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A REFERENCE ANNUAL
RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Area : 114 sq km
Population : 9,00,635 (Census 2001)
Capital : Chandigarh Languages : Hindi, Punjabi, English
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
Chandigarh is a fully grown town of most modern architectural splendour. The city nestles in a picturesque setting in the foothills of Shivalik hills and enjoys the popular epithet the "City Beautiful". Representative of modern architecture and town planning, the city is a creation of the French Architect, Le Corbusier. Chandigarh and the area surrounding it were constituted as a Union Territory on 1 November 1966. It serves as the joint capital of both Punjab and Haryana States. It is bounded on north and west by Punjab and on the east and south by Haryana.
Abhilash Gaur, February 21, 2022: The Times of India
Chandigarh is a city without a sense of local history. Founded by fiat, designed by a foreign hand and built on a greenfield site, it was born without an umbilical cord. Its first-generation residents came from outside and felt the rootlessness acutely. Their children also grew up in the dark because the school curriculum developed in Delhi didn’t touch upon Chandigarh’s history.
So, the belief that Chandigarh is a city without a history persists, but is it true? What was Chandigarh like before it became City Beautiful? Was it a jungle, or did people live there? What was their daily life like?
Some answers to these questions may be found in the tour reports of British officers. One of them, Dr Bateson, visited the area 154 years ago. He was the civil surgeon of Ambala, and was sent to investigate the reasons for the high rates of goitre and spleen (caused by malaria) in the region.
One of the interesting points in his report – submitted on March 28, 1868 – is that the name ‘Chandigarh’ existed even then, although it was not the name of a city or a village but of a fort on top of a hill.
Back then, the area was called Ilaqa Manimajra. If you are not familiar with Chandigarh, Manimajra is an old town that’s part of the Union Territory of Chandigarh now. In Bateson’s time it was the only town there, and was surrounded by 69 villages.
When Bateson visited Manimajra town it was already more than a century old and had 2,325 houses with 6,045 inhabitants.
The Gazetteer of Ambala district from 1884 says Manimajra was part of the Sirhind province of Punjab under the Mughals. When the Mughal governor Zain Khan died in 1762, a Sikh leader named Garib Das seized 84 villages around Manimajra, and made the town his capital.
The new ruler of Manimajra got the title of ‘raja’ from the Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Abdali. Later, the British confirmed it when his successors helped them in their war against the Gurkhas. The popular temple of Mansa Devi outside Chandigarh was also built by Manimajra’s kings, and twice a year it used to draw about 80,000 pilgrims to fairs held in March and September. They were quite large gatherings for that era.
Just as Delhi grew up along the Yamuna, Ilaqa Manimajra was dependent on water from the Ghaggar, which used to be a perennial river.
Most of the land was low-lying so the river water could be easily channeled to the villages for irrigation. But though they depended on the Ghaggar, the locals believed its water was harmful. The British settlement report of the area from 1859 says, “The villages are frightfully under-populated for the reason that the irrigation is most pernicious to health.”
It also noted that fever and goitre were extremely prevalent. The medical condition of cretinism, in which thyroid deficiency causes physical deformity and mental weakness, was common too. It was not unusual for a village to have four, five or even six cretins.
Bateson began his tour of Ilaqa Manimajra in Mauli village, about 3km south of the town, on March 22, 1868. He found that 17 men and 6 women in Mauli had goitre. The rate was higher among men because they were all locals. They had grown up in Mauli, unlike their wives who had come from outside. So, it’s not surprising that people correlated the high rate of goitre with local conditions, chiefly the water from the Ghaggar. Next morning, Bateson travelled to a larger village named Pabhat (pronounced Pubhaat) about 8km south of Manimajra. It lay across another river called Sukhia or Sukhna and had 357 houses with 1,630 residents.
Yes, Sukhna is only known as a lake now, but back in Bateson’s time it was a small river that started near Pinjore and joined the Ghaggar at Mubarakpur after a journey of about 25km. It was easy to cross and even in the rains it had only about three feet of water. Unlike the Ghaggar, the Sukhna had little water in March. Bateson says it was broad and nearly dry.
If Mauli was a sick village, in Pabhat the “inhabitants looked remarkably fine-looking and healthy”. It had only two goitre patients, and both had come from outside.
