Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 16
Pain and anguish were writ large on the face of Anuj Saini, son of late Nek Chand who created the world-famous Rock Garden, on the master creator’s birth anniversary celebrations on Saturday.
The pain is caused by the present condition of Rock Garden, which has been witnessing neglect for long.
Anuj has decided to not wait any more and restore all broken and missing original artworks of Nek Chand at his own expense. On the occasion of the 94th birth anniversary of Nek Chand today, he reinstalled three broken artworks at Rock Garden.
Anuj said it took him over two months to get the repairs or creations remade. He first restored the fountain installed in “Rani Ka Talab’. He said his father had made the fountain using cycle parts. Second thing he has restored is a hut made of broken marbles at a pond at theentrance of the tourist place. A wooden structure in a snake’s shape at the entrance was also restored today. Anuj said if the art continued to decay this way, tourists would one day see only ground at Rock Garden. He said there was urgent need to take immediate steps to preserve the architectural marvel.
He said he was not pointing fingers at any official in the UT Administration for the ill-upkeep of this place as they also have to take care of other areas in the city. Anuj said officials like SDO and JE cannot know the pieces missing in the artworks because they get shifted frequently or attain superannuation. “My heart cries today on watching the broken pieces of the artworks created by my father. I saw my father working day and night to create these things. I will work to restore them in their original shape,” he told Chandigarh Tribune. He said since he did not have much money he would seek support of people if required.
Anuj said many times, he heard people saying that he wanted to take control of Rock Garden. “There is not an iota of truth in it. Neither my father nor I ever thought of such things. The land belongs to the government and it will remain so. However, nobody has the right over the artworks of my father and he will not allow it to happen.”
Meanwhile, the Rock Garden Society organised a musical programme for the visitors on the occasion of Nek Chand’s birth anniversary.
AK Gupta, Principal Secretary, Home-cum-chairman of Rock Garden Society, paid floral tributes at the memorial of the legend. The celebrations would continue tomorrow when a ghazal evening will be held.
Rock Garden has an estimated footfall of 5,000 a day. The garden, made out of waste, fetches over Rs 1 lakh a day. Created secretly by Nek Chand, the garden was officially opened on January 24, 1976.
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