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Lahore: Gawalmandi Food Street


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#1
Tekno Arkitect

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Designed by: N/A
Status: Completed
Construction Date: 2002 ?
Completion Date: N/A
Excavation Initiation Date: None
Excavation Completion Date: None
Demolition Date: 2009
Client: Parks & Horticulture Authority (PHA)/LDA
Custodians: LDA
Contractors: N/A
Building Style: Colonial Era/Vernacular Architecture
Building Type: Residential + Commercial + Public Space
Building Usage: Houses/Shops/Food Street/Tourist Spot
Height: Max. +30'-0"
No. of Blocks: +80
Area: N/A
Size: N/A
Location: Gawalmandi, Nisbat Road Intersection, Near Mayo Hosipital, Lahore

Description:

THE HISTORY

The city of Lahore which is also called the heart of Pakistan, is famous for the livelihood of its people... these people, on the other hand, boost of their livelihood as the cosequence of the food they eat... .this has led to the name of lahore in close association with food and delicacies.

lahore is a historical city... in the past it attracted many foreign rulers, due to its beauty and important military location... that is why it saw many dynasties come and go and finally it became the capital of the mughal empire... all the rulers who came into this city brought along with them their cultures from regions as far as central Asia, Asia minor, Afghanistan, Iran and finally England.... as this phenomenon enriches the culture of a locality in its customs and values, so does it bring along new foods into it... the people of lahore who were fond of sports and healthy activites easily updated these exotic foods and eventually in the 19th century lahore saw its residents entertaining themselves with foods from all over the world.

specal places in the walled city of lahore were dedicated for this purpose where the gourmets of food would come and eat to their taste. the housewives living in the upper order storeys of the houses with "jharokas" would order these delecacies through small boys of the food shops who would come at appointed hours.

in the colconial period, the city had expanded so much that the owners of these food shops developed a new settlement outside the walled city to cater for the requirements of the people...since most of these shopkeepers traded in dairy products, and hence farmed buffaloes, so this place came to be known as GOWALMANDI.

THE IDEA OF FOOD STREET

the idea of food street came to mr Kamran Lashari, the chairman of tourism development corporation of punjab and the project itself came as a joint venture between LDA and TDCP...different designers and architects gave their proposals for the conceived idea of the renovation and modernization of gowalmandi into a modern dining place serving both the tourists and the residents of lahore...it was originally conceived as just like a food festival, a part of the fifteen hundred years of celebration of the city of lahore... Mr Irfan Ghani did most of the designing and lighting plus decorations...he planned gawalmandi into food street while keeping the traditional and cultural scenario in his mind..the architectural elements of lahore were embedded in the planning of food street while enhancing the hospitality of the rish pakistani culture...at the beginning this food festival was a complete sucess, which was appreciated by a multitude of tourists from all over the world and the patrons of food from lahore....the response was so good that the organizers of food street decided to let this festival be a permanent feature...now this well planned feature originally meant to be a temporary festival was transformed into a permanent feature without taking the residents of gawalmandi into confidence and wiothout consulting the designer of the food street...this has led to major urban related problems.... to have an analysis and solution of these problems it is necessary to know how the changes were made in gawalmandi to transform in into food street.

THE TRAFFIC OF FOOD STREET

since food street lies in a congested part of the old lahore, there was a major difficulty to solve the traffic problems of the visitors and the passers by..the motorcyclists were provided with a parking stand on the north side of the street...the car drivers can park their cars on the south side at their own risk...the parking often stretches from the nisbet road chowk to Lukshmi chowk at the mercy of car thieves...at the working hours no vehicle can enter the food street as the gates at the entrances are closed..the bike of a poor resdent of gawalmandi is not even an exception to the tyrannical rule..if they want to take their vehicles to thei place they have to make a complete detour from chunamandi or through narrow lanes emerging out of lukshmi chowk...

