Islamabad  -  The one and only traditional food street of twin cities ‘Kartarpura’ needs the attention of authorities as the market hosts hundreds of people each night, but passing through narrow streets and finding parking space is always a hassle.  

The Kartarpura food street is famous for its taste and traditional style. It offers several food items dating back to pre-partition. The market is particularly famous for its traditional Nihari, Siri Paye (trotters) and Lassi.

In routine, the market becomes alive around evening and offers a range of traditional foods to the visitors. However, during Ramazan, the market becomes crowded at sehr time. A large number of citizens reach the market and enjoy traditional foods such as Nihari, Tikka, Chany and Lassi. The most famous outlet in the street is: ‘Kala Khan Nihari’, which has been offering tasty Nihari since 1947. Anybody who wants to enjoy Kala Khan’s Nihari should reach the spot at least two hours prior to sehr due to the large number of customers.

Sagheer Ahmed, a worker at the shop, said: “We offer fresh Nihari to our clients. We cook the Nihari for a specific number of people to avoid wastage. We entertain around one thousand customers daily. We also sell our food in parcels on a large scale.”

The market is located at a short drive from Asghar Mall intersection on Benazir Bhutto Road. However, the only drawback is that the streets are narrow and finding parking space is always a hassle.

However, that does not deter visitors. After 11pm, one can hardly find a place to sit in any of the restaurants that line the street. During Ramazan, people have to wait in lines to get a chance to eat inside any restaurant.

The other major problem is over-crowdedness of the market, which makes it impossible for families to visit the food street as a large number of youngsters always lurk around the place. Restaurants also don’t have suitable arrangements for women and children. Although, traffic police deputes several wardens in the area for ensuring a smooth flow of traffic, it is not enough. The authorities should devise a strategy to develop the market. The food street is in urgent need for renovation.

A regular visitor to the market, Yasir Mehmood said: “Food streets in Rawalpindi and Islamabad only offer a good environment, but they don’t have the traditional taste we found here in Kartarpura.”

He however complained of poor arrangements and stressed that the concerned authorities should pay attention to improve the market.   “A little effort of the government can make this street a better public place not only for Pakistanis, but also for the international visitors”, another visitor Ismail Raza told.  

Talking to the Nation, the visitors demanded that the government should make better arrangements for cleanliness, regulating traffic flow and security at the market.