The South Delhi Municipal Corporation received 85 requests for name change in the past one year — ranging from naming a road or park in the name of a family member, Bollywood actors, Hindu deities, local politicians, freedom fighters and Armymen.
The maximum number of requests came for renaming six roads and parks in the name of Bhagat Singh, followed by Bhim Rao Ambedkar and Chandrashekhar Azad.
The corporation cleared 35 out of the 85 requests, with MCD Park in Sahyog Vihar being renamed as B R Ambedkar Park, a park in Lajpat Nagar renamed as Rajesh Khanna Park, and a road in Vikas Nagar renamed as Bhagwan Parshuram Marg.
Other proposals have been put on hold, either because they were not strong enough or the suggestion was not a popular figure, said Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat, adding, “We encourage naming the public places on martyrs and freedom fighters.”
Naresh Juneja — who had suggested to Leader of Congress in SDMC, Abhishek Dutt, to name a park in Lajpat Nagar IV after Bollywood Actor Rajesh Khanna — said, “Rajesh Khanna used to visit this area very often. He had come here during Holi and Diwali celebrations. He knew people by name in this area as he was an MP from our constituency, so we want to dedicate the park in his name.” He had helped a lot in the development of the Central Park in Lajpat Nagar, Juneja said.
A senior official of the corporation said that while most people suggest naming roads or streets after popular figures, there are also requests for renaming in the name of a family member or RWA heads. However, the corporation does not approve such proposals, the official added.
Area councillors usually moot the idea of name change. These suggestions then go to the ‘naming committee’, which takes a call and passes it on to the Standing Committee. If the Standing Committee approves, the names are finalised by the civic body House.
The naming committee usually meets four times a year, and such requests increase during election years. Figures touched close to 400 requests in the last year when elections were due, the official said.