Granite or sandstone? Debate over rock weighs down CP restoration | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Granite or sandstone? Debate over rock weighs down CP restoration

The New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) are fighting hard now — with rocks.

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2009 01:02 IST
Neelam Pandey

The New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) are fighting hard now — with rocks.

Don’t be alarmed: senior officials are not exactly hurling stones at each other. But granite, sandstone and Kota figure predominantly in their tussle over the restoration of Connaught Place.
The stone of contention is the flooring material for the CP restoration project.

While the DUAC has suggested the use of sandstone, the civic body was in favour of using granite.
NDMC’s decision to comply with the DUAC’s request spells trouble for the look of the market, which after its makeover, was supposed to be uniform throughout. This is because C-block has already been paved with granite.

Presently, except for pilot project C-block, the flooring of the rest of CP is Kota stone.
According to NDMC, the arts council had rejected their earlier plan for using granite as the flooring material, which the civic body claims is more durable and stronger.

“DUAC has allowed us to use granite for C-block. But it changed its mind and insisted on sandstone,” said a senior NDMC official.

“Our proposal was not being given clearance due to this one clause. So we decided to accept sandstone as the material as was being suggested by DUAC. But till that time, the pilot project work in C-block had already started and that’s why granite has been used there.”

The DUAC has contended that CP, being a heritage restoration project should use the original material for construction, which is sandstone. "Whenever restoration work is carried out the original material is used why should we make CP an exception?" said DUAC chairman, K T Ravindran.

According to NDMC, maintenance of sandstone will be much more difficult compared to granite.
“Compared to the 1930s, the market has grown enormously and there has been a drastic increase in the footfalls at CP. Maintenance of sandstone flooring would have been easier back than, but is not the case now,” said a senior NDMC official, who wished to remain anonymous.

“CP is frequented by thousands of people and cleaning marks of tobacco spit and other marks is easier with granite flooring.”

“Keeping the increased footfalls of CP in mind it is a bad move to use sandstone,” said Atul Bargava, president of New Delhi Trader’s Association.

But a senior DUAC official, who did not want to be named as he's not authorised to speak to the media, countered, “If maintenance is a problem for the NDMC how was CP being cleaned for years?”