Walled City renovation to feature in Delhi’s tableau for R-Day parade
The Delhi government has decided to showcase its ‘Redevelopment of Shahjahanabad’ project, which includes pedestrianisation and upgrade of the historic Chandni Chowk area, in its tableau for the 72nd Republic Day parade next year.
The Sahitya Kala Parishad, under the Delhi government, has invited tenders from firms to “conceptualise, design, fabricate and display” the tableau. A senior Delhi government official said the process to select the firm will start after November 2.
“The theme has been decided and it will showcase our work being carried out in Chandni Chowk. The contractor will have to make a detailed presentation about the concept. The idea presented by the contractor will be placed before a select committee of the government’s department of art, culture and language,” the senior official said, not wishing to be named.
The final design will be sent to the ministry of defence (MoD) for final approval. As per the tender document, the contractor will have to carry out changes as suggested by the select committee and MoD.
The official quoted above said the theme of ‘Redevelopment of Shahjahanbad’ was finalised to showcase the city’s rich heritage and measures taken to preserve it. The redevelopment work at Chandni Chowk is a major project which is nearing its completion.
As part of the project, the 1.5km long stretch between the Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid is being redeveloped as a completely pedestrian space. The government has also carried out major work to relay water and sewer lines and take electricity and other cables underground. The Shahjahanbad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) is the nodal agency for the implementation of the project,
Sanjay Bhargava, president of Chandni Chowk Sarv Vypar Mandal, said, “It is a matter of pride that the redevelopment project has been chosen as the theme for Delhi’s tableau. While the work is ongoing, we want the government to take more measures to protect the heritage of this area. It should form a statutory body on the lines of the New Delhi Municipal Council (looks after Lutyens’ Delhi) to look after this special area.”
Heritage expert Swapna Liddle, convener of Intach (Delhi chapter), an NGO that works to preserve heritage, welcomed the move and said, “It is a great move to draw attention to two important issues -- the historical importance of the area and the need to rejuvenate it. The area has been neglected for long. It will be interesting to see how the tableau takes shape.”
Although the final decision on the tableaux that will be paraded out on Republic Day rests with MoD, the Delhi government officials said all efforts are being made to ensure that Delhi makes it to the final list.
In the last five years, the Delhi government’s tableaux were part of the Republic Day parade in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, the government had showcased its ‘education model’, while in 2019, the tableau was about Mahatma Gandhi’s 720-day stay in the national capital between 1915 and 1948.
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