Making an exception to its edict, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to install a statue of the late Nek Chand inside the Rock Garden that he created.
There is also a proposal to install his statue outside the Rock Garden but the matter will be placed before the Chandigarh Heritage and Conservation Committee for the final decision.
The edict of Chandigarh does not allow personal statues on city roads or in parks. “The age of personal statues is gone. The city is planned to breathe the new sublimated spirit of art. Commemoration of persons shall be confined to suitably placed bronze plaques,” says the edict.
Over the years, no personal statue came up in the city except one of BR Ambedkar inside Ambedkar Bhavan in Sector 37 and Buddha’s statue at the regulator end of Sukhna Lake, for which special permission was sought.
Confirming the development, Secretary (Culture) and chairman of Nek Chand Society Anurag Agarwal said that a committee comprising chief architect and head of the sculpture department of Government College of Arts had been constituted to prepare the design of Nek Chand’s statue. It would be installed near his office.
According to him, Nek Chand gave a unique character to the city and the administration is already committed to revitalising the Rock Garden as per his vision.
“Our immediate priority in the Rock Garden is to redesign the doll museum inside the garden and then we are also working on a museum where awards, photos and memorabilia of Nek Chand will be kept,” he said.
Then there is unfinished work of aquarium. “I have already asked the members of the Rock Garden Society to prepare an action plan and submit it to me within two weeks,” he said, adding that these things would be put in action within the next month and “then we will move towards creating a separate exit route for the Rock Garden, which was one of the major concerns of Nek Chand”.
“Thankfully we had detailed discussions with Nek Chand on these development plans and all these works are being carried out as per his vision only. His son has also been told to give his creative output,” said Agarwal.