RAWALPINDI - Among other things, famous Faizabad is also known for its makeshift landa bazaar that has been a regular feature in twin cities for years and is catering the needs of white-collar people and unprivileged segment alike.

Makeshift landa market near Faizabad bus terminal is attracting customers from different sections of the society, looking for cheap apparel and other household items of all the seasons at a cheap rate from markets. Nowadays, it is flooded with winter clothes. This market is resourceful as stallholders here deal in all kinds of secondhand clothing accessories like sweaters, jackets, shirts, paints, trousers, bags, toys, curtains, bed sheets, and other items of the seasons.

The buyers, including shopkeepers and dealers from small towns, came to these wayside sellers. Household furnishings like curtains, table clothes, aprons, working overalls, tea-cozies, table napkins, wall carpets, floor mats and even floor carpets can also be purchased from here.

“The consignments of old clothes and other items, especially in Pakistan, come mainly from the US, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. They come in kilograms or in containers of 20 tons and are brought to Karachi first where custom duty levied on them. They are then brought to other cities of Pakistan and sold to people at reasonable price,” Informed 60-year-old Shabir Shah who has been running a stall here for the last 12 years.

“You see it will cost you around Rs 1,200 in city markets. I will give it to you for only Rs 600 or even Rs 500 if you please but just for you, not for others and don’t tell others that you bought it from me on such low price...,” Raheem Ullah, a pavement seller, was persuading a young teenager and ultimately ends up selling a jacket for Rs 450, however, the vender was still happy.

Later, according to Raheem Ullah, he had saved Rs 150 on it. “All the clothes are not secondhand, even some branded national companies sell their defected stuff to wholesale landa dealers,” Raheem Ullah added, who has been establishing his stall on first three days of the week here for the last three years and have a good name in market.

Some items are kept inside the kiosks located along the stalls; while a lot of stuff is sold outside on carts on relatively low price than the stuff inside. Stallholders avail the services of young boys who sell and care the stuff on carts and in return get their decided commission.

Earlier, there were a few makeshift stalls here but in previous few years many stalls sprung up along the road and now the market is flourishing and expanding, Mumtaz Bloch, who deals in curtains, said.

Sometimes landa bazaar witnesses presence of people belonging to middle and upper middle class too, however they usually find it embarrassing to tread through the market.

A woman Sherenzada came to market looking for bed sheets, however, she insisted that there was no big difference in prices.  

On one part Faizabad landa market is catering the needs of twin cities’ dwellers, while on other, the stallholders pay a hefty amount from their profit to the staffers of anti-encroachment directorate of the Rawalpindi Development Authority. According to a stall holder bribe depends upon the size of the stall, however, he said in general for one stall they pay Rs 400 to the authorities for one day. They demanded of the authorities concerned to provide stallholders a proper place to establish landa bazaar.