Architectural heritage of Chandigarh: French envoy provides support for restoration and conservation
French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain on Saturday visited Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Banwarilal Purohit during his visit to Chandigarh. The Ambassador assured their support in the restoration and conservation of the architectural heritage of Chandigarh. The meeting took place at the Punjab Raj Bhavan.
Purohit said Chandigarh is looking forward to French expertise in the areas of identification, restoration and legal protection of heritage furnishings as well as preservation of architectural heritage.
He appreciated the French support in the water supply project. To respond to the gap between water demand and supply, a 24X7 water supply project will soon be initiated with the financial assistance of the French Development Agency.
The French envoy pledged his full support and informed that French experts would look into the restoration and conservation works of the Capitol complex and other exposed reinforced concrete buildings. He suggested partnerships with higher education institutions for greater opportunities for Indian students in France. “Currently, nearly 10,000 Indian students are studying in France and we expect that number to double by next year,” he said.
Purohit also said that Chandigarh’s French connection can never be forgotten as from the conceptualization of the city to its planning and execution, the contribution of the French has been immense.
Purohit also said that French architect Le Corbusier designed City Beautiful and now French consultants are contributing their expertise to turn it into a smart city.
Chandigarh Advisor to the Administrator, Dharam Pal, also met the French delegation led by Emmanuel Lebrun, Director, French Institute in India, French Diplomat, Advisor for Education, Science and Culture in India with Ophélie Belin, Alliance Director French, Chandigarh.
Emmanuel Lenain, while interacting with the Administrator, said that the two countries shared good working relations, and added that finding new solutions in the area of mutual interest would further help strengthen the relationship.
Links for sharing knowledge in the field of architecture, ideas for traffic management on the model of Paris were among other things discussed.
The French delegation contributed to the restoration of Le Corbusier’s heritage in the city. Lebrun assured that French experts will support the restoration and conservation of heritage sites, including the Capitol complex and other sites that have heritage significance in the city. Beyond this, the Chandigarh administration has also expressed concern for the legal protection of the city’s heritage furnishings.
The meeting also raised discussion on launching student exchange programs with Chandigarh Architecture College and other technical colleges in the city.
The partnerships will provide opportunities for Indian students in France and those exploring opportunities abroad.
Dr. Vijay Namdeorao Zade, Finance Secretary, Alice Gauny, National Coordinator of the Alliance Française, Diane Josse, Cultural Attaché, ML Sarin, Senior Lawyer and President of the Alliance Française were also present at the meeting.