A year on, Urban Haat project lies in limbo

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Divya Sharma

Tribune news service

Amritsar, June 21

Constructed with an aim to boost the city’s tourism, the replica of the famous Lahore Food Street, Urban Haat, is crying for the attention of the district authorities as the project has failed to attract local residents as well as traders. The project lies non-functional, even after a year of its inauguration.

The project, during the entire year of its existence, failed miserably to get on board any prominent food outlets of the city and the few food outlets, which had opened on its premises, shut their shops a few months ago.

Notably, the then Punjab Government had restored and revamped the abandoned 124-year-old colonial building of Victoria Jubilee Hospital in consultation with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, to attract tourists to taste Amritsar’s cuisine.

Sushil Kumar Jain, a city-based businessman, said, “I remember a festival was organised, but more than that I never thought of visiting the place, as it does not offer anything nor was it widely written about.”

“I am curious to know what exactly is this building about? It has been closed for long,” remarked, Shruti, a school student.

The project was inaugurated by the then Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, in May 2016 amidst much fanfare by organising Amritsar Heritage Festival in which people from 20 different states had taken part.

According to the plan, the deserted place, spread over 4.5 acres and divided into six blocks, aimed at providing eight suites, guest rooms, a gym, an ATM facility and a crafts bazaar.  JS Grewal, Additional Chief Administrator, Amritsar Development Authority, said, “We are focused on this project. We are working towards it. It will be one of the finest projects in the city and the people will see a positive change soon.”

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