Even after two years of its inauguration, the much-talked about Food Street in Sector 48 has no takers for its six booths. This, even after various sops from the municipal corporation, from lowering of rent of the booths, from Rs 50,000 to Rs 20,000, to providing two booths for one. As a result, the Food Street, constructed to “liven up” the southern sectors, is itself now lying deserted.
“In the absence of any shopping centres or a commercial belt or proper markets here, nobody has come forward to take the booths even after we reduced the rent. Now, officials are planning to float tenders again for somebody to run the booths,” said senior deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil, who is the area councillor.
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The foundation of the Food Street was laid in December 2009 and even then there had been many stumbling blocks. When the MC finally managed to get a contractor for the work, after floating tenders seven times, it found that the proposed site fell in the way of a slow carriageway. The plans were later revised and the site was shifted. The contractor then refused to execute the work, saying that the cost of material had gone up. The project was finally completed, at a cost of Rs 25 lakh, and inaugurated in February 2014.
“The viability of the project might be one of the reasons. There are only flats in this sector. Since there were no eating joints in the southern belt, we thought this would make the area more lively but nobody has come forward to take the booths,” Moudgil said.
The civic body had expedited work on this after its night food street initiatives near Panjab University and PGI had functioned well for a year. Those intiatives too have run into rough weather after the civic body changed the policy of allotment of the kiosks, to an auction instead of renting them out. Thereafter, the conditions at the food street went downhill and some of the kiosks still remain unallotted.