THE FUNCTIONING OF FOOD STREET

to understand and solve the problems of the food street it is important to have an insight of the activities of the food street...the activites of the shopkeepers, the residents and the visitors comprise the functioning of the food street...the activites of the food street start with its cleaning..the sewwpers of the municipality come at early hours in the morning...when thay have finished cleaning, the shopkeepers start with their shops...out of them the shops dealing in the dairy products are the mojor ones becoz the ppl living in the adjoiing areas get the provisions for their breakfast from these shops...the shopkeeprs in turn bring their materials from markets, farms stc..all this time the gates of the food street are kept open for the convenience of the shopkeepers and the pedestrians...by this time the residents of gowlamandi are ready to go to work...time passes and the trucks of the municipality come to take the garbage of the shops and the houses....now the traffic of the city is at its peak and is coming from all sides....since food street has a centralized location, so many vehicles pass through it to go to the other side....before this the tongas and cars etc were amongst those that litteres the whole street...afterwards their entry onto the food street was banned...

the shopkeepers of the food shops keep on preparing for the lunchtime while all this traffic is passing at the day time...since their cooking implemetns etc are right in front of their shops, sp the smoke and the pollution of the traffic create hygienic problems...

when the working ppl who have to eat outside come to the food street for luch, have to cross a road full of traffic to go to a particluar shop...

before the widening of the street, it was not a public wsy for the traffic, but now it is open to traffic at daytime, which causes a big pollution and nuisance problem for the ppl living in the upper storeys of the shops and the adjoining lanes...

after lunchtime, the larger part of the activites of the food street start, as the shopkeepers have to prepare for the guests who would come in the evening...the administrators of the food st. are preparing to close the gates of the street of the street..the gates are closed at 5 p.m. after this time no vehicle can enter or remain in the food st...any parked car in the food st, would have to be taken away with a fork lifter of the traffic police...

even a resident of the food street or a shopkeeper cannot take his vehicle to his plce after this time..this restriction also falls on a cycle and a mortor bike...

imagine the condition of a person who comes to his home after a days work and cannot take his transport to his home...he has to park it outside the food st where it would remain all the night unless he can wake upi at 2 am in the morning when the shops are closed and the gates are opened, to take his transport ot his home..

the cloch has stuck 5...after sometime the patrons of food from all over the city would be coming to the food st... but they would have to encounter many difficulties b4 they can peacefully eat their meal...their first problem is that of approach... their is no public transport which can take one directly to the food st...in all other countires in the worls when such a fextival is held, the organixers also arrange for special transport which takes the visitors to the place from different pints at appointed hours...if someone living in model town or defence for eg wants to go to the food st... he has to change at least three wagons to get there...

if someone ventures to get to the food st.. on his own car he has to take the irsk of no parking becoz he has to park his vehicle outside the street at the road where his car can be stolen by a thief...since their is no parking street, they ave to park the vehicles on nisbet rd and lukshmi chowk..

when the activities of the food street are at its peak, the residents of gowalmandi are living in complete misery..they have to go through this rush and nuisance al evening...they cannot sleep peacefully in this noise..if someone is studying he cannot study...the sick have to bear this nuisance...in addition to the illness, they cannot even take a breath of fresh air as all the openings are blocked by chiks... if they remove the chiks, the spotlights intrude their privacy..

the rules of the openingf and clocing of the gates of the food st. are so strict that even an ambulance cannot enter to take the sick to the hospital..the residents even claim that they had difficulty to take out the funeral processions of their loved ones...

the residentd of gowlamandi oftern complain that due to the restrictions on the openings of the gates, they cannot move some heavy objects like furniture etc..the situation wsa so crucial that once a shopkeeper ws not let to take a bag of wheat into the street..

the ppl who have been afected the most of all by the changing of gawalmandi into the food streeet are the shopkeepers who do not deal in the edibles..there are may photographers, potters, kite makers, green grocers and some craftsmen in the food st whose business is affected by the rules that the organisers of the food st implement on them...if they continue in the food st after 5 p.m they have to give the charges of Rs. 2000/- which cosats them a lot. otherwise they cannot do much business..this in turn has led to many of these ppl into changing their professions...theis situation affects the quality of the products produced

FOOD STREET IN THE EARLY STAGES

AT THE START OF THIS FOOD STREET, THE RULES WERE EVEN HARSHER.. IT WS FIRST DEICDED TO ALLOW familes only into the street...theis created a big no of problems..residents of theis street could not even get to their homes starting at the evening time till 3 in the morning...according to pne of the shopkeepers, it once happened that one of the residents got out of the resdent got outof the street to get some basic necessity of life and ws not allowed to get back into the street coz her was not with his family even when he had hardly taken 15 mins...the shopkeepers had to literally fight with the gate keepers to let hime in...now what would a person do in such kind of situation..what even if his family is not in the house,,,of course he would have to wait then for them...
but this is not so in the present time...it didnt take long for the authorites to realize that this was not going to work and they had to change this rule..

