The first Indian chief architect of the city M N Sharma today said that he had not studied the draft Master Plan prepared for the city even though he was a member of the committee. He attended only one meeting.
According to Sharma the original Master Plan for the city drafted by Le Corbusier was two to three pages long. “The Chandigarh Regional Plan that I made was a three page document. The Master Plan prepared now runs into 500 pages. I have not been able to read it. I have asked someone to tell me 10 salient features of the Master Plan,” he says.
Sharma objected to the naming of Mullanpur as New Chandigarh by the Punjab government. He said,”New Chandigarh was a gimmick to woo NRIs in the name of Chandigarh. It will make people think this is an extension of Chandigarh which it is not.”
The former Chief Architect rued that bureaucrats in the city are posted here for three years and then they leave. That is why no one raises a voice against violations in the adjoining areas. “The officers are posted in the city on deputation. They have to return to their parent states. In case they raise objections against the states they will not get a good posting when they go back. Instead of leaving it to the officers,the city residents should take it upon themselves to protest in case they find something wrong,” he said.
Sharma said that due to the construction in the adjoining areas,the burden on Chandigarh was increasing. The infrastructure in the city was facing the brunt of the floating population form adjoining areas.