Heritage panel okays 3-tier underground parking for Punjab and Haryana high court
The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee (CHCC) on Wednesday approved the construction of an underground parking with three levels for the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC).
The structure is proposed to be constructed under the makeshift parking space near the court in front of the Rock Garden.
The decision was taken in a meeting held at the UT Guest House under the chairmanship of UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida.
“The ground minus three (G-3) parking will be able to accommodate around 5,000 vehicles at a time. This will reduce the parking issues for those visiting the court,” Parida said.
However, the UT administration will have to seek UNESCO’s permission to undertake the construction work as per the guidelines granting UNESCO heritage status to the Capitol Complex, of which the high court is a part.
The committee also noted that the growing demand for parking space by litigants and lawyers can never be adequately met unless new high court benches are constituted in neighbouring cities like Panchkula and Mohali.
The panel decided that designated parking space in other sectors will be made and shuttle service will be provided to the litigants and lawyers to come to the court since there is extremely limited space in the Capitol Complex.
The CHCC was constituted in 2012 on the directions of Union Ministry of Home Affairs to supervise the architectural preservation plans in the city in order to conserve its heritage.
The committee accepted the original proposal of the building committee regarding getting 3 lakh sq ft area for HC expansion plan. The proposal was conceived through a design competition conducted by the building committee and approved by the UT administrator in consultation with the high court chief
However, it was decided not to construct any building with more than two floors in the Capitol Complex, which will destroy the landscaping.
The HC Bar council had been asking for additional two floors instead of G+1 plan approved earlier under the HC expansion layout. The members expressed apprehension that such alteration may lead to loss of heritage tag for the city.
The panel also declined the HC building committee’s demand for a security wall around the court complex.
The committee decided that only the concrete walls in the area bordering the forest will be strengthened, while the remaining area will be covered with barbed wires and green fences as is being done presently.
Also, the committee decided that instead of two agencies, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), only one be given the responsibility of providing security to the court complex.
“There should be more security cameras and modern perimeter access control technology to ensure proper security in the court premises. Some members demanded that visitors and tourists be allowed guided entry into the heritage areas of the city, which people should have the access to,” said Parida.
Parida said the high court, represented by its registrar, had agreed to the proposals.
In addition to the UT officials, representatives of the Archaeological Survey of India, technical members Raj Rewal, SD Sharma, Rajnish Wattas, and Dilmeet Singh were also present.
Senior superintendent of police (traffic), Chandigarh College of Architecture principal and Le Corbusier Centre director also attended the