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NDMC to ensure uniform signage in CP

The move comes after the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) found that there was no uniformity in the signage of establishments.

delhi Updated: Aug 27, 2018 08:54 IST
Vatsala Shrangi
Vatsala Shrangi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
NDMC,CP,Connaught Place
The heritage panel found changes in facade while considering proposals for renovation of shops in CP. (ISTOCK)

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is set to ensure all signage in Connaught Place (CP) are uniform. The move comes after the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) — that looks after preservation of heritage structures in the capital — found that there was no uniformity in the signage of establishments and concluded that the variations were disturbing the heritage character of the area built in the British era. The HCC has notified 141 heritage structures under the jurisdiction of the NDMC.

The HCC found changes — such as high mouldings and installations — in the facades while considering proposals for renovation of shops in CP. Following that, the committee, in a meeting held on July 18, asked the civic body to conduct a case study of the area to assess the changes.

Maintaining that they received a letter regarding the same only a few days ago, NDMC officials said they have directed the enforcement department to act on the same.

NDMC chief architect Rajeev Sood said, “We received the communication recently. It only suggests ensuring signage is uniform. We already have a policy in place to ensure that. We have referred the matter to the enforcement department to check for violations. If we find any change in the facades, we will take action and issue notices.”

Members of the HCC, however, said they were awaiting a response from the civic body on the matter. “We are regularly getting proposals for renovation of shops which are not in line with the existing heritage character of the place. At some places, huge mouldings and installations — not in consonance with the architectural heritage — have been constructed as per the requirement of shop owners,” said a HCC member on condition of anonymity. The HCC member also said the exteriors of all buildings along the inner circle in CP were restored to its original British-era structures before the Commonwealth Games in 2010. “However, some of those have been disturbed in the recent past,” the member said. A civic body official said signage went haywire after the makeover.

Traders of CP, meanwhile, said almost 90% of the shops comply with the set norms. “Only in some places — mostly rooftop establishments — have the façades been changed. That too, lights and plants have been put. Shop owners are free to pick the entrance of their choice to attract customers,” said Atul Bhargava, president, New Delhi Traders’ Association.

Architect and urban designer Abhimanyu Dalal said, “Uniform signage does not necessarily mean they should be the same. Even in European cities, owners have the freedom to ensure signage do not look monotonous. However, if the façade of a heritage structure is even touched by an inch, its character will be disturbed. The civic body does not engage with shop owners or follow up.” He added NDMC should set up a guidance committee to review the place routinely and work with shop owners.

NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar said he agrees with the committee in-principle. “I believe if a change in signage is disturbing the facade, it has to be checked. I have asked the department to look into the matter,” said Kumar.

Type of signage allowed in CP

Where: Inner circle, middle circle, outer circle and radial roads

Ground Floor

Primary signage: Signage to be placed on top of parapet of establishment. Minimum front signage on the outside façade must have a dimension of 800mm (height) x 200mm (thickness) x variable length according to frontage available

Secondary signage: These should be hung between column/pillars and have a dimension of 600mm height x 1700mm width x 200mm thickness

Hanging flexible signage: The signage will hang below secondary signage and be 4ftx4ft and have a width of 1300mm

First Floor

Primary signage: The signage is to be placed above the window, over the louvers. Message on the signage can be plain, simple and in vinyl. The size of the base box should be 718 mm (height), 1867 mm (width) and 200mm (thickness)

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 05:09 IST