Delhi urban art panel refuses truce with government

February 21st, 2008 - 9:39 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The four members of the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) who have collectively resigned Thursday declared they were sticking to their stand. “Our resignations is a well-thought out move. When left with no option, we were constrained to put in our papers. There is no scope for any kind of negotiations at all,” architect and one of DUAC members Jasbir Sawhney told IANS.

According to a government source, attempts had earlier been made to dissuade them from resigning.

Sawhney along with the chairman Charles Correa, a noted architect, Narayani Gupta, historian, and Mohammad Shaheer, landscape architect, Wednesday sent their resignations to Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy.

The DUAC is convened for a three-year term and helps in preserving the aesthetic beauty and heritage of the national capital.

“Everyone concerned with the DUAC in the ministry and the Delhi government was aware of our reservations about several projects, but they did not heed our concerns,” Sawhney said.

The members had strong objections to a tunnel being built for the Commonwealth Games Village in east Delhi and the Safdarjung Tomb in the south. They also refuted charges that the commission was delaying development projects.

“We were giving only suggestions and advisories. No project was being delayed because of us,” Shaheer told IANS.

Correa-led DUAC was set up to constitute as many as 12 task forces to look into the key challenges faced by the city and for improvement of certain areas like Shahjahanbad and upgrading civic amenities in the city’s 350 villages.

They had picked up Khirkee village in south Delhi as a prototype on how the conditions in the city urban villages could be improved. They helped the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to design as many as 16 bungalows in the Lutyens’ area.

Sources said the DUAC members were also not happy with the ministry’s proposed move to reduce the DUAC membership to two from the present four. The fifth member of the DUAC happens to the ministry’s joint secretary in-charge of the Delhi division.

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