Chandigarh: Architects’ body slams Kher’s remarks on Tribune flyover

Hina Rohtaki
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An artist's impression of the Tribune Flyover. (File Photo)

A day after Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher slammed those opposing the proposed Tribune flyover, the Indian Institute of Architects body (Punjab chapter) on Wednesday condemned her comments.

Kher on Tuesday had alleged that people opposing the flyover are “those who wanted plum positions in various committees of administration, the position of nominated councillors, contracts for their companies or extension of their wife’s contract in the government departments”.

Former nominated councillor Surinder Bahga from the IIA said, “ Contracts of such big projects are awarded on the basis of pre-decided eligibility criteria through e-tenders. How can any architect/engineer desire to have a contract of a flyover without fulfilling eligibility criteria or applying for it?.”

On the MP’s statement of heritage not being disturbed because flyover will be at outskirts, the architects’ body said, “Why they bypassed their own heritage committee to push the project?”

It further said, “She also said that where in the world does the government knock on the doors of citizens to ask do you want flyover? Public participation is the guideline of smart city mission and when UT administration has failed in that, the high court had to pitch in to press for public participation. In Vancouver in British Columbia, each and every decision is taken after thorough public debate.”

IIA said that it had supported Kirron Kher’s proposal to not come up with metro because it was based on the findings of two studies. “In the past, we have also supported the construction of multilevel parking. Now we are opposing the construction of a flyover because of professional reasons. Nothing else. More so it is a collective and unanimous decision of IIA, not individual’s opposition to grind any axe,” it said.

The architect’s body further said that all those who opposed the project gave suggestions and ideas for alternate solutions and their reasons for the opposition but on the other hand those who supported it have hardly any concrete reason to support it.

On MP’s statement of administration replanting trees, the IIA said, “When Chandigarh Administration talks about replanting some of the trees or planting more number of trees to compensate the loss of cutting of 400 trees they should give an example of their success stories in the past to convince public. They had always failed. Where they replanted earlier trees? Show us.”

“Moreover, when urban planning department had opposed it, architects, engineers, consultants and prominent citizens are opposing it, why there is a hurry to expedite the project without any discussion? There is no provision in their own Chandigarh Master Plan-2030. Professionalism demands that there should be an independent jury of traffic planners, architects to judge and scrutinize public views and study other options. How can the engineering wing, which has no personnel who are qualified for the job, judge the proposals?” it said.