FUTURE OF THE FOOD STREET

many shopkeepers were questioned to whether to continue this street or not? thier answer somewhat gave an indication that it didnt matter... since the food street had started, thier private lives have been greatly affected, with a little bit profit for those who run food shops...as nothing can replace personal comfort, they are ready to bring back their previous peaceful and comfortable way of life...
but despite their personal problems, gowalmandi food street is a major tourist attraction and it is a must visit fot ppl coming to lahore...

jidday gowlamandi nai daikhia tay fir lahore hi nahi daikia:D

IMPROVISATIONS INTO FOOD STREET

THE WIDENING OF STREET BY FINISHING THE CURBS ON BOTH THE SIDEWAYS AND CLEARING THE hinderances mark the improviastions of gowalmandi into food street.. the old metalled road was replaced by a modern pave of concrete tiles which is about 75 ft wide...nig gates made in wrought iron were placed at both ends of the street to regulate traffic flow...big spotlights were fixed on both sides of the street to emphasize the decorations in the evenings....to block the intruding lights into the privacy of people living in the upper storeys of the shops, chiks were hung in front of the balconies. the street was widened so that the shopkeepers could have seating arrangement out in the open...there was no arrangement of garbage disposal and other sanitary conditions as such and the shopkeepers had to help themselves out of these problems...the municipality arranged special dump trucks for the food street that can now take away the waste for disposal at appointed hours..the sweepers come at early hours in the morning to clean the street. for these special arrangements each shopkeeper has to pay service charges of Rs. 2000/- per month to the municipality..in addition to these facilities the organizers have taken care of entertainment for the visitors..for this purpose they have installed speakers to the lamposts which are connected to a central sound system through which light music can be heard and differtn sot of announcements can be made if the need arises... to keep law and order policemen are posted who help to avoid any unpleasantness...

Courtesy: Ayesha Bakhtawar (TOWER) for the search work!!

Site Plan: N/A
Coordinates: 31.572204,74.318833
Google Image: Image
Website: None


Pix:

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Edited by Mehdi Chohan, 27 July 2014 - 06:40 AM.
Format Updated

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#2
Tekno Arkitect

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#3
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#4
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#5
Tower

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Gawal Mandi is home to the Food Street - the centre of authentic Pakistani cuisine. Surrounded by ancient buildings of Kashmiri-Persian architecture and several bazaars, the Food Street is a not-to-be-missed Lahore attraction. Visitors come here to enjoy the delicious Lahore cuisine and linger till late in the night, enjoying the lively atmosphere.

#6
Tekno Arkitect

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A must place to visit.
Best Regards

Ibrahim Munir
Doha, QATAR

#9
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No sehri, iftari at Food Street this year

* Govt’s decision to remove chairs, gates, decorations empties food street of customers
* Shop owner says local group had the street shut down because it was established by the PML-Q
* TMO says food street is open for business again

LAHORE: The city’s residents will be deprived of having sehri or iftari at the Gowalmandi Food Street during Ramzan for the first time since the tourist attraction opened its doors in 2000, following the government’s decision to remove the chairs, gates and decorations from the popular eating spot.

With the removal of the gates and barriers, the street was quickly taken over by vehicles and can barely be distinguished from any other street of the Walled City. The brightly painted buildings that attracted thousands from across the world are also looking run down and appear to be one of the thousands of dilapidated buildings present in the city. Traffic jams have also become a common occurrence on the road due to the large ditches dug by the City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) when they removed the gates.

One of the shopkeepers, Abdul Basit, told Daily Times he had been living in the United States for more than a decade and had come back to take over the family business due to the global popularity of the food street. He said the street was never completely empty, even during the month of Ramzan, as a large number of people would come to it during the sehar and iftar timings. “I have received several desi and foreign friends at the street. They were all mesmerised to see the presentation and quality of desi food in Gowalmandi and encouraged other people to visit Pakistan just to see the food street,” he added.

Basit alleged that the famous site had become the victim of a local group that had endeavoured to destroy it because the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) had established it.

Selfish interests: Another shopkeeper, Muhammad Naeem, said he sold nihari, haleem and other local food at the street and used to receive hundreds of people during Ramzan. “We even saw people staying at four-star hotels on and around The Mall visiting the food street to enjoy desi food and Lahori culture. It’s a sorry state of affairs that we have lost this attraction due to personal rivalries,” he added. He alleged that the pressure on the shop owners was evident from the banners against the food street that had been displayed by the group supporting the PML-Nawaz. “It’s an absurd thing to find banners stating that the residents hail the Punjab chief minister for getting rid of the ‘nine-year-old menace’ of Food Street. Which shopkeeper would display banners against their own business on their own shops,” he said, adding that around a dozen people with firearms had come and tied these banners on the shops after warning the shop owners of dire consequences for removing them. He said the government’s announcement to reopen the food street was just a political stunt to silence the masses, who had demanded the venue be restored.

