Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh administration in its management plan submitted to UNESCO has committed that it will not compromise on the original layout plan for expansion of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Secretariat buildings.
In the dossier submitted before UNESCO in 2016 for the nomination of the world heritage status of the Capitol Complex, the administration has made it clear that increasing pressure on parking lots at the High Court and Secretariat buildings should be addressed without compromising on the layout of the site.
The plan says with additional traffic generated by increasing visitation to the Capitol Complex, parking needs will have to be addressed and resolved using areas in the buffer zone.
The plan suggests decreasing the pressure on parking with the limited space available. It has also proposed to strengthen public transport between the Capitol Complex world heritage site and important places in the city. It has also proposed that the multi-level parking in the buffer zone should be considered for the High Court and Secretariat building after approval of the Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee (CHCC), to ascertain that it does conflict with the views and vistas of the world heritage site.
“The High Court has been provided with a multilevel subterranean parking in addition to the existing surface parking. For the High Court alone, as per figures, approximately 2, 90,000 sq ft of area has been projected for development, including parking for 3,500-4,000 four-wheelers and 2,500-3,000 two-wheelers.”
The increasing space requirements of the High Court and Secretariat should be sensitively accommodated in the buffer and preferably be planned elsewhere in the city. The requirement of additional space to accommodate the functions of the High Court shall be met within the eastern buffer zone for which holistic planning has been undertaken with the involvement of the members of the CHCC.
The increasing pressure on parking for the High Court and Secretariat buildings should be addressed without compromising on the layout of the site. The existing parking lots of the adjoining Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and parking lots along the Uttar Marg should be managed in a holistic manner to cater to increased visitation to the site. Battery-operated carts from these parking lots should be increased to facilitate access to the property.
Shift some HC works elsewhere
The UT in the dossier suggests to reduce pressure on the world heritage site by relocating extended functions of the High Court and the Secretariat elsewhere in the city. Developments in the buffer zone should ease the development pressure on the site without compromising on the character and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the nominated property. All additions and alterations in the buffer zone should follow the prescribed development norms and further be approved by the CHCC. An Interstate Coordination plan should be developed with Punjab to ensure low rise-low density development in the area beyond the northern buffer zone till the foothills of the Shivalik Hills.
All green areas are inviolable land use
The dossier says the green open and spacious ambience of the Capitol Complex and the buffer zone shall be protected through the Chandigarh Master Plan-2031 which stipulates all green areas as inviolable land use, thus ensuring the preservation of the eastern, northern and western buffer zones comprising natural greens, the Rock Garden and part of the city green — the Leisure Valley. The requirement of additional space to accommodate the functions of the High Court shall be met within the eastern buffer for which holistic planning has been undertaken with the involvement of the Members of the CHCC to ensure harmonious development.
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