|Visitors at the exhibition and (below) some of them give their suggestions through the questionnaires. Pictures by Prabin Khaling
Gangtok, April 21: A group of architects in Sikkim is busy collecting feedbacks from residents of Gangtok on a bunch of public projects in the state capital.
The Projecting Gangtok-Dialogues for an Emerging City, an exhibition that started on April 15 and will continue till the end of this month, has been organising by the Architects of Sikkim.
The Star Hall presentation exhibits the designs of a dozen projects outlined by the departments of urban development, buildings, cultural affairs, public health engineering, forest and tourism for Gangtok.
The exhibition revolves around an idea floated by the AS that these projects should be in the knowledge of the people whose feedback will be then channelled back to the implementing agencies.
“There is a lot of projects coming up in Gangtok and we have showcased the designs of these projects during this exhibition so that people here can have a look and give their comments. This is an open platform where people can give their feedback, which we will be placing before the departments. The purpose of the exhibition is to bridge the gap between the decision-makers in the urban bodies and the aspirations of the people who live here,” said AS member Kailash Pradhan.
Visitors to the exhibition will be explained how the state government intends to meet the evolving needs of Gangtok both as a state capital and a tourism hub through projects like Fashion Street at Panihouse, flyover and parking lot at Deorali, Namnang walkway, State Museum at Bhanu Path, Kisan Bazaar near Lall Market, Gangtok Tower, Chandmari urban renewal mission and Soochna Bhavan at Tadong.
Feedback, comments or suggestions on these projects and visions of an ideal city are being collected in the form of a three-page questionnaire, online replies and a register at the exhibition hall. Two members of the AS are always present at the exhibition to explain the projects.
“We have received overwhelming response and people are showing great willingness to know. We have collected around 300 forms filled up by the visitors and we expect to collect more than 1,000 by the end of this exhibition. The AS will then compile the suggestions and feedback and present them to the departments concerned,” said AS co-ordinator Chetan Shrestha.
School students, who have visited the exhibition, are very keen to learn about the flyover proposed over the road near Tashi Namgyal Academy. One of them, probably a student of the academy, has scribbled a comment: “Hope this happens before I pass out.”
Students from other schools along NH31A in Gangtok have also suggested that flyovers should be constructed near their schools.
“A lot of visitors are appreciating the project concepts and are also giving suggestions. Since work for only a few projects have started, people have expressed their hopes that changes suggested by them would be accommodated while implementing the other concepts,” said AS member Sonam Tashi.
Asked whether the departments really would take any action on the suggestions given by the people, the AS coordinator said: “The government wants to know what the people want and people want to know what the projects aim at. They always see some digging and construction going on in and around Gangtok and the AS seeks to act as a catalyst.”
“Even the department officers especially from the urban development wing have visited the exhibition as residents of Gangtok and they are looking forward to the suggestions and feedback. The departments want to know what people are thinking about their projects,” said Shrestha.