State govt tells civic body that the latter has no power to change names of existing areas

The iconic Chandni Chowk in the national capital's old quarters cannot be renamed by the city's civic body, the Delhi government said yesterday in the wake of a proposal to rename the area after Sachin Tendulkar.

"The city government has asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi  (MCD) to avoid taking any decision on renaming Chandni Chowk, as the civic body is not empowered to change the names of the existing roads/areas etc. as communicated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs vide its communication dated September 27, 1975," an official statement said. 

The Congress-led Delhi government has also sent a letter to the MCD commissioner stating that any attempt to rename Chandni Chowk will not only be a violation of the guidelines issued by the union government but will also undermine the great historical, heritage and cultural importance of the area.

"It would be only in the fitness of things, if major stakeholders are suitably consulted before taking any decision on proposed renaming of Chandni Chowk," the statement said.

The MCD was also urged to refer to home ministry guidelines which state that the names of existing street/areas should not be changed as this may create confusion for the post offices and general public, apart from depriving citizens of a sense of history.

The guidelines further state that only new streets or roads may be named after eminent personalities.