Bateson found out that Pabhat had 11 wells, and the locals drank water from them. They irrigated their fields with water from the Sukhna, and believed they were healthy because they stayed away from the Ghaggar. It’s interesting that opium was one of the chief crops in Pabhat.
Even dogs had goitre!
Bateson mentions several other villages in his report that he covered within a few days. Remember, this was the 1860s and he was doing all his travelling on horseback and on foot.
In sharp contrast to Pabhat, Abheypur village, which was entirely dependent on the Ghaggar, had 11 goitre patients among its 393 residents. The patwari of Abheypur told Bateson that some years earlier there had been 20 goitre cases in the village.
Chandigarh’s Sector 8 was once called Kalibar (pronounced kali-bur) village. It was far from any stream and completely rain-dependent. And Bateson found it had neither goitre nor spleen. But in Barra Firozpur, about 5km away from Manimajra, everyone drank from the Ghaggar and there were 14 cases of goitre. Bateson records: “Children died young. Some of them grew up deaf and dumb and daft.”
On the 24th of March, Bateson came to Manimajra town, and found that 6% of its population had goitre. He doesn’t give the exact number, but there would have been about 360 cases in a population of 6,000. Even the dogs in Manimajra streets had goitre!
The locals again blamed the Ghaggar for the disease and Bateson says whenever they detected symptoms of goitre arising, they tried to shift to a relative’s town or village “out of the influence of the Ghaggar” for a few months till the “incipient goitre recedes”.
Back in the 1980s, Manimajra had Chandigarh’s swankiest cinema hall called Dhillon, which later became its first multiplex. It also had a large automobile repair market, but in Bateson’s time the Ilaqa was famous for its rice.
Fort on a hill
What about Chandigarh, perhaps you are wondering. Bateson visited a village called Chandi on March 25, 1868. He describes its precise location: “I am just below the old fort and close to the grand trunk road from Ambala to Kalka – the seventh milestone from the latter place being right opposite me.”
So, Chandi was exactly 7 miles or about 11km before Kalka. And it was completely dependent for water on the Ghaggar. However, the fort on the hill above it, which was called Chandigarh, used water from a rain-fed tank and was goitre-free.
Bateson also visited a village called Dara near Chandi where water was so scarce three months in a year that its residents drank milk instead. None of them had goitre.
Root cause was soil
So, Bateson returned convinced that the Ghaggar was the root cause of goitre in Ilaqa Manimajra but his superiors were not so certain. They said chemical testing had found the Ghaggar to have very good water.
The problem seemed to be that the villagers were drinking contaminated water from irrigation ditches. The British administration concluded that the “composition of the subsoil had entirely changed the character of the Ghaggar water.”
There’s more to Chandigarh’s past than goitre, malaria and a “pernicious” river, but the point of this story is that even if the city is young, it is not bereft of history.
Khushboo Sandhu, Pumping artificial water into Sukhna, January 19, 2017: The Indian Express
An extraordinary operation is currently under way to boost the water level in Chandigarh’s beloved lake. How did things reach a stage where it was deemed necessary to pump water into it? What are the logistics of the project?
An extraordinary operation is under way to boost the water level in Chandigarh’s beloved lake. How did things reach a stage where it was deemed necessary to pump water into it? What are the logistics of the project? KHUSHBOO SANDHU explains
What is happening at Sukhna Lake?
Since January 16, 2017, the Chandigarh Administration has been using a 450 m pipeline to divert 2 million gallons of water per day to the lake from 7 tubewells located near the Chandigarh Golf Club. The operation to fill the rain-fed lake will continue until March, when the demand for water in the city is likely to rise. The level of water in the lake is expected to go up by 3 feet over its current level of 1,154 feet by then.
The engineering wing of the Municipal Corporation has upgraded the machinery at the Sector 26 waterworks, situated about a kilometre from the lake. The water from the tubewells is being sent to an underground reservoir in Sector 26, from where it is being pumped to the lake, which is at a greater height. The capacity of the pumps has been boosted, and a changing valve has been installed at the waterworks, which will cut off supply to the lake when demand in the city increases.
But why does the lake need to be filled artificially?
