In an interview with Parul, Shivdutt Sharma, former Chief Architect of ISRO, stresses the need to preserve, conserve and maintain the legacy of Le Corbusier and ideals on which Chandigarh was based, along with people's participation
You are the chairperson of the Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Sub-Committee. What are the roles of this Committee? Over the years how have its functions changed to adapt to the changing face of the city? What are the common concerns of the Committee?
The Administration has formed various committees to preserve, conserve and maintain the legacy of Le Corbusier and the ideals on which the city was based. Le Corbusier, with his deep, penetrating vision into the consciousness of contemporary society, focused on shaping environments for the larger good of humanity. Whatever be the nature of change, the concern of the Sub-Committee has been to preserve, safeguard and maintain Chandigarh’s heritage, which is of outstanding universal value as recognized by UNESCO, with the Capitol Complex now a world heritage site. The Sub-Committee plays a vital role in identifying, preserving and protecting this legacy.
Chandigarh is often described as a living heritage. How do you think we can preserve and maintain this heritage for the future generations?
The future generations have to be made aware of the values the city was built on. They have to be sensitized towards the unique heritage of Chandigarh and its architecture. The younger generation and students need to be involved in various activities to play a role in preserving, respecting and appreciating the city’s essence. Chandigarh is a city of intellectuals and citizens who care about the city and the need of the hour is to make citizens an integral part of initiatives, forums and programmes which focus on the future plans and progress of the city.
Also, what could be a solution to accommodate migrants and steps for the development of the peripheral areas of the city?
It is disappointing that so many encroachments and unplanned constructions are taking place, which is affecting the aesthetic appeal and also burdening the city’s resources. It is for the citizens, not just the Administration, to ensure that such undesirable developments do not take place.
Almost 30 per cent of the population of Chandigarh is of migrants, settled in Chandigarh in form of rehabilitation colonies in the periphery of the city, some housing was also planned to accommodate the migrants. Over a period, various solutions to accommodate them have been considered. It is a vast subject which will continue to be studied till appropriate solutions are found.