Traders themselves sought Sector-17 revival: Anurag Agarwal | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Traders themselves sought Sector-17 revival: Anurag Agarwal

chandigarh Updated: Jun 11, 2015 12:58 IST
Sector 17

The recent enforcement drive of the UT estate office in Sector 17 to remove violations in buildings has brought in focus the beautification or the revitalisation project for Sector 17 being initiated by the administration. UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal says the project is being initiated to restore the glory and sheen of Sector 17. The project would succeed only with proper coordination between the administration and the traders, he said.

What is the background behind the beautification project of the city’s heart, Sector 17?
A: We want to revive the Sector 17 market’s lost sheen and improve its look. The traders had themselves demanded that the administration should help them in reviving Sector 17 as they were facing a stiff competition from malls coming up in the city. The matter was taken up in the heritage conservation panel meeting.

What is the long-term plan for beautifying Sector 17?
First of all, all buildings need to look uniform. In order to restore the lost glory of the Sector 17 market, the city’s main attraction, the UT administration is working on a plan that would include restoration of heritage buildings in the shopping area and decongestion of parking spaces. The removal of visual clutter and restoration of the exposed concrete to its original character besides regulation of advertisement boards is also on the cards.

How do you plan to take the traders on board while resorting to anti-encroachment drives?
The administration obviously wants to get support of traders during the beautification drive. The revitalisation of Sector 17 is being done for them and the city residents. We will hold more discussions and give presentations to the traders.

Is the UT planning to come up with a simpler system to make traders understand the technicalities of the project?
We have been communicating about the project to the traders since day one. We have held several meetings with them. The UT chief architect has also explained the details to the traders. They have been shown the drawings and presentations. They can still go to the UT estate office as the drawings have been shared with the deputy commissioner’s office.

Besides symmetry, what are other plans in the revitalisation project?
Besides symmetry, various other factors are being looked into for reviving Sector 17. Efforts will be made to improve the concrete structures. The loose hanging electricity wires all over the sector will be taken care of. The beautification drive will be carried out in a phased manner.

What about government buildings? Will the changes be implemented in these too?
The same rule will apply for government buildings as well. These need to have a uniform look as well. All violations will be removed from government buildings.

What about eyesores in other sectors such as Sectors 22 and 34, where boards are put up without any uniformity?
The Sector 17 market is the heart of the city. First, we will focus on the city’s downtown. The beautification of other sectors is also on the cards and will be done gradually.