In a move that is bound to raise the hackles of many heritage lovers in the city, a committee of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research has proposed the demolition of two heritage buildings on the campus.
PGI sources said that a road running along the inner periphery of the campus was proposed to be built after the demolition of Nehru Serai, adjacent to Nehru Hospital, and the old shopping complex, so as to facilitate smooth flow of traffic on the campus.
PGI sources said that the committee on 'decongestion of traffic and traffic management within the PGI campus' recently proposed that the two buildings should be demolished. Deputy director (administration) Chetan PS Rao is the chairman of the panel that includes Dr Ajit Awasthi, professor in the department of psychiatry, hospital superintendent PS Saini and chief security officer PC Sharma.
The old shopping complex includes around 10 shops and several eateries, apart from the main office of PGIMER Employees' Union.
The Nehru Sarai is a preferred destination for patients and their attendants and can accommodate around 50 people.
Besides, plan is on the anvil to fill up the fountain in front of Nivedita hostel for nurses to make way for staff parking.
It is pertinent to mention here that the PGI committee had earlier proposed a stop on direct entry of vehicles through two main gates of the institute, for which it plans to write to the administration.
Unfortunate, says ex-head of architecture college
Dr SS Bhatti, a former principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture, said that it was "very unfortunate" that PGI authorities were planning to demolish the two heritage buildings on the campus. "They are a landmark of the city and should rather be preserved," he remarked.
He pointed out that Chandigarh was considered the "best experiment in modern urbanisation" the world over and these buildings were very much part of the heritage of City Beautiful. "I am very much in favour of preserving these buildings," said Dr Bhatti, who was a member of the committee set up by the government of India in 2010 on heritage issue.