The lake has dried up on several occasions in the past, exposing parts of its bed. 1987 was a particularly bad year, when a deficient monsoon wreaked havoc. In 2009, the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu notice of the falling level of the lake, and proceeded to issue several directions to the Administration. In 2012, the Administration submitted to the court that no water was available to fill the lake; however, as the level kept falling, the Administration proposed that treated sewage water be pumped in. But experts objected on environmental grounds, following which the court directed the Administration to seek suggestions from residents and submit a plan. This week, drinking water was diverted to the lake.
And why is Sukhna Lake so important?
The lake was designed by the creator of the city, Le Corbusier, and the plan was executed by the then Chief Engineer, P L Verma, at a cost of Rs 1 crore. The lake was constructed across Sukhna Choe by damming it along with Kansal and Nepali Choe. The dam was a 12.8 m high, rock-filled earthen structure. The attachment of the city’s creators to the lake can be gauged from the fact that the ashes of Corbusier’s cousin and Chandigarh’s chief architect, Pierre Jeanneret, were immersed in the lake as per his wishes in 1970. Chandigarh’s residents have a deep emotional connect with the lake. They go to its shores for morning and evening walks, and it is one of the top tourist attractions of the city. Residents have flocked to participate in shramdaan to save the lake. The lake is home to several species of migratory birds. The Administration has constructed a bird watching centre at one end of the lake. In 2005, the lake had 33 species of fish, which fell to 19 after a large part of the lake dried up in 2012. After the culling of ducks following the 2014 avian flu scare, the Administration decided to no longer allow ducks at the lake.
What problems does the lake face?
Silting has been a problem ever since the lake was created. The Shivaliks are erosion-prone, and the water that flows into the lake from the catchment area brings along silt. The storage capacity of the Lake was 10.47 million cubic metres when it was created. Between 1958 and 1962, the lake lost more than 20% of its capacity due to silting. In the 1970s, the Chandigarh Administration started taking measures to save the lake. More than 150 silt-retention dams were built over a 2,540-hectare forest catchment area of the lake. By 1988, around 2,600 hectares of the Sukhna Lake catchment area had been converted into the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, and an additional 880 hectares were classified as a reserve forest. While these measures succeeded in checking the problem of silting, they also reduced the quantity of water entering the lake.
Another problem is of excessive weeding — there are 8 types of weeds in the lake. According to experts, the major reason for the growth of weeds is excessive siltation and the flow of sewage from the Kansal and Saketri villages into the lake. The Chandigarh Administration has now started bio-treatment of sewage water.
Is it common for a lake’s levels to be boosted in this manner?
There have been some examples in the West. The city of San Diego has been pumping drinking water into the Chollas Lake, a popular, 16-acre recreational fishing basin, for at least a decade, according to US media reports. In January 2016, some 10 billion gallons of pollution-laden water was pumped into Lake Okeechobee over four days to prevent flooding in South Florida following heavy rain. Closer home, in November 2016, the Forest Department pumped water into dry tanks and ponds in Karnataka’s Bandipur National Park, and attempts have been made to fill the marshlands of the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur artificially. None of these projects are, however, comparable in scale, circumstances and methods to the efforts being put into the Sukhna Lake.
1883: first official mention of Chandigarh
Siddarth Banerjee, July 17, 2022: The Times of India
The name Chandigarh existed much before the city and the fort in question is in ruins and nearly razed to the ground now, neglected by governments all this time. The first official mention of Chandigarh is in the Ambala Gazette of 1883-84. Going by at least five British-era documents, a village by the name of Chandigarh was located in the geographical area of present-day Chandimandir, Chandi Kotla and Chandi villages in Panchkula district of present-day Haryana, lying on the Ambala-Kalka highway. The three villages are located a half hour’s drive from Chandigarh city. In fact, a 1965 revenue map of Chandimandir village, which is with the Panchkula tehsil office, has the name Chandigarh written in Urdu on the top and Chandimandir in Hindi below it.
On the other hand, the Chandigarh administration’s website has a vague explanation of how the city got its name, one which ignores any history of the fort, or ‘garh’. “Chandigarh derives its name from the temple of Chandimandir located in the vicinity of the site selected for the city. The deity ‘Chandi’, the goddess of power and a fort of ‘garh’ laying beyond the temple gave the city its name Chandigarh,” reads the administration’s website.
Though the website says the city derives its name from the temple and the fort, documents show the city’s name might have actually been taken from the village called Chandigarh and that the name of the village was derived from the fort in the village of Chandi.
