A day after planning to conduct a study on the signboards across the city carrying directions in different languages, the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) constituted a 10-member committee on Thursday.
The committee will be headed by college principal Professor Pardeep Bhagat and include two senior of the college from the architecture and Punjabi departments and six final-year students.
Meanwhile, the team will be assisted by one of the professors of post graduate government college, Sector 46, Panditrao Dharennavar, who besides teaching sociology at the college, has been looking after repainting of the signboards in the city as well. He is involved in promoting not only Urdu, but also his own native language Kannada as well in the city. To date, Dharennawar has repainted over 250 signboards across the city.
Professor Bhagat said now a detailed study will be done on the signboards and will be submitted to the UT adviser to initiate required action.
However, professor Panditrao said how the UT administration in 2001 had issued directions to all administrative secretaries, head of the departments, boards, offices, corporation, institutions and administration to put up signboards in just three languages - English, Hindi and Punjabi, but Urdu was not even mentioned.
“Nobody has raised the issue that why only Urdu got dropped from the signboards. I am sure that the report by the newly-formed college committee will bring a revolution and be a platform to promote Urdu language,” said Dharennavar.
‘Give preference to city’s local language’
Professor Dharennavar has also been pushing the issue of having the local language of the city written on the top on the signboards. “The signboards in the foreign countries carry directions in different languages, but their local language is always written on the top and going by the Languages Act-1963, preference has to be given to the local language, but we have written the directions in English on the top, while our census says that 80% of city residents speak Punjabi.”
Nodal officer of the Smart city project Danish Ashraf said, “Signbards are integral part of the city’s identity. I hope this initiative will showcase the cultural diversity and our respect for cosmopolitan nature of the City Beautiful.”
Some city signboards in 5 languages
Surprisingly, the signboard at the gurdwara at Sector 34 carries its name in five languages, including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Kannada. The board was painted by Professor Dharennavar. Similarly, Dev Samaj College, Sector 36, is the only college whose signboard carries direction in four languages, including Urdu.