India’s ‘Rock’ star no more

Chandigarh: Nek Chand- a name that the city of Chandigarh identifies itself with- is no more, leaving a void behind for art enthusiasts who took inspiration from his style of work.

A self-taught artist, he believed in recycling waste materials and put them into creative use.

The Padma Shri awardee, whose 90th birthday was celebrated by the Chandigarh Administration on December 15, died at the PGIMER shortly past mid-night, where he had been admitted following complaint of chest pain, his family said.

He was brought to PGIMER on Thursday evening, the hospital officials said.

Chand, who was born in a village now in Pakistan, worked as a road inspector of the Public Works Department.

His body will be kept in the Rock garden through Friday to enable people to pay their last respects, his family said, adding, the cremation is expected to take place on Saturday.

Expressing condolence PM Narendra tweeted: “Nek Chand ji will always be remembered for his artistic genius & fabulous creation that is cherished by many. May his soul rest in peace.”

He built the city’s iconic Rock Garden from waste and other unused household materials.

Spread over an area of forty-acres, the garden was inaugurated in 1976. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1984.

The Rock Garden is now acknowledged as one of the modern wonders of the world and receives over 5,000 visitors each day.

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