In the race for UNESCO’s world heritage status in 2016, the restoration of crucial deviations in Capitol Complex as per Le Corbusier’s original plans is facing a hindrance.
A small cricket ground, maintained by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for several years, has come in the way of a proposed pathway that was originally conceived by Corbusier to provide a pedestrian link between the Open Hand monument and the proposed Museum of Knowledge.
Chandigarh Newsline had first highlighted this deviation on March 28 this year.
The idea behind this pathway, as per experts, was to provide an easy access to these places with substance of design and architectural elements.
Several unfinished works at the Capitol Complex are currently being taken up on priority ahead of the proposed visit of a UNESCO team in September that will assess Chandigarh’s claim to heritage tag for the complex, but the construction work on this proposed pathway has not yet been initiated.
Sources said that the administration’s architecture department did share its designs with the high court in April but the matter was not pursued at the meetings of a high-level co-ordination committee. One such meeting that was held last week having representatives of the High Court as well Punjab and Haryana, too, did not take up this matter.
Senior officials of the administration admit that this proposed pathway should ideally be restored before the team’s visit since in its dossier to UNESCO, the administration has clearly claimed that no major structural or planning changes that can have a discernible impact on the authenticity of the complex, which comprises the High Court, the assembly, the secretariat, the Open Hand monument and other components, has been allowed.
When contacted, Vijay Kumar Dev, Adviser to Administrator, told Newsline that though the administration had not specifically taken up this issue with the High Court, they were committed to restoring all the deviations as per Corbusier’s original plans, and most of the work was already at an advanced stage of completion in the complex. This issue would also be taken up on priority, he added.
High Court Registrar General Gurinder Singh Gill said that the Chandigarh Administration had not yet discussed this issue with the High Court authorities. It was not raised in the last week’s meeting as well.
But, he added, the High Court has requested the administration that if any such decision is to be taken, they should keep the High Court in the picture.
The cricket ground is well maintained with enough provisions for flood lights. The members of the High Court Bar Association hold their league matches here, mostly in winter season.
President of Bar Association Harpreet Singh Brar said, “The Bar does not have any objection if this ground is turned into a pathway. But this is an issue which the administration has to take up in consultation with the building branch of the High Court.”