Not closed: Data Ganjbakhsh Town Municipal Officer (TMO) Javed Rasheed Chohan said the government had already completed the restoration and sewerage pipes installation work in the street and the shopkeepers were now free to run their business. He said he could not install new gates on both sides of the street because he was not instructed to do so. He denied any political linkage in the issue, adding he could not allow the shopkeepers to put their tables and chairs on the street if his superiors did not permit him to do so. afnan khan


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#10
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Food Street is history now?


Saturday, July 11, 2009
By Ali Raza

LAHORE

THE Gawalmandi Food Street is no more an attraction for the Lahorites and other visitors, including foreigners, for reasons best know to the City District Government, Lahore, which removed gates of the street and abstained the shopkeepers from setting tables and chairs in the open.

The majority of the food street’s shopkeepers are terming the orders a move of the Punjab rulers to take revenge from their political rivals who have been running the affairs of the food street for the past eight years.

Following the recent directions of the Lahore DCO, the shopkeepers are not allowed to set their tables and chairs in the street as they used to do in the past while the gates of the street, which were closed off for traffic after evening, have been removed and traffic flow is allowed on the road.

For the last several days, those who did not know that the food street had literary finished, have been facing serious disappointment after reaching the area. Now only the food outlets having enough seating capacity in their shops are running while the rest of shops are closed or out of business.

Shopkeepers said the CDGL had adopted a ‘tactical way’ to close down the food street as some two weeks back the road of food street was dug for laying a sewer pipeline by the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa). The contractor, after digging the road, abandoned the work while the encroachment removing staff of the CDGL removed gates and makeshift counters of the shopkeepers.

Talking to The News, Khawaja Shakeel, the chairman of the Gawalmandi Food Street Committee, said over 100 food outlets were situated in the food street, offering a variety of food, besides ensuring a very clean and family-oriented environment to the visitors. He said about 2,000 people, including waiters and chefs, associated with the shops, were now jobless and their families were starving.

“Most of the shopkeepers are living in upper portions of their shops in the food street and anyone can visit them and see what has happened to them,” he said, adding the Lahore DCO called him some days back and asked him to open the gates. He said the DCO told him that CDGL received several complaints from local residents that they were facing severe problems to reach their homes due to the closed gates.

Khawaja Shakeel claimed that the contractor of Wasa, who dug the street to lay sewer pipes, informed him that ‘the higher authorities’ had directed him to carry out the work at a snail’s pace. He said he had no enmity with anyone and he, his family and the people associated with the food street were also citizens of the country and the rulers should take care of them as well despite their political affiliations.

“Closing off the food street is not just closure of some 100 shops but it amounts to ruining the image of Pakistan abroad,” he said, adding that this can be gauged from the comments of a number of ambassadors and foreign dignitaries who visited the food street and declared it a true face of the Pakistani culture.

If traffic congestion was the issue, then why the government was not closing down the shops at the Hall Road, Beadon Road, Rang Mehal, Kashmiri Bazaar, Suha Bazaar and many such places, said Ashraf, a shopkeeper in the food street. He said the CDGL demolished his shop without any intimation.

On the other hand, several residents of Gawalmandi said that opening of the food street for traffic was their long standing demand because they had to travel a lot to reach the Mayo Hospital in case of an emergency.

Imtiaz, a local, said his father was an asthma patient and he had to take him to the hospital often. He said opening of the road would save extra travel and time.

When contacted, Wasa Managing Director Dr Javed Iqbal strongly denied the allegations that he or any of the Wasa authorities had directed the contractor to lay down the pipe at the food street at a snail’s pace. When asked why the contractor was not completing the work, he said he would check the status of the work.

The News tried to contact the Lahore Division commissioner as well as District Coordination Officer, Lahore, to get the official version but none of the two attended the calls. Repeated messages were left for the DCO through his phone operator but he did not bother to reply back.


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#11
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Restaurateurs worry, residents revel - 16-08-2009

http://www.jang.com....-2009/she.htm#1

Gawalmandi residents don't want a food street at the cost of their fundamental rights

By Waqar Gillani

Seventy-year-old Fida Hussain Chaudhry alias Boota is known as Fateh-e-Food Street (Conqueror of food street) by the residents of Gawalmandi residents. But the shopkeepers of the recently disrupted nine-year-old food street prefer to call him Qatil-e-Food Street (murderer of the street).

