Master Plan not ready despite 3 extensions to Chief Architect
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Set to retire in October, she may get another extension
The Master Plan for the city may not have been finalised, but it has ensured three extensions of tenure for UT Chief Architect Sumit Kaur. On deputation from Punjab since 2008, she has been getting extensions for completing the Master Plan and working for preserving the city's heritage — the issues that are still hanging fire.
Kaur is the chairperson of the committee that is preparing the Master Plan. The UT administration has demanded six more months from the High Court for completion of the Master Plan, stating that the draft is ready and has been sent for peer review — a judgement on a piece of scientific or other professional work by others working in the same area. Speculation is rife that Kaur, who is set to retire in October, may get another extension.
The Chief Architect maintains that the draft Master Plan is ready and is under peer review. "We have been updating the co-ordination committee about the progress and presentations have been made. The work done was appreciated by the members of the committee," she says.
Kaur joined the Chandigarh Administration as the Chief Architect in October 2008 for a period of one year. The initial deadline for completing the Master Plan was December 2010. However, until now, the administration has sought six extensions from the High Court.
Work on preparing the Master Plan started in 2009 after directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Of the experts who were made part of the committee, not all attended the meetings. Soon after it was constituted, architect-cum-planner Christopher Charles Benninger resigned from the committee reportedly not being satisfied with the way things were progressing. Another member, first Indian Chief Architect of the city M N Sharma, attended just one meeting in the past three years.
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