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Let’s name Windsor Place after Sir Sobha,PM tells Sheila

The Delhi government has moved a proposal to rename the Capital’s iconic Windsor Place area in Lutyens’ Delhi after popular writer Khuswant Singh’s father Sir Sobha Singh,following a request from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month.

Written by Ravi Bajpai | New Delhi |
July 12, 2011 3:20:24 am

The Delhi government has moved a proposal to rename the Capital’s iconic Windsor Place area in Lutyens’ Delhi after popular writer Khuswant Singh’s father Sir Sobha Singh,following a request from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month.

Sobha Singh was a key building contractor in the early to mid 20th Century,and along with his father Sujan Singh he is credited with constructing landmarks like the India Gate and Connaught Place.

Prime Minister Singh wrote to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on June 28,citing a request by a private organisation to rename the area to mark the 100th anniversary of Delhi being declared the national capital.

“A proposal in this regard (renaming) has come in from Sir Sobha Singh’s well wishers. We will send it to the Home Ministry tomorrow,” said Dikshit.

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The government has since consulted the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC),the agency which manages Lutyens’ Delhi and is involved in renaming roads and places there,and is now ready to write to Home officials,said a senior government official.

The NDMC informed the government that most places and roads in the area have already been named after important people; the only options open were Windsor Place,which falls on the roundabout near Le Meridien Hotel,and South Avenue.

“The places are close to where Sir Sobha Singh’s family lives now,Sujan Singh Park,which is named after his father. We eventually narrowed down on Windsor Place,” the official added.

The organisation,whose proposal the Prime Minister cited in his letter to Dikshit,originally suggested renaming an area in New Delhi after Sobha Singh to mark his contribution towards building the national capital.

Sobha Singh and his father Sujan Singh moved to the city as building contractors when the British administration declared Delhi as the national capital,to coincide with the Coronation Durbar that was to be held in December 1911.

The renaming of Windsor Place,however,may not be an easy option,a senior NDMC official said,as the civic agency has in the past rejected proposals to change its name.

“Certain rules enforced by the Centre don’t allow renaming the area. We have told the government that if this were to be done now,the rules would have to be superseded,” the official said.

A senior official,who is in the know,said the Delhi government has compiled all information on the issue and will now write to the Home Ministry,informing it about the constraints in implementing the proposal and how it could be approved.

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