On the website, there is no mention of anyplace being named Chandigarh before the city was founded.
In 1905, a Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) notification issued by the British-ruled Punjab government described Chandigarh as a village next to Darra Kharoni, a village which now falls inside Chandimandir Chantonment and which is home to the picturesque Army Golf Course, and bordering the then Patiala State on the north, west and south.
According to the Ambala Settlement Report for 1915-1920 and Ambala gazettes of 1892 and 1923, Chandigarh was located next to the Ghaggar and spread over 1,321 acres. It had become an important transit point in the then Kharar tehsil for rail and road travel. The village was connected by a metalled road and a railway line. The same documents mention a police station by the name of Chandigarh which catered to the populations of Manimajra and neighbouring areas. The building of the British-era police station exists to this day. Reconstructed and refurbished now, it is known as the Surajpur traffic police station, located near Chandimandir toll plaza.
According to Ambala Gazette of 1883-84, Chandigarh village had an encamping ground, a road bungalow of the public works department (PWD) and a sarai (resthouse). According to the same gazette, out of the total three thanas in Kharar tehsil, one existed in Chandigarh and the remaining two in Mubarikpur and Kharar. The definition of a thana varied during British rule. While it could be called a police station, a thana was also used to define a military post. Chandigarh also had a post office with money order and savings bank facility at the time.
The fort of Chandi
There are mentions of Chandigarh before 1883-84 too. It was written as Chandangarh in a book, ‘The Rajas of The Punjab’, published in 1870. In the book, the mention of Chandangarh comes during the description of a feud between the Raja of Manimajra and Raja of Nahan. “Gharib Das was the founder of the Manimajra family. After the death of Zia Khan (Zain Khan Sirhindi), the governor of Sirhind, and the break-up of the imperial power, he took possession of 84 villages, which his father Ganga Ram had held as revenue officer for the (Mughal) Empire, and further extended his territory by seizing the fort of Pinjore. Here the Raja of Nahan attacked him, but without success; and placing his father in charge, Gharib Das left intent on fresh conquest. It was during this absence that the Raja of Nahan having obtained aid from Patiala, attacked the fort as described in the text, and captured it, Ganga Ram being slain. Gharib Das hastened back, but was not strong enough to attempt to recapture the fort (of Pinjore). He, however, expelled the Nahan Raja from Chandangarh, which he had captured shortly before,” reads a paragraph from the book.
In another book, ‘Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab’, which details the journey of two Britishers between 1819 and 1825, there is a mention of a “fortress of Chandi” next to the Ghaggar river. Though writer Willian Moorcroft and his companion Geogre Trebeck don’t explicitly mention any village by the name of Chandigarh, their description resembles the ruins of a fort which exists to this day at Chandi village, which is located on a hilltop next to Chandimandir temple and is a hamlet between Chandimandir and Chandi Kotla villages. “We broke up our camp the next morning early, for a fresh inroad. I marched up the pebbly and almost dry but very broad channel of the Gagar (Ghaggar), but Mr Trebeck proceeded by another route, which lay through the town of Manimajra. The road I followed, after leaving the bed of the river, continued along its left bank. On the end of a low range of clay hills, running from the west, and stopping on the right bank, stands the fort of Chandi, commanding the pass. A little farther onwards was a custom choki, belonging to the Raja of Patiala, where we saw a quantity of pomegranate husks, detained until they had paid duty… The path then crosses the Gagar and leads to a narrow pass, beyond which Pinjore is situated,” reads an excerpt on Page 33 of the book.
Venod Kumar (38), a resident of Chandi village, corroborated the official documents by saying that his family elders would tell him that the three villages used to be known as Chandigarh. Though he was unaware of the actual owner of the 18th century ruins in his village, he said locals believed Kichaka, the character from Mahabharata, lived in the fort thousands of years ago.
According to the 1883-84 Ambala gazette, the area belonged to the royal family of Manimajra before the British took over in 1875 due to the lack of an heir, after the demise of Raja Bhagwan Singh. Later, the estate was passed on to Suraj Kaur, through her mother and wife of Bhagwan Singh. As Suraj Kaur married Tika Balbir Singh of Faridkot, the Manimajra fort was passed down to her heirs. However, there is no clarity on how the ownership of the Chandigarh fort was passed down and who owns it now.
