The ambitious Urban Haat project, which was developed by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and aimed at bringing Amritsar’s popular food joints under one umbrella, despite being inaugurated nearly a month ago wears a deserted look.
Urban Hatt, which hosted Amritsar heritage festival from May 15 to May 20, was inaugurated by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on May 13.
People from 20 states had participated in the festival and it was for the first time that the place was thrown open for public. Artistes from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra had displayed their art and craft during the festival.
In contrary, the place now wears a deserted look. Even the boards that were put up during the festival can be seen lying on the floor, giving an impression that the place is lying unattended. The rooms are locked and dried leaves can be seen decorating the passage of the old heritage building that was earlier a hospital.
Sandeep Rishi, chairman of the Improvement Trust, said, “We received a good response during the festival. The inauguration was done as the work in the building was completed, but we are in the process of setting up the food court. It will be functional soon. Rest, everything will be taken care of. Everything is in a processing stage.”
The 4.5 acre construction is said to have 32 halls and 20 kitchens, a gym, spa, food court, craft bazaar and meeting rooms. Apparently various popular eating joints were supposed to have their outlets on the premises. The administration has spent about Rs 6.5 crore on the project, which is a replica of Lahore’s Food Street.
The site was developed by refurbishing the abandoned complex of a 124-year old colonial building of Victoria Jubilee Hospital, nearly 1 km from the Golden Temple and the Jallianwala Bagh.