Water bodies, art installations part of NDMC’s Shanti Path makeover plans
In an attempt to turn it into a “world class” public place, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will further develop Shanti Path, located in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri. Under the initiative, the municipality plans to create water bodies on both sides of the green strip that runs along the road and install art work such as stone sculptures on the islands near the three roundabouts.
According to NDMC officials, the project is currently in its initial stage and a detailed plan will be made in consultation with the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC). The municipality will also illuminate the sprawling lawns on both sides of the road with the help of ‘uplighters’.
There are three roundabouts — Nyay Marg/Niti Marg circle, Satya Marg circle, Panchsheel Marg circle — on a 2.5 km stretch of the Shanti Path. Officials explained that merging roads at these roundabouts form islands on the corners of the intersection, with each crossing having four such islands, where art works can be displayed.
“There are 12 islands at three roundabouts on the stretch where we are planning to install some art work, especially sculptures. The art work will be such that represents the name of the road; so the theme is expected to be ‘peace and happiness’. The initiative is aimed at giving the stretch a more beautiful and world-class look,” a senior NDMC official, who did not wish to be named, said.
At present, only plants and grass are there on these islands; and these days, heaps of dry leaves can also be seen.
Shanti Path, among the most well maintained stretches in the city, was developed in the 1950s. The road is punctuated by at least 20 foreign missions, including the embassies of USA, China, Turkey, Belgium, Poland and the British High Commission.
The stretch is surrounded by green landscape on its either side. From near the Canadian High Commission starts the sprawling green lawns that run alongside both carriageways of the road. The green area comprises ornamental flowers, palm trees, and decorative plants.
Now, the municipality plans to create water bodies on both sides of Shanti Path.
“This is because we want to add some water element in the landscape. We have enough wide space of approximately 38 metres on each side of the road where big water bodies can come up,” the official added.
Another NDMC official said the concept would be shared with the DUAC and the municipality would take the Art Commission on board to work on a detailed plan for the development of the stretch.
“Beautifying the stretch is not possible without roping in the DUAC. First, we want to discuss the concept with them so that there are no hurdles later. We will scrutiny the concept to come up with the best feasible plan,” he said.
But there are many who think Shanti Path does not require a massive makeover. “The stretch is already quite beautiful and does not need much intervention,” said Neeraj Gupta, an artist and president of the Delhi Art Society. He, however, approved the idea of putting “creative” Indian art work on display in the area.
“The art work should be such that it connects our glorious past with the contemporary era. It should give some message to the world. If the art work by Indian artists is displayed on this stretch of diplomatic enclave, it will reflect across the globe,” he said.