At present, 82-year-old Mukhtiar Singh, a frail and ailing man, has been living in the fort since 1986. He has constructed temples inside the fort’s premises and rooms for himself. He reasons that divine powers made him move into the fort in 1986, when he was aged 46. Only the stone-wall foundation walls of the fort remain to this day. Walking around the fort, Mukhtiar showed the foundation of the fort’s four bastions and walls, which had been reduced to the ground. “Locals had levelled the fort to the ground by the time I started living here. They all believed there is a treasure in a supposed tunnel which goes from here to Chandimandir temple,” he said.
On the other hand, some locals who did not wish to be named claimed that the fort had been taken into possession by Mukhtiar illegally. However, the elderly man, who lives alone in the fort, said it was he who ended up protecting the fort. He admitted to not originally owning the fort, but said he had constructed the new walls of the fort and “saved it from ruin”.
Rajnish Wattas, former principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture, is among the few who have come across an older mention of Chandigarh. In a survey map, made before Chandigarh was formed, there is a mention of a Chandigarh railway station, located in the present location of Chandimandir railway station. The map is now on display at the Chandigarh museum in Sector 10. It shows a railway line running parallel to the Ambala-Kalka road. This line does not exist anymore. When contacted, a railway staffer, who did not wish to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media, confirmed that the Ambala-Kalka rail line had been realigned when Chandigarh city was constructed. “In fact, railway land where the line used to exist has been encroached upon at present,” said the staffer.
Lost in translation?
For most people living in Chandimandir and even government staff at the Panchkula tehsil office, it is hard to believe that a village or place by the name of Chandigarh existed before the city. When he was showing the revenue map of Chandimandir, which had Chandigarh written in Urdu on the top and Chandimandir written in Hindi below it, a revenue office staffer said it was impossible. “Even the map does not mention it,” he said, oblivious to the Urdu text.
TOI sent a photograph of the map to PU Urdu department head Abbas Ali. When asked what is written at the map’s top, he replied: “Chandigarh”. The belief that Chandimandir area was actually Chandigarh starts finding acceptance in Chandi Kotla, which is the only way to go to Chandi village. “When I came to know of this place, divine powers guided me here. I then started working towards establishing a naturopathy centre here to help people and save the fort,” said Mukhtiar. He appealed to the government to take over the fort and save it from further ruin. “I won’t be able to save it any further,” he added.
It is said that in October 1953, when the then President Rajendra Prasad was visiting the region, he also visited the Chandimandir temple. Though this could not be confirmed, it is said Prasad was the one who renamed the then Chandigarh railway station as Chandimandir railway station and this triggered the change in the name of the three villages too.
Chandigarh Administration is moving on four broad fronts. First, it is its aim to provide, with the help of information technology, an accessible and transparent administration. Chandigarh was among the earliest to implement the provisions of the Right to Information Act. A number of services, for which citizens earlier had to go to government offices, are now available on computer and mobile phones. All rules are being reviewed to see what simplification can be carried out to make them user-friendly. The purpose is to minimise the exercise of discretion, and minimise the leg-work of the citizen in dealing with the Administration.
Secondly, the Administration is working towards a higher rate of economic growth by encouraging economic activities which provide greater value addition, such as knowledge based industries, high-end commercial activity, etc. Chandigarh already has the highest per capita income in the country.
Thirdly, the Administration is seeking to provide infrastructural services such as electricity supply, water supply, health and educational services and public transport which should compare with those in advanced countries. Fourthly, the Administration is all too conscious of the fact that the benefits of development do not reach everyone equally. Hence there is a special emphasis on reaching out to those whom development has by-passed.
Chandigarh Administration comprehending the need for a user friendly transport system has decided to launch a Mass Rapid Transport System shortly. The UT Administration and the State Governments of Punjab and Haryana have come together for the implementation of the project.
CTU has computerized 70 per cent of its working and is in the process of further computerization. The Undertaking is also in the process of installing a Global Positioning System to monitor its fleet in a phased manner.
In order to sensitize the poor and weaker sections of the society about the rights and different benefits being extended to them by the State Legal Services Authority, 14 legal awareness seminars have already been organized in different villages of the UT.
Cement concrete paving and underground drains in village Kajheri and Palsora have been completed. 70 per cent work in village Mauli Jagran has been completed.
