Manoj Godara, Chandigarh, 14th Dec 2009: The Chandigarh-Punjab Chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) organized a seminar on “CHANDIGARH: AFTER 60 YEARS” in association with Aayojan School of Architecture, Jaipur here at Chandigarh today in Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10.
Chandigarh is the boldest experiment in town planning and modern architecture in India. It is now 60 years old and boasts of internationally acknowledged architecture of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanerette. The architecture of Chandigarh has gone through a tremendous change. The architecture and planning of Chandigarh is at the threshold of change, it is high time to evaluate its successes and failures and suggest solutions.
Mr Jit Kumar Gupta, Director College of Architecture, Bhaddal and Joint Hon. Secretary of IIA, Mumbai was the Chief Guest. He spoke about the problems of Chandigarh periphery and the solutions to be sought for solving the problems. He said “Periphery Control Act, 1952 which guides the management of this periphery has been blatantly violated by all the respective governments, which has adversely affected the character of this periphery. Formation of statutory body by Government of India to regulate development in the periphery of the Tricity i.e. Chandigarh (U.T), Panchkula (Haryana), Mohali (Punjab) is of paramount importance to check such violations and unplanned development in the periphery”.
Surinder Bahga, Chairman, Chandigarh-Punjab Chapter of IIA delivered the lecture on the planning and designing of Chandigarh. He emphasized that Chandigarh being a marvel in Architecture is recognized even after 60 years of its creation. He suggested, “A comprehensive Master Plan should be prepared for Tricity and the periphery areas. The existing periphery around Chandigarh should be left as it is and any new construction should be done according to the master plan”.
Archana Chaudhary, Architect-Planner spoke about the unrealized projects of Le Corbusier like Governor’s Palace, Museum of Knowledge, Sports Stadium and Mechanized Roof Mechanism of Assembly Hall at Capitol Complex, Chandigarh. She emphasized, “Since these projects could not be completed 60 years ago due to paucity of funds, the Chandigarh Administration may take up these dream projects of the Master architect now.”
Sangeet Sharma spoke about recent developments in City. He suggested that the architecture which is coming up in Chandigarh has the influence of Le Corbusier.
N P Rathore, Head and Dean of Studies, Aayojan School of Architecture, Jaipur said that he is impressed by the planning and concept of Chandigarh city.
Recommendations of the Seminar
o A central controlling authority to be constituted for the development of Chandigarh and its periphery wherein technocrats such as architects, town planners, engineers, environmentalists, etc. be its members. Its recommendations should be thoroughly adhered to.
o A comprehensive Master Plan should be prepared for Tricity and the periphery areas. The existing periphery around Chandigarh should be left as it is and any new construction should be done according to the master plan.
o In view of the scarcity of land in Chandigarh, optimum use of available land in the city should be made and all left over projects should be completed on priority. Redensification of Phase-I should be initiated and the existing infrastructure should be augmented accordingly.
o The de-silting Sukhna Lake is not the solution to restore the glory of the same as it is very costly. Instead small check dams in the catchment area of the Lake which is about 7000 acres. Similar check dams can be made within the city on rivulets. It will recharge the water and improve the general health in the city.
o We should learn to respect our own water rather than borrowing from other sources.
o Planned areas should be provided within the city only for the people of service class. They should not be located outside the city.
o To improve the flora and fauna of the city, fruit trees should be planted.
o Villages retained within the city as well as within the periphery area should be developed as model villages and some sorts of development guidelines should be framed for the future to check unregulated growth.
o No need to relocate slums from the urban area rather basic amenities in these areas should be upgraded on the pattern of Indore (Gujarat) Model by involving slum dwellers as the stake holders.
o To improve the healthy environment in the city vis-à-vis the increase in the population and load on infrastructure, there is a need to develop two more Leisure Valleys along Sukhna Choe and Patiala-ki-Rao on the East and West end of City.