The Delhi government has told the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to refrain from going ahead with a proposal to rename Chandni Chowk after Sachin Tendulkar,maintaining that it was not empowered to do so.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit intervened in the matter on Wednesday,after reports emerged that the civic body may consider renaming the historic area,built during Mughal emperor Shahjahans reign,after the cricketer.
The government said a letter was sent to the MCD Commissioner,stating that any attempt to rename Chandni Chowk will tantamount to being a violation of the guidelines issued by the Union Government. The letter also stated that the great historical heritage and cultural importance of Chandni Chowk,which is known for its unique spirit of co-existence,will be undermined if the civic body went ahead with the proposal.
Following demands for honouring the sportsperson,councillor Suman Kumar Gupta had said he will move a proposal in this regard in the MCD House meeting scheduled for January 11. However,he later said he will move a proposal to name one of the streets in Chandni Chowk after Tendulkar instead.
The demands also elicited criticism from the K N Katju Memorial Trust,chaired by Press Council chairperson Justice Markandey Katju. The Trust,in a letter to Mayor Rajni Abbi,termed the move an insult to the cultural heritage of the country.
The government,in the letter,stated that the civic body was not empowered to change the name of existing roads or streets,as communicated by the Union Home Ministry through a communication dated September 27,1975. Moreover,The MCD is probably aware that a State Naming Committee is functional in the government,whose permission is essential to effect any renaming of roads/streets in the Capital. It would only be in the fitness of things if major stakeholders are suitably consulted before taking any decision on the proposed renaming of Chandni Chowk, an official statement said.