ISLAMABAD: Member National Assembly (MNA) Zille Huma on Saturday announced that Melody Food Park, the only food street in Islamabad, will be renovated at a cost of Rs10 million.
Speaking to a press conference, Ms Huma, who is the chairperson of the Restoration Committee for Melody Food Park and the ruling PTI legislator, said the work order would be issued in a couple of weeks. Upon completion of the project, the park will again become a major source of attraction for the residents.
The food park was established in the year 2002 but during and after the Lal Mosque operation in 2007 it became barren. Later, former Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman Kamran Lashari renovated the facility. However, now it has again become barren.
Ms Huma said the renovation would again create job opportunities in the federal capital, especially in the food park.
“We have also decided to introduce a number of stalls of handicrafts, etc., so that women would also get job opportunities. Earlier, there were just a few families who occupied all the resources but the PTI government is providing equal opportunities to all the citizens,” she said.
Says handicraft stalls will be set up in park to provide job opportunities to women
Secretary Food Park Mumtaz Ahmed said there was a need to have a proper arrangement of cleaning and the food park floor should give the look of a dining hall.
“I suggest that there should be a boundary wall in the food street so that the visitors would know which stalls are in the food street. Moreover, a management committee headed by the director of the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) will be formed. It has been decided that the members of the management committee will be elected from stallholders and the chamber of commerce will hold the election,” he said.
Talking to Dawn, Mr Ahmed said earlier there were 27 food stallsin the park but later their number of incerased by the CDA to 38.
“However, business activities declined and in 2015 the already struggling park saw a crisis when the DMA bulldosed the kitchens of many food outlets in a controversial anti-encroachment operation. Currently, a number of stalls are closed or sealed because the owners have to pay tens of millions of rupees to the CDA,” he said.
He said CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed was determined to restore economic activities in the food park and promised to allocate more funds if required.
“We are hopeful that the food park will again become a centre of attraction and people from different sectors will be visiting itto hold parties and events,” Mr Ahmed said.
All-Rawalpindi Restaurants Association PresidentChaudhry Farooq said it was a major development which would revive business activities.
“A large number of foreigners visit the federal capital so they would be able to have a taste of the local food. This will also promote the positive image of Pakistan,” he said.
CDA chairman visits housing project
The chairman of the CDA Amer Ali Ahmed and the director general of Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) visited a low cost housing project in Alipur Farash being carried out by the CDA in collaboration with the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA). They inspected the ongoing construction work being executed through the FWO.
The chairman was informed that groundwork had started for construction of the flats for low income citizens. Total 2,400 flats are being constructed under the project. Out of these, 400 flats have been reserved to rehabilitate the dwellers of katchi abadis.
According to a statement, excavation of 26 blocks has been carried out and raft prepared in two blocks and steel cage for columns developed for 16 blocks. Moreover, lean in 21 blocks has been carried out and earthwork for a road is being done. Moreover, construction of wall around the 60pc of the site has been completed.
The CDA chairman whilst expressing satisfaction over the pace of the work and hoped that the project will be completed in the stipulated time.
It was also stated that currently 1,000 workers have been deployed and shortly their number will be incerased to 3,000 to 4,000 which will not only help in completion of the project on time but will also create job opportunities.
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2021