Despite being famous globally for its uniqueness, Nek Chand's Rock Garden lies in a state of neglect.
Tourists, both national and international, who throng the place in a large number with high expectations are left disappointed after seeing garbage strewn all over the place, debris, dirt, animal faeces and foul smell emitting from the rotting slush. To make things worse, the water bodies are filled with garbage as they have not been cleaned for months.
Nek Chand's unique creation is managed by the Rock Garden Society with the UT home secretary as its chairman and UT superintendent engineer (circle two) as the secretary of the society. By charging `20 from each visitor, the society has been generating handsome revenue, but the general lack of attention makes it evident that much is not spend on the maintenance of the site.
In contrary, the officials claim that lot of emphasis is paid on the maintenance of the garden and 20 employees are working for the upkeep of the place.
When contacted, UT chief engineer SK Chadha said the place was cleaned every morning and evening.
“We try to ensure that the place is neat and clean so that it leaves a good impression on the visitors,” Chadha added.
For unkempt garden, he blamed the visitors for lacking civic sense. “Many people throw wrappers, bottles and leftover food items here and there. The general public need to take responsibility for keeping the place neat and clean,” Chadha said.
Unhappy with the poor maintenance, Rajesh Kumar, scientific officer at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, said, “The upkeep of the garden leaves a lot to desire. It's a wonderful place and the authorities should make sure that the garden is neat and clean all the time.”
Seema, a teacher at Delhi-based government school, who is in the city with her students, said the garden was crying for attention. “You do not expect piles of garbage and dirt at a world-renowned place. It appears to be wilful neglect,” Seema rued.
Know Rock Garden
Its founder Nek Chand, a government official, started the garden secretly in his spare time in 1957.
It is a sculpture garden completely built of industrial and household waste items.
At present, it is spread over an area of 40 acres.