society members had asked Gulberg Town Officer (Regulation) Faisal Shahzad to frame a proposal for the transfer of the Sunday Bazaar to M-Block, where it could also serve the residents of Garden Town and Faisal Town. The Model Town Society would then arrange for commercial activities at that bazaar, as at the bazaar in Defence, Karachi, or in I-9, Islamabad, she said.

District Coordination Officer Ahad Cheema said that he would approve any project that was beneficial to the Sunday Bazaar visitors and which improved facilities. “We would certainly consider it after examining the project thoroughly. If the residents and shoppers are happy, the LDA would be directed to allocate land for the bazaar,” he said.

Express Tribune