The UT administration is finding it hard to maintain the sanctity of its world heritage site Capitol Complex with the Haryana government paying no heed to its request of removing encroachments. The administration has been sending reminders regularly to the state which so far hasn’t even responded, say sources.
UNESCO has declared the Capitol Complex as a World Heritage Site in July this year. The Capitol Complex include the Punjab and Haryana high court, the Punjab and Haryana secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana assembly along with the monuments the Open Hand, the Martyrs Memorial, the Geometric Hill and the Tower of Shadow.
The administration has issues with the unauthorised construction in the secretariat and has been sending letters to the Haryana government, asking them to dismantle the changes that they have made.
However, the matter remains unmoved.
“Well, what can we do?” said UT chief engineer Mukesh Anand.
“We have been sending them reminders. Our executive engineers have been raising the issue with them. I am hopeful they will remove these encroachments, though so far they haven’t.”
Sources say that in July this year, an executive engineer with UT’s construction division put it up before his superintending engineer that one of his officers has informed him of unauthorised construction at the Haryana civil secretariat. “They are enclosing the verandah, besides room number 44-A, Block 5, on the sixth floor,” the executive engineer noted.
This, he said, was being done without prior permission of the administration. He added that the Public Works Department (PWD), the building and roads department was doing this construction.
UT chief architect Kapil Setia stepped in and wrote to chief engineer, Mukesh Anand within the next few days. He referred to the scope of changes that are allowed in Chandigarh and said that such constructions were in violation of the rules. “All changes in any of the buildings in the capitol complex have to be approved by the administration,” his letter said.
Anand then wrote to the administrative officer of the Haryana government in August. A couple of weeks later the chief engineer told his superintending engineer, construction circle, to get the construction stopped.
In September, the executive engineer again wrote to the administrative officer to ‘immediately dismantle and restore the place to its original position’. He referred to the earlier letters sent by the chief architect and other officers of the engineering department as well.
‘Not aware of any violation’
Haryana chief engineer Suraj Bhan (buildings) said he’s not aware of any issue raised by the UT administration. “I take care of buildings including this one. All construction work in this building is handled by the UT administration, we do minor maintenance works,” he said.