RAWALPINDI, Aug 2: The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) has closed down the Ramazan Bazaar at Sadiqbad Chowk as it failed to attract consumers. “The bazaar is closed, but wheat flour and sugar will still be available at subsidized rates for now,” said Rawalpindis Town Administrator, Saif Anwar Jappa, while talking to Dawn.
The CDGR’s failure to select an appropriate location for the Ramazan Bazaars in the city is causing an inconvenience to people living in areas that lack this kind of facility.
At present, the Ramazan bazaars are held Dhoke Kala Khan near Pir Mehr Ali Shah-University of Arid Agriculture; Shamsabad Park along Benazir Bhutto Road; Committee Chowk; Model Bazaar near Liaquat Bagh; Tauheedi Chowk; Chungi No 22, and Chur Chaki.
Pervaiz Ahmed, a resident from Dhoke Mangtal, complained that the area between Committee Chowk and Liaquat Bagh had two Ramazan bazaars, but the area residents that belonged to the low salary income group were not provided with any facility to get subsidised wheat and sugar.
He said the government had established the bazaars in posh localities. He also said that the Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Munshi and Dhoke Mangtal also did not have a Ramazan Bazaar.
Raja Zamrud of Dhamial Road regretted that four Ramazan Bazaars were held in the limits of Rawal Town Municipal Administration and that too in close vicinity of Sabzi Mandi and Raja Bazaar. “This is an injustice to people who live away from main city areas,” he said.
He said that he had to take a taxi to reach Chungi No 22 Bazaar, which was an additional burden on his pocket.
The town administrator Saif Anwar Jappa said that the city authorities had been holding eight Ramazan bazaars at their current locations for the last three years.
He said the city’s most populous areas, located in downtown, needed weekly bazaars more than the far-flung areas. However, he said the city district government had plans to set up such facilities in the city’s other areas too, but the lack of space prevented their execution.
He admitted that the Ramazan Bazaar in Sadiqabad was shut down due to poor response. He said that the Bazaar was established in the area to benefit adjoining areas as well, but stallholders lacked consumers.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Minister’s Inspection Team (CMIT), led by Nayyar Iqbal, visited different bazaars of the garrison city and inspected the arrangements that were made for the people in the bazaars.
The team took samples of wheat flour (Atta) and sugar, and dispatched to Lahore for a laboratory test. The samples had been collected due to complaints of low-quality wheat, flour, and sugar.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif instructed the team to inspect the quality, texture and moisture of the wheat, flour, and sugar being sold at Ramazan Bazaars.