LAHORE: The Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) has planned to establish a state-of-the-art resort in the vicinity of the historical monument Hiran Minar near Sheikhupura along with art and craft markets, food streets and camping sites.
The site work of the project has been completed and national and international food chains will also be invited to set up their stalls in food streets.
TDCP officials believe that work on the project would begin soon under public-private partnership. The development work would cost millions of rupees and provide direct employment to thousands of people.
TDCP General Manager Asim Raza told Pakistan Today that Hiran Minar was located in the middle of 104 acres of TDCP’s land. “If we look at the practical usage of such a large piece of land, it is not properly used for the tourism purposes. But now we are planning to make full use of it and are going to establish a camping site for about 100 to 150 children. We are also establishing three to four food streets here in which all the traditional food stalls will be set up. All the facilities related to adventure tourism including art and craft bazaar, children’s play area will be provided to the people. We are also planning to establish a mini zoo here.”
“People in many cities will benefit from this project, and especially people from Lahore, Gujranwala, Shahkot, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Okara and Multan will come here. We are going to make a kind of mini Lahore here. The entire project will be under public-private partnership. The land will be ours but all development on it will be done by private parties. The entire project will cost around Rs100 million,” he added.
When asked about the sensitivity of historical monument and construction, he said, “Since this is an area close to a historical monument, we will not set up anything here on a permanent basis. No permanent structure of any kind will be established here. The bazaar or food street that will be built will also be in the form of beautiful wooden huts. Contracts will be allotted to private parties that come through the tender and meet the rules. We will try to prefer serious people. Contracts should not be awarded to people who do not have experience in this field. We need success stories here. We would like international and local food chains to make their huts here.”
Regarding the provision of employment opportunities to the people, Asim said that he has estimated that this project would directly provide employment to thousands of people. He added that the site plan of the project has been completed while the secretary tourism and adviser to chief minister on tourism have also visited the site.
He further said that tourism activities will start in full swing as soon as the coronavirus outbreak ends as Pakistan has a lot of potential for tourism.