The Administration has opened a Girls Hockey Academy in sector-18 and would shortly start two more girls academies — one for Cricket and another for Football.
Construction work of Chandigarh Administration's visionary project Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) is in full swing. Completion of Phase III will provide direct employment to 35000 professionals, thereby increasing the direct employment of RGCTP to 67,000 and would create 2,00,000 indirect jobs in Chandigarh. The Entrepreneur Development Centre at the RGCTP is being set up over an area of 1.5 acre approximately. The centre would become operational this year.
Chandigarh has become a role model in using information technology to provide fast and user friendly services for the masses. Under the E-Governance initiatives of the Department, seven more Gram Sampark Centres have been set up in the villages of Dhanas, Khudda Jassu, Kaimbwala, Raipur Khurd, Raipur Kalan, Makhan Majra and Bahlana. As many as seven more Gram Sampark Centres in villages Palsora, Dadu Majra, Hallo Majra, Khuda Alisher, Daria, Mauli Jagran and Maloya have been made operative.
In addition to the existing Centres some more Sampark Centres have been proposed and new services like payment of BSNL bills, power bills, water bills, payment of LIC premium, school fees collection and tubewell booking, especially for rural citizens , have also been incorporated or are being afoot.
The Administration is working on energy conservation. A Work order has been issued to the Tata BP Solar Ltd. for commissioning the State Level Energy Park at the Botanical Garden. Under the Solar Lighting initiative, all street lights in the villages would be replaced with solar based street lights.
Social Welfare has been a major focus of the Administration. Many peoplefriendly and innovative schemes for them have been launched by Administration. To wipe out the menace of casteism and encourage the people for inter-caste marriage, a sum of Rs. 5,000 was granted to the married couples provided that one of the spouses belongs to SC Community. Now the Administration has enhanced the amount to Rs. 50,000.
Under the Balika Samridhi Yojana, a sum of Rs. 500 is being given to the newly born girl child in the BPL families. The Chandigarh Administration has decided to set up a Preparatory School for Children with Special Needs (for 50 children) which will run in the premises of PRAYAS Building, Sector 38.
The Vocational Training Centre for Street Children in Maloya with the capacity to provide training for 900 children is under construction. The Administration has set up a child help line.
Telemedicine Project has been launched with the State-of-art facilities at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh aiming to help needy patients to avail the expert advice of the doctors of specialized fields in PGI and ensuring them high-quality medical services.
The Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16 has been upgraded by adding a Trauma Unit having 28 beds with Emergency Operation Theatres.
The Administration has launched the project for improving the Monitorable Indicators of Reproductive and Child Health in UT at a cost of Rs. 5,273 per mother and her child.
Seven more "State-of-the-art" operation theatres including pre-anesthesia, postanesthesia rooms and a post operative ward have been commissioned in Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. "SAMARTH" a residential house for mentally retarded individuals had also been set up in Sector 15, Chandigarh. A total of around Rs. 5.6 crore has been sanctioned for the Residential Accommodation of the eligible faculty staff of GMCH.
The Administration is developing the Phase-III of the Industrial Area at the revenue estate of village Mauli Jagran. 152 acres of land have been acquired.
Chandigarh Administration is coming up with its World Class Project, the multi institutional 'Chandigarh Education City' at Sarangpur with a total area of 130 acres. Administration has enhanced the attendance scholarship being given to girl students of general category from Rs. 30 per month to Rs. 250 per month for a period for Classes 1st to 5th. For ensuring enrolment and education among scheduled caste boys and girls, Administration has also decided to increase the attendance scholarship being given to the Scheduled Castes students studying in Class 1st to 8th from Rs. 30 per month to Rs. 250 per month in the age group of 6 to 14 years. It has been decided to increase the scholarship to the meritorious SC/ST students of Classes 9th to 12th; it has been now increased to Rs. 300 per month whereas it was Rs. 20/- and Rs. 25/- earlier.
Chandigarh Administration has also decided to exempt the tuition fees of Muslims, Christians, Other Backward Classes, Handicapped, Ward of Freedom Fighters, Ex-serviceman, widows and divorcees having family income below Rs. 1.5 lakh per year. For the children belonging to low income groups and slum based families, it has decided to give incentive of Rs. 250 per month to rope in the children presently not enrolled in any school on their fresh enrolment.
