In a setback for the Punjab government, the Chandigarh Administration has rejected its proposal to install a statue of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar in Punjab Vidhan Sabha to mark his 125th birth centenary.
As per sources, the Chandigarh Administration has made it clear to the Punjab government that the Edict of Chandigarh as framed by Le Corbusier does not allow installation of personal statues in the City Beautiful. The Punjab government had planned to install a large statue of the architect of the Constitution of India, Dr Ambedkar, in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretariat during the special Vidhan Sabha Session in the month of October.
Also, since the UNESCO had recently included the Capitol Complex in the world heritage sites, the Chandigarh Administration is all the more concerned to preserve the original design of the Complex, which also includes the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Sources said that the decision to reject the Punjab government’s proposal also has the approval of Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore, who is also the Governor of Punjab. With an aim to woo Dalit voters ahead of the Assembly elections, the Punjab government had also announced on September 1 that Dr Ambedkar’s statues would be installed across 21 districts and the government had allocated a sum of Rs 15 lakh to each district for the purpose. Also, the Punjab government had sanctioned Rs 3.15 crore for construction of Ambedkar Bhavans across the state.
Last year, the Chandigarh Administration’s proposal to install two statues of the creator architect of Rock Garden, Nek Chand, had evoked strong reactions from the city residents in view of the Edict of Chandigarh. The Administration had planned to install one of Nek Chand’s statue outside the Rock Garden and one in his office.