There was finally some movement in the project for rejuvenation and restoration of Sector 17 as deputy commissioner-cum-estate officer SB Deepak Kumar and other senior officers visited the market on Tuesday evening. But all it amounted to, for now, was a nod to extending the deadline on traders’ demand.
And this was only about one extended lane of brick-façade showrooms on both sides of Neelam Theatre and opposite the Kapsons showroom, which earlier had an orally conveyed deadline of May 30.
There is no set deadline yet for the rest of Sector 17, which is much worse on all four counts of violations and dilapidation disorderly advertisement boards, loose wires, uneven flooring, and non-permitted paint on the façade.
While the original deadline was April 30, set by the adviser soon after he joined, there were meetings with traders in early April.
It was only in April last week that an inspection and awareness drive was launched for the one block in Sector 17E that has 51 showrooms. Sources said the choice was made as these lanes, which are only about 10% of Sector 17, are relatively better already and do not need work on cleaning much concrete since the façade is bricks.
The remaining 500-odd showroom buildings all have exposed-concrete façade that has to have concrete-coloured paint over it to guard against the elements. The 17E lane has seen some work as extra lights were removed and some owners got the boards tweaked. Yet, AC plants are a major problem.
On Tuesday, the DC, accompanied by SDM (central) Prince Dhawan who leads the project team, took a round and talked with traders. Dhawan later told HT, “The traders sought more time, so they were told to come up with a reasonable deadline. But in no case will the deadline be more than two weeks.” The deadline, however, would only be for the façade restoration.
More time would be given for corrections within corridors, Dhawan informed. The SDM(C) leads a team with members from the administration and the municipal corporation, besides the police post in-charge and station house officer of Sector 17.
“We intend to partner with the traders rather than go in for crude enforcement for the rejuvenation project,” Dhawan added.
Traders’ Association president Kamaljit Singh Panchhi later said they raised some issues and relaxations in boards that the DC said would also be put up before the heritage committee.
“Besides, we also sought relaxations for AC plants and glazing that obviously did not exist at such a scale and thus weren’t issues when Sector 17 was built around six decades ago,” remarked Harbinder Singh Gujral, who owns a showroom in the 17E lane.