Hopes dashed along with Lahore food street gates

By Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui, Dawn Metropolitan, 7 August 2009 http://tiny.cc/lart3

Gowalmandi food street gate being pulled down in Lahore. –Photo by Tariq Mahmood

LAHORE: Gowalmandi Food Street that had been contributing to promote the soft image of the country, particularly of Lahore, all over the world during the last one decade or so, finally fell prey to the culture of ‘political intolerance’ on Thursday.

Around 10,000 people, earning their livelihood at the food street, lost their last hope on Thursday when the Data Gunj Bakhsh Town administration pulled down its decorative gates.

Though bosses of the ruling PML-N in Punjab term the demolition operation an effort to remove hindrance to ‘smooth flow’ of traffic, residents of the area believe they have been victimised for their political dissent.

‘In fact, the rulers don’t want continuation of a project which is still being overseen by the people related to their rival party – the PML-Q. The thoroughfare is not a main artery and had become a family spot over the years,’ a PML-Q leader told this reporter on the condition of anonymity.

Another resident who used to earn livelihood by running an eatery on wheels in the food street said: ‘After assuming power, everyone wants to undo the steps taken by their antecedent, without thinking for a moment what will be its repercussions and how many people will be affected?’

‘No resident of Gowalmandi has ever lodged any complaint against the food street,’ he asserted while rejecting the government claims the action was taken on the complaints of the area people.

9 responses to “Hopes dashed along with Lahore food street gates

  1. What does one expect from dim wits? Car is taking over and heritage be damned. I am saddened though that the inhabitants didn’t come out in force and form a wall in front of the gate, that action alone would have generated enough publicity to stop these barbarians from doing damage. Thank you Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui for reporting and Tariq Mahmood capturing a poignant image of this destruction. The photo captures the passive onlookers and if we are seriously concerned, we’ll need to get more active to defend the few remaining gems in Lahore.

  2. I loved that place,some times i do not know what the public is thinking or doing.Why not protest and stop the nonsense .

  3. This is systematic and senseless destruction of the heritage of Pakistan, which will damage the good will of the public. Why was this seen to cause a traffic flow problem when the area is pedestrianised? It makes no sense whatsoever.

  4. Raja Faheem Anwar

    This is such a bad and ever bad effort if done by PML(N).

    Why they dont want to leave the people happy and why they want to break a soft image of Pakistan especially of Lahore.

    Then go furthur demolish all the under passes and bridges by PML(Q).

    Okay they done some bad works but we should praise what ever is good done by them.

  5. Well what can you expect from these hypocrites. Shahbaz and Nawaz love cheap publicity. These As***** don’t consider that how many people will be effected by this .. http://alihammadbaig.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/bye-bye-gawal-mandi/

  6. Very sad news. I had visited the Food Street in 2004 along with my hosts from Government College University Lahore and had enjoyed the food served there.
    What they have done cannot be justified and hope they will rethink and let the Food Street function and flourish.

  7. I am sad to hear this story, the Food Street gate itself represented something special for that particular area., and that area must be secured as a protected heritage. for the people of lahore. I visited Gwal mandi Food street last time in 2007.
    It is such a beautiful place in the city of lahore.

  8. hi lahore street was ymmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm i

  9. It makes me sad too, I wanted to go there…but we must never accept defeat….they can tear it down, we can rebuild it…..protesting doesn;t help, it just gives authority an excuse to wield more power…
    I am working on a project here in the UK to recreate Lahore as an ‘arts’ installation, I will rebuidl the food street and gates here

    I know its not quite the same….but the gate was torn down to defat the spirit…do not let this happen 🙂

    allah hafiz

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