DDA sundial: whose work is it? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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DDA sundial: whose work is it?

If you have driven down the Ring Road near Sarai Kale Khan or taken the Barapullah elevated road in the past one year, there is no way you would have missed the huge metal "sundial" next to it. Sidhartha Roy reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 20, 2013 00:32 IST
Sidhartha Roy

If you have driven down the Ring Road near Sarai Kale Khan or taken the Barapullah elevated road in the past one year, there is no way you would have missed the huge metal "sundial" next to it.

A project of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the sundial has been recently certified as one of the largest scientifically accurate sundials in the world. However, even as the art installation is getting appreciated, a row is unraveling over who is the real "artist" behind its creation.

The DDA had floated a tender for "providing and fixing" a sundial at Barapullah before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It had roped in Faridabad-based sculptor Gagan Vij and an agreement was signed in April 2010.

Both the DDA and Vij are now claiming "artistic ownership" of the sundial - each claiming credit for the design. The DDA has also removed Vij's signature from the installation.

"It was me who conceptualised the rough design into a three-dimension sculpture and made it physically possible with my hands, men, machines and money at my studio," said Vij.

"I have tirelessly worked on this project for the past three years. Why is that I'm not allowed to put my signature on the artwork?" he asked.

"The sundial has been conceived and designed in-house by the DDA landscape unit. It has been constructed by the DDA's engineers under the structural guidance of IIT Roorkee and the sculpture was fabricated by Gagan Vij," a DDA spokesperson said.

"The landscape development surrounding the sundial has been done after extensive research on scientific and historical aspects."

Vij claims that though the concept of a sundial was that of the DDA, he built on the concept and came up with final design and motifs. He says it was his idea to put the Indus Valley Civilization seals as cast tiles, inner brass flanges texture, adaptation of the logo from a drawing to three dimension, selection of material, mediums to be used for final finish and digits in Devanagari instead of Roman."If creating this sundial is fabrication then what is art? Why did the DDA need me if they could achieve this at their end?" Vij said.