03 juin 2007


Le rikshaw prend le Lecorbusier

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Anonymous id M said...

World heritage city status?
First save heritage pieces
Manhole covers stolen, sold as scrap
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Considered to be part of the city’s precious heritage, unique manhole covers designed by one of the key architects of City Beautiful, Pierre Jeanneret, are finding their way to the scrap market, courtesy petty thieves.

This came to light in the wee hours today when a Tribune team noticed a rickshawpuller on the road dividing Sectors 15 and 24 taking one of these manhole covers. The police was informed about it. The rickshawpuller who took Rs 50 for transportation, said the invaluable piece was being taken to a junk dealer.

With the Chandigarh Administration and the police turning a blind eye to the fast-vanishing artifacts, it seems we are losing priceless heritage.

In fact, the stealing of the manhole cover weighing over a quintal from the heart of the city in Sector 17 near Hotel Taj is testimony to the apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned at a time when Chandigarh is aiming for the world heritage city status.

The police was informed about it and soon a team reached there and nabbed the rickshawpuller. Identified as 40-year-old Gyan Bahadur, he told the police that four women told him to deliver the manhole cover to Sachin, a Sector 24-based junk dealer.

Bahadur, who hails from Nepal, told TNS in the Sector 24 police post that four women, who appeared to be belonging to the Sansi community, met him near Neelam Cinema in Sector 17 around 4.30 am. They told him carry “something” from near Hotel Taj to Sector 24. On reaching there, they asked him to lift the heavy manhole cover with its frame lying on ground near the drainage. As it was too heavy, all five of them loaded it on to the rickshaw after a lot of efforts.

“The women asked me to deliver the manhole cover to Sachin, a junk dealer in Sector 24 and take Rs 50 as fare from him. I was not aware of its significance and that the women were putting me in danger,” said Ram Bahadur.

The SHO of the Sector 11 police station, inspector Puran Chand, said the matter was being investigated and the persons named by Gyan Bahadur would be questioned in this connection.

Adjudged unique and archetypal due to their concept as they depict the master plan of Chandigarh on their tops, these manhole covers are made of cast iron and are becoming a rare sight nowadays. Interestingly, the original manhole cover, which is lying at the Sector 10 Government Art and Museum Gallery, has a quote, “See how many you can locate”, emblazoned on it.


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