Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday visited Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon, an open public space and the site of an urban renewal project which is now a popular tourist attraction. Kejriwal, accompanied by Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain is currently visiting South Korea, his first bilateral visit to a foreign country after becoming chief minister.
Kejriwal also attended a leg of the ongoing India Festival in South Korea – ‘Sarang 2018’ at Yonsei University, and praised the Indian Embassy in Seoul for showcasing India’s heritage to Koreans. “I am extremely pleased to participate in this festival and happy that the embassy has taken initiatives to showcase India’s culture to Korea… And, this music fest is being launched today. I am very pleased, and I am here to attend a conference, to sign an agreement between Seoul city and Delhi city,” he said in his address.
Cheonggyecheon is an over 8 km-long stream flowing west to east through downtown Seoul, and then meeting Jungnangcheon, which connects to the Han River and empties into the Yellow Sea. Several decades ago, Cheonggyecheon was covered with concrete for roads and even public transportation system was later built over it.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government undertook a restoration of the stream in 2005 and renewed it. The Cheonggyecheon restoration project had the purpose of preserving the unique identity of the natural environment and the historic resources in the central business district of Seoul, and to reinforce the surrounding business area with information technology, international affairs and digital industries.
Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party also posted pictures of his visit on Twitter. “Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal & Urban Development Minister @SatyendarJain visit the Cheonggyecheon stream in downtown Seoul. Cheonggyecheon stream was a dirty polluted stream stretched around 11 km, said to be urban regeneration marvel as it is now a tourist hotspot,” AAP tweeted.
“CM @ArvindKejriwal is in Seoul for Twin City Agreement b/w Delhi & Seoul on Pollution, Water, Public Transport, Education & Urban Devp. If Cheonggyecheon stream in downtown Seoul can be regenerated to a tourist hotspot, why can’t river Yamuna & drains in Delhi be revived ?” the party said. Kejriwal is scheduled to leave Seoul on September 14. Sarang festival began on September 6 and ends on September 16. A Carnatic music concert was also held at the Yonsei University on its 100th anniversary on Wednesday.