Renowned artist Nek Chand, who is the creator director of the Rock Garden, on Friday slammed the UT Administration for its lack of interest in maintaining and developing the garden, and for sitting over projects already approved by the authorities years ago.
Chand has demanded an inquiry to fix the responsibility of he officials concerned for the “inordinate delay in executing the projects” meant for the world-famous site.
In a statement issued to the media, Chand said that thousands of visitors, including foreigners, visit Rock Garden daily and the entry ticket collection earns the administration crores of rupees. “Still, no attention is being given to the cleanliness or maintenance of the place. I’m a disillusioned man today as ultimately, it is the higher authorities who are sitting over the projects already approved by them many years back even when there is no dearth of money,” said Chand.
He added, “Even the waterfalls which are the centre of attraction for the visitors have not been working for the last few months due to the apathy of the authorities.
The projects which were approved even two years back for construction in Phase 3 like the art gallery, rain shelter in the doll museum, RCC tree, artistic wall around the store etc. are yet to be initiated. Furthermore, in 2011, the authorities approved the installation of CCTV cameras on priority but the project is yet to take off.”
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Chand alleged that the delay in executing these projects had caused a huge financial loss due to drastic increase in the price index. Even the procurement of dustbins to keep the Rock Garden clean had been hanging fire for the last three years. “An inquiry to fix accountability of the apathetic officials should be conducted.
Unfortunately, even the junior officers of the Engineering Department responsible to look after the day-to-day work in the garden do not show any interest in their work, resulting in fast deterioration of the garden,” he said, urging the administration to ensure that the garden was maintained properly in the future.
UT chief engineer S K Chadha, when contacted, said, “Nek Chand is an international figure and the founder of the Rock Garden. Therefore, I cannot contradict anything that he has said.
Chand has not intimated me about any such problems but I’ll definitely look into the matter and ensure that all these problems are solved at the earliest.”