Chandigarh: Day after, Matka Chowk dug up, then cover-up began

A senior official from the Chandigarh Smart City said cameras for intelligent traffic management system had to be installed and cables for that were being laid.

Just a day after a grand event of dedication of Murmurations at Matka Chowk by UT Adviser Manoj Parida, the iconic roundabout was dug up completely. When things were brought to Parida’s notice, officials were in a cover-up mode and deep pit dug up was again being filled on Wednesday evening.

A senior official from the Chandigarh Smart City said cameras for intelligent traffic management system had to be installed and cables for that were being laid.

“The BEL company has to install cameras for intelligent traffic management system. They were digging up to lay the cables. But now we have covered up the pit because anyone could fall and this work can be done later,” he said.

The area around the birds was entirely dug up. Adviser Parida said, “Contractors of BEL working for smart city dug it up to lay cables for CCTV. They have been warned.”

Two days ago, Advisor Parida had dedicated to the City Beautiful the ‘Murmurations’ installation at Matka Chowk.

With 300 flying birds, spread over 2,000 sq ft, the artwork weighs 5.5 tonnes and rises from 3-ft above the ground to 18-ft. The installation has been done by Mumbai-based Dr Sandeep Goyal, who grew up in the UT.

Parida had said the Murmurations installation at Matka Chowk is a welcome addition to the city’s skyline.

The digging up came as a shock for Matka Chowk lovers.

Sources said the contractors had dug five big trenches, including under the installation that ruined the lights, the flower beds and the grass. About Rs 1 crore has been spent on the installation.

Murmuration features birds made from mild steel sheets, terracotta and mild steel pipes used in the poles to hoist the birds and birds have been painted in red and dark bronze while the poles are painted in light greyish blue for an aesthetic appeal.

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