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No progress in Capitol Complex restoration

It has been eight months since the Chandigarh administration is trying to find a contractor for restoration and management of buildings and monuments in Capitol Complex in Sector 1, Chandigarh. However, the Administration has not been able to find one even after issuing tenders thrice.

The project received major setback when Mumbai-based heritage architect Abha Narian Lambah left the project midway in June this year. She was appointed as Consultant for the project for three years in 2017 and her term was to end March this year. Its reported that Lambah left the project over some issues, including the design of the ongoing works. At present, the project doesn’t have a heritage consultant.

The iconic three buildings of the Capitol Complex — secretariat, legislative assembly and the Punjab and Haryana High Court were constructed between years 1955 and 1958. While the restoration work on legislative assembly and the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been carried out in parts, the Secretariat work has not yet been started. The project is estimated to cost Rs 25.50 crore out of which Rs 19.85 crore is civil component.

According to available reports, the Chandigarh Administration has also sought help from the French government and a French delegation led by Brigitte Bouvier, Director of a France-based foundation had visited the city last month to hold discussion with the administration on issues related to preservation and restoration of heritage buildings and items. However, no proposal from the French government has come till date.

Chandigarh Capitol Complex, located in the sector-1 of Chandigarh city in India, is a government compound designed by the legendary architect Le Corbusier and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is spread over an area of around 100 acres and is a prime manifestation of Chandigarh’s architecture. It comprises three buildings, three monuments and a lake, including the Palace of Assembly or Legislative Assembly, Secretariat, High Court, Open Hand Monument, Geometric Hill and Tower of Shadows. It was added in UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2016.

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