Nek Chand's ninetieth birthday was widely and joyfully celebrated by the people and city of Chandigarh this week. On Monday 15th December crowds gathered at the Rock Garden for organized festivities at which Nek Chand was greeted by well-wishers and cut an enormous specially-made cake.
The local edition of Times India carried front-page features in the days leading up to the event, lauding the creator of the Rock Garden and calling on city authorities to complete his work. The birthday was noted internationally with, among others, articles in the Times of Oman, The Straits Times (Singapore), and The Korea Herald [http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20141215000490].
These AFP-origin stories mention the Nek Chand Foundation and quote Foundation volunteers Alan Cesarano and Professor Mani Dhillon.
“It is perhaps the only place of its kind in the entire world. The administration and the people must realize its importance, they must come forward and save it before it’s too late,” said Professor Dhillon.
Meanwhile, recent reports say Chandigarh city authorities not only smartened the Rock Garden before the birthday celebrations but also re-started work on the unfinished Phase 3. The long delay in carrying out Nek Chand's plans for a circulatory route through the Garden and for the putting in place of large numbers of massive human and animal figures has for several years been a major cause of concern for Nek Chand and the NCF.
If the reports are confirmed, and if the work continues, it would be a wonderful and fitting birthday present for the newly nonagenarian Nek Chand.