scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Delhi: After objections over gurdwara and temple paintings, Ashram Underpass takes a U-turn

To avoid any more disruptions, the PWD cancelled the “monumental theme” and decided to take a more muted approach.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 15, 2021 7:53:10 am
Ashram Underpass, gurdwara, Golden Temple, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, Red Fort, Delhi-Noida-Delhi flyover, DND flyover, Delhi news, Delhi latest news, Indian express, Indian express news, current affairsTo avoid any more objections and consequent delays, the PWD has also decided to go with the same plan for the extension of the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) flyover project. (Express Photo)

Written by Gayathri Mani

The Public Works Department has removed paintings of the Golden Temple, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, Red Fort and some other monuments from the walls of the under-construction Ashram Underpass, after the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and some Hindu groups objected to the artwork.

The 310-metre wall has now been repainted with “routine” street art and pictures of plants, trees and birds.

To avoid any more objections and consequent delays, the PWD has also decided to go with the same plan for the extension of the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) flyover project.

A senior PWD official closely working on the Ashram Underpass project said, “We wanted to give this stretch a ‘monumental’ look, and decided to paint the Golden Temple, Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, India Gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort. For us, these places are historical, so we wanted to beautify the walls and also give the commuters a good experience. The artists painted the walls on the Badarpur side and the opposite section, but we had to repaint completely following the objections.”

The official said the length of the underpass is 410 metres, of which 310 metres had been beautified with paintings on both sides.

“This took place about three months ago. First, the gurdwara committee raised an objection, following which we removed that painting. A day later, some people flagged issues with the Lotus Temple and Akshardham temple being painted on the side of the road. They said people spit and urinate on the sides of the road, and these are places of worship. These issues were also delaying work.”

To avoid any more disruptions, the PWD cancelled the “monumental theme” and decided to take a more muted approach. When contacted, DSGMC general secretary Harmeet Singh Kalka said, “Yes, we filed a complaint to remove the picture of Darbar Sahib from the road. Golden Temple is a holy place of worship and its importance should be respected. You cannot draw its image on the roadside.”

The PWD official said the underpass has “already missed several deadlines due to the pandemic, labour crunch, alignment problems and the construction ban”. “We just want to complete the project soon,” said the official.

The official said that 95% of the construction work is done and minor works, decoration and light fittings are left. “The underpass should open within one month, once the construction ban is lifted. Work is left on just 17 metres of the stretch. Once the underpass opens for the public, the PWD will start work on the extension of the DND flyover,” added the official.

At the moment, the Ashram Chowk, Sarai Kale Khan, DND, Bhogal, Badarpur, Mathura Road and Outer Ring Road sections see heavy traffic jams on a daily basis.

The delays have also been a cause of headache for residents of nearby areas such as Siddharth Extension, Kalindi Colony, Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Ashram, Kilokri Village, New Friends Colony, Nehru Nagar and Sunlight Colony as many commuters take inner colony roads to avoid the Ashram Chowk traffic jam.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement