Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 21
Having spent Rs 15 crore over a span of five years, food street under the Urban Haat project is yet to become a reality in Amritsar.
Launched in 2014 at an estimated cost of over Rs 9 crore, the project cost kept escalating each successive year. The prime site, that spans across 9.70 acres, is located less than 2 km from the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh.
Urban Haat was housed in the revamped 124-year-old colonial-era Victoria Jubilee Hospital in consultation with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage in 2015 to attract tourists to Amritsar’s cuisine at food street. The project was inaugurated by then Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in May 2016 amid fanfare during Amritsar Heritage Festival.
However, barring some exhibitions, no commercial project took off. In the meantime, PUDA rented out shops that did not attract customers. Bakhtawar Singh, Chief Administrator, PUDA, said a portion of food street was leased out to a private firm for 30 years on October 4, 2018. The firm, which was to deposit Rs 81 lakh annually with PUDA, was to start operations on March 31.
Singh could not give reasons for failure of the food street project as he was not associated with it. He said now leading brands were being approached to set up eateries.
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