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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Sector-17 buildings to get heritage facade

Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, April 06, 2014
First Published: 23:32 IST(6/4/2014) | Last Updated: 23:38 IST(6/4/2014)

You could soon have naturally-coloured uniform buildings at Sector-17, the heart of the city, if the administration's plan of restoration of buildings is approved by its heritage committee. The move is aimed at ensuring that buildings at the city centre are able to get a longer life and present a heritage look.

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The department of architecture and urban planning, UT administration, has prepared a report that recommends that standard grey/white cement concrete needs to be ensured on the façade of all the buildings in Sector 17.  The cost of the restoration will be borne by the owner of the building and 430 buildings will be getting the new façade.

The heritage committee meets later this month, where a final decision will be taken.

The chief architect of the administration chaired a meeting of the heritage sub-committee, where it was decided that since it was difficult to remove the colour from concrete surface on the buildings, a mixture of putti and cement must be applied on the buildings to bring the texture as close as possible to concrete.

"We zeroed in on the right colour for the buildings after a lot of experiments. This will bring the city on a global footing as far as heritage is concerned and can also be taken as a positive for tourism," said Rajnish Wattas, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and a member of the heritage sub-committee.

To prevent further damage and decay and to bring out the original character of building, it would also be sand-blasted (the process of construction in which layers of building gets removed).

The committee in its report also mentioned that in the absence of norms, standards or specification for restoration and altered/damaged concrete surfaces, more than 40% of the buildings in Sector-17 (whether publicly-owned, individuals or private ownership) have a façade of exposed cement concrete. The restoration will ensure uniform surface texture and colour of the concrete façade.

The 2031 Draft Master Plan of Chandigarh defines heritage sites and buildings of special architectural interest and empowers the authorities to ensure harmony and unified composition of buildings.

WHAT IS THE PLAN
40 building blocks and around 430 buildings to be restored
Restoration will cost around Rs. 57 per square ft (Rs 25 for putty and Rs. 32 for sand blasting etc)
Owners to bear the cost of the restoration

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