Centre approves Delhi tableau featuring ‘new’ Chandni Chowk

It will seek to send a message of religious and cultural harmony: govt. official

January 05, 2021 12:36 am | Updated 03:33 pm IST - New Delhi

A sample of how the area will look once the project is completed.

A sample of how the area will look once the project is completed.

The city’s Republic Day tableau – showcasing the Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project – has been accorded approval by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), according to Delhi government sources.

Marking the Capital’s return to the festivities on Rajpath via a float proposed by it after three years, the tableau, Delhi government officials associated with it said, will be special in more ways than one.

Not only will it be the only other “live” tableau apart from the Ram Temple-themed Uttar Pradesh float, Delhi’s tableau, featuring mini contingents of four cyclists each riding along on either side of it in a symbolic bid to promote it as a means of commuting in a megacity, according to government sources, will possibly be the first time bicycles will run on Rajpath as part of a State float.

“The tableau itself will seek to send a message of religious and cultural harmony – portraying the pedestrianised route along two temples, a gurdwara, a church and a mosque located along the 1.3 km to 1.5 km-long-route being redeveloped in Chandni Chowk – but there is another message,” said a government official.

“The cyclists riding along will symbolise a sustainable future for megacities where cycling and walking on safe streets are significant means of commuting,” the official also said.

As reported by The Hindu on December 31, 2020, the city’s proposed tableau for Republic Day celebrations this year is based on the Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project – undertaken at a cost of ₹90 crore and part of a larger redevelopment plan for the Walled City of Shahjahanabad which is on the brink of being inaugurated – showcasing a Delhi government accomplishment after three years.

Though a Delhi tableau was also part of the celebrations last year – depicting Mahatma Gandhi’s 720-day stay in the city between 1915 and 1948 – it was part of a contingent of 22 others depicting different facets from the life of the Father of the Nation as per a ‘Gandhi connect’ theme to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary pre-decided by the Ministry of Defence.

In 2017, the Delhi tableau illustrated a ‘Model Government School’ referencing the State government’s initiatives in the education sector and the betterment of the conditions of schools administered by it.

Before 2017, the Delhi tableau was a no-show for three consecutive years. Prior to this, a float seeking to showcase the diverse culture of those constituting its population and the traditional practices native to them, including fine art, was part of Republic Day celebrations in the year 2013.

Finishing touches are being given to the 1.3-km stretch between Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid.

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