As the creator of Rock Garden, Nek Chand, took the final journey from his home to the garden and then to the cremation ground, the city failed to give him his due.
The number of people who turned up to pay their last respects to Nek Chand at the cremation ground and at Rock Garden were fewer than what was expected.
The City Beautiful has many a times been termed as the city of cold-hearted people, which proved right on Saturday. The residents preferred to stay in the comfort of their homes.
In a city with a population of more than 10 lakh, the number of visitors to Rock Garden was also not as expected.
A close friend of the artist said the 90-year-old never ran after the celebrity status. He worked selflessly and carved a niche for himself and would remain alive in the hearts of lakhs of people worldwide for his great contribution and giving the message of waste management in those days when no one ever thought of it.
While UT deputy commissioner SB Deepak Kumar, special secretary (finance) Bhawna Garg and senior superintendent of police (traffic) Maneesh Chaudhry paid floral tributes to Nek Chand at Rock Garden, many officials failed to be turn up.
City-based RTI activist RK Garg condemned UT adviser Vijay Dev and home secretary Anurag Agarwal for not declining the trip to Paris even after the death of the legend.
Others who paid their respects to the legend at Rock Garden were PCS officer TPS Phoolka, BJP councillors Arun Sood and Rajesh Gupta, former UT adviser KK Sharma, former Punjab minister Mohan Lal and former chief justice of Allahabad high court SS Sodhi and his wife educationist Bony Sodhi.
His close friend Pyara Singh broke down into tears and recalled the old days. Malkiat Singh Aulakh, who had written a book on Rock Garden in 1986, and theatre artist Neelam Man Singh also came to pay tributes.
CONSPICUOUS BY THEIR ABSENCE
Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher and former MP Pawan Bansal was not in town to pay tributes to Nek Chand. UT adviser Vijay Dev, too, had left for Paris on Friday, while Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal sent a representative to convey his condolences.