LAHORE, Feb 4: The second Food Street set up in the Old Anarkali area was inaugurated here on Monday night.

The first Food Street in the Gowalmandi established in 2000 is a big success.

District Nazim Mian Amer Mahmood inaugurated the street at 8pm. Punjab Information Secretary and DG Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Kamran Lashari was accompanying the Nazim.

Amid drum beats and orchestral performance, organizers of the street welcomed the district Nazim and other guests to the venue. The reception was followed by a fireworks display.

Dozens of onlookers who gathered at the spot with no prior information about a fireworks display got panicked after crackers’ blast. The situation, however, became normal after a shortwhile.

Taking to reporters on the occasion, the district Nazim said that such ventures were positive as far as business was concerned and were fast becoming popular with people. He said that the Old Anarkali was most the suitable place for the second Food Street because of variety of reasons.

Mr Kamran Lashari said that the Punjab governor, the district Nazim and other senior officials had okayed the venue during after their visits.

He said the project was mainly funded by the PHA. More funds would be raised from investment made by the people and sponsorships.

To run the affairs smoothly, Mr Lashari said a 13-member committee involving residents of the area, shopkeepers and officials of departments concerned had also been set up.

Renovation and improvement of the outlook of the buildings would start soon, he said, adding that vendors in the Old Anarkali would gradually be shifted to the other places.

“We are already working to have an alternative for them,” he said, adding all green-belts along The Mall would be converted into visiting places for people and vendors would be adjusted there.

Initially, the information secretary, said that Rs1 million had been approved for the work on the second Food Street. It would start functioning formally from Aug 14, he said.

Meanwhile, residents and shopkeepers gave a mixed response to the venture when reporters sought their reaction. Most of them supported the idea, saying it would give a boost to the business in the area and give a new look to the historical Anarkali. Those opposing the idea said that it would cause an unusual rush in the area and problems for women.

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