Boota is one of the 250,000 residents of Gawalmandi who opposed the establishment of food street from the very beginning calling it can attack on the fundamental right of way of the residents. From now on, the shops are to remain but the gates have been removed to allow flow of traffic.

Kamarn Lashari, the then Director General of PHA was behind the establishment of the food street in 2000, a part of Pervez Musharraf's campaign to promote the liberal image of Pakistan. Following the success of Gawalmandi Food Street -- set up in the constituency of PML-N's Mian Nawaz Sharif -- the then government opened another in the Old Anarakali.

Gawalmandi -- a food market of 45 shops that served Lahore's indigenous cuisine 24/7 -- attracted many foreigners and locals.

"Two months ago, we received a notice from the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) to close the street for four days for the installation of underground sewerage pipes," Malik Azam, brother of general secretary of the Food Street Malik Qasim told TNS, showing a copy of the government notice. "We closed the shops. After a couple of weeks, police came with CDGL staff asking us to remove the chairs from the street as they wanted to open it for traffic round the clock." A few days later the large iconic green gates of the street were dismantled.

"This is a political revenge of PML-N from PML-Q" Azam maintained. "Otherwise, there was nothing wrong for the last nine years." Azim hopes the street will be rebuilt after a visit of PPP delegation and governor Salman Taseer's assurance.

The hitherto food street now looks like a haunted place with most of the shops closed and the road damaged with the debris of the dismantled gates still lying there.

Tariq Majeed owns two food shops in the street. He predicts a complete closure of the street since "it is all about business. There is no business at a place which was once loved by the tourists."

"We had eight waiters, four cooks and two helpers for two shops but we are now asking them to look other options." Azam now has one cook, one waiter and one helper working for him. While showing the sale sheet he said that the sales "would have been Rs8,000 to Rs10,000 till noon if the old structure was there." Azam shared his disappointment with many foodies of Lahore for whom the food street was a must stop for desi food.

Kamran Lashari, in his defence said the food street was built to celebrate the liveliness of our culture and the richness of our cuisine. "It was like bringing the Old City to life. It had become a cultural heritage of the city besides being a source of livelihood for many. It did not benefit any particular group, party or government."

Those who oppose the food street are not short of arguments either. Boota is among those in the forefront of the campaign against it. He sat contently under the banner that read: "We congratulate Shahbaz Sharif from the bottom of our heart for putting an end to so-called food street."

"We have been tolerating this nonsense for the last nine years and no body, including Pervez Musharraf and Pervaiz Elahi, listened to the residents of this area." Boota said it was like a "mini-martial law all these years as the residents were always pressurised to remain quiet." Boota, who lives on the upper floor of a shop in the street, said his family had developed asthma because of the constant smoke in the street and high temperature of their rooms. It was no less than 80? Celsius in our homes due to the tandoors on the ground floor.

Boota and his friends were not comfortable with the concept of the food street, which they think promoted immorality and had become a dating spot in the area and the administration had been encouraging it. "People came here for drinking, something we could not tolerate."

The residents of the food street said they are not against the food street but this should not be done at the cost of their rights and lives. "We will challenge every effort to restore this food street by closing it for traffic again. We will not allow this. This is not a dictator's government," a resident said. "This is the electoral constituency of Nawaz Sharif and we are grateful to Hamza Shahbaz who listened to our complaints and conducted an independent survey seeking peoples' comments," said Boota who thwarted the assumption that this is a political revenge.

"11,000 KV electricity wires are passing through our houses' windows, which the government can't install here. No law allows a food street against the wishes of the residents," another resident Shariq Mehmood pointed out. These residents were also annoyed with the press for not realising and highlighting their point of view but giving only one-sided news.

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Lahore, Sajjad Bhutta, talking to TNS, maintained that the food street has not been closed. "We have only opened it to traffic round the clock which is a justified demand of local residents." He said the street would soon be paved properly and people can visit "but we can't close it to traffic without the consensus of the residents. The concept of food street is very good but it should be made in a place specific for it and not in a residential area."

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#12
Tekno Arkitect

Tekno Arkitect

    Arkitect I Urbanist I Photographer I Cyclist

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NOV 2009

What an unfortunate incident this is. The food street is more pedestrianized and it is open to traffic. The ambiance has been totally uprooted. So now there is only one food street at the moment. The real issue is again political, the crisis between the PML-Q & PML-N.

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Panoramic View of the Entrance

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#13
aliee

aliee

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i love to eat here its an ideal place for every food lover!!




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