The Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) has given an in-principle approval to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to install an iconic art structure at Connaught Place.
But the department has asked the NDMC to come up with a design idea through a competition, following which the best idea will be considered.
The proposal by the NDMC was initially submitted on September 17 but the commission had not approved the ideas entirely and made certain observations.
The DUAC had, during its internal meeting, appreciated the NDMC for its efforts “to promote public art work”. Although agreeing in-principle to the idea of installation of an art work in Connaught Place, the commission noted how the NDMC, despite its previous direction, had not conducted an open competition to bring in ideas for the structure.
The NDMC had suggested installing a structure near the national flag in Central Park with the words ‘I Love Delhi’ to “promote a sense of pride in the city”. However, during a meeting of the commission in the last week of March, the DUAC observed that the proposal submitted by the NDMC was “not representative of the multicultural nature of the city and therefore the design had not been approved”.
The commission further said that the city of Delhi, “has a very rich architectural and cultural heritage, which warrants an inclusive approach wherein a large community is involved in expressing their design thoughts”.
“Crowd-sourcing of design ideas through a competition be done and the best design be selected by NDMC and sent to DUAC for consideration”, the commission directed.
In its presentation to the DUAC, the NDMC had proposed installing the structure made of red plastic from waste material. The project is proposed to be located opposite Regal Cinema and will be1.5 metres in height.
Eviction drive targets squatters
In tune with their plan of making the central Delhi area free of squatters, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is conducting an eviction and rehabilitation drive on Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Connaught Place since the past two days.
After receiving complaints about footpaths being occupied by squatters, the civic body started the drive on Sunday, NDMC officials said. Stating that the area had turned into a “security hazard”, a senior NDMC official said, “Pedestrian movement on Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Hanuman Mandir had been affected because of the footpaths were occupied by squatters. We had received complaints about the situation turning into a security and traffic hazard.”
The drive was conducted by a team of around 80 officials from the NDMC’s Enforcement department and Delhi Police personnel.
According to NDMC officials, the civic body has ensured their rehabilitation with homeless persons squatting in the area asked to move to the shelter home near Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. “These unauthorised jhuggies that have been set up near Hanuman Mandir also affect smooth flow of traffic in the area. Moreover, health and hygiene issues had come up in the area because of the squatters. We are here to provide support to the homeless and they have been moved to shelter homes nearby,” an NDMC official added.
The official said, “While such drives have been conducted in the past, most squatters have returned to the same areas after sometime.”
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