Two days before his demise, Nek Chand sent a reminder to the UT administration, stating that his son Anuj Saini should be made a permanent member of the society for the maintenance and development of Rock Garden and director consultant of the garden.
In the letter written on June 10, he also proposed two other names for permanent membership of the society, which has UT home secretary as its chairman and the UT chief architect, superintending engineer and principal of the architecture college as its permanent members.
Citing his poor health, Nek Chand had sent four letters to the UT in the past two months, in which he wrote, “I wish my son should be made a permanent member of the society,” with the word “wish” underlined.
SHOULD ANUJ SAINI BE GIVEN GARDEN’S REINS?
The jury remained divided over the question that who should be given the responsibility to take care of Rock Garden.
A section of people present at Rock Garden said as Anuj Saini had closely seen its creation and had access to all drawings and future plans for the garden, he should take over the charge. While the family remained quite over the issue, UT’s former chief architect Sumit Kaur said Anuj Saini’s insights would be invaluable for Rock Garden’s expansion.
All agreed that the upkeep of the garden should not go in the hands of UT officials, who have no knowledge of its concept.
KEEPING THE LEGEND’S LEGACY ALIVE
Congress and BJP local unit heads Pardeep Chhabra and Sanjay Tandon, respectively, said Rock Garden should be named after Nek Chand. Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president Charanjeev Singh made a similar suggestion.
Assistant media adviser to Punjab Government Vineet Joshi and Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) president Baljinder Singh Bittu, meanwhile, said the Chandigarh International Airport should be named after Nek Chand.
His old friend Narinder Singh International, a tourist guide, demanded Bharat Ratna for him and Confederation of the All India Traders (CAIT) chief Harish Garg said Nek Chand’s art should be added to school curriculum.