Administration has taken many innovative and novel measures like Wedding Tourism. With the focus on extending efficient medical, educational and entertainment oriented facilities, Administration is promoting Cinematic Tourism, Sports Tourism and Medical Tourism in a big way. Chandigarh International Airport will prove to be a big leap for Tourism in the region.
Provision of sufficient electricity to all the residents of UT is also getting attention of the Administration. To improve the voltage profile and to reduce the load on the power distribution network of UT, the Electricity Wing had planned to add 80 MVAR Automatic Capacitor Banks at various existing 66KV Grid Sub-Stations located at different points in the periphery of UT.
Use of CFL has been made mandatory inside all government buildings. Similarly, all institutional buildings will have to provide solar lighting in their parking spaces within their complexes.
The Electricity Wing also achieved its target in reduction of transmission and distribution losses from 20.89% to 19.29%. The reduction is around 1.5%. Every effort is being made to reduce the losses further in the next year by another 1.5%.
Municipal Corporation Chandigarh has upgraded the Sewage Treatment Plant at Diggian at a cost of Rs. 28 crore. MC also bagged the 1st prize both in water supply and sewage/drainage services from the Government of India, which was awarded by the Prime Minister of India.
A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System has been installed at a cost of Rs. 700 crore to keep surveillance and monitor the water supply. It will save power consumption, reduce operation and maintenance cost by approximately Rs. 3 crore annually.
To save potable water and provide additional water for landscaping, a project amounting to Rs.36 crore has been taken up. This project will generate 10 MGD tertiary water. The existing Dhobi Ghat of Sector 15 has been converted into Automatic Laundry Marts, the first of its kind in India.
Adding another milestone to up-gradation of the environment in City Beautiful, The Municipal Corporation has set up a Solid Waste Processing Plant at Dadu Majra at a cost of Rs. 30.00 crore on 10 acres. The plant is one of its kind in northern India.
Administrator : Shri Shivraj V. Patil
Adviser to the Administrator
- Shri K.K. Sharma
Jurisdiction of High Court Falls under jurisdiction High Court of Punjab and Haryana
The idea of Chandigarh
The Times of India, Jun 09, 2016
It's the only city in India where the streets have no (political) name
Isn't it ironical that Jawaharlal Nehru had some role to play in giving birth to India's only city which does not have a single road named after him or any member of his clan? In fact, except for a couple of aberrations, no street or publicly funded institution is named after any political leader in this city. As impossible as this may sound in the midst of the naming row that Rishi Kapoor sparked on Twitter, there is in fact such a city in India Chandigarh.
If you are driving to work in Chandigarh, you will not encounter Gandhi Road from where you reach Nehru Marg then drive past Netaji Subhash Chandra Chowk only to take the roundabout at Veer Savarkar Marg to finally reach your destination. Instead, you will take Udyan Path, get on to Dakshin Marg, drive up Jan Marg and turn at the Matka Chowk roundabout to reach your destination somewhere along the middle path Madhya Marg.
There are of course two exceptions to the rule, one of which found mention in Kapoor's tweets Nehru Hospital in the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research campus, and the Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park. All the same, it is difficult to think of another major city that has so few institutions named after politicians. No other city can afford to be as stingy. Even schools and colleges are not named after anyone, not even Mahatma Gandhi.
One can argue that it would be wrong to credit Nehru with giving Chandigarh its unique character. This city was, after all, the baby of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier who designed it from scratch and penned in 1959 the `Edict of Chandigarh' or guidelines for future citizens to follow and respect. Le Corbusier had clearly stated here that no one should be edified and in the process he was staying true to Nehru's idea of building a modern city without historical burdens. After Shimla was rejected as the new capital of Punjab post-Partition and a vast plateau 240 km north of Delhi was identified to build Chandigarh, Nehru had said that the site was free of the existing encumbrances of old towns and old traditions. “Let it be the first large expression of our creative genius flowering on our newly earned freedom,“ he had added.
In the book `Le Corbusier: A life', the author Nicolas Fox Weber writes that a fresh start requiring an unprecedented solution was a Corbusean ideal. “The complete societal and historical change that underlay the new project now thrilled Le Corbusier,“ Weber writes. “More than six million Muslims had left India to move to Pakistan, while some seven and a half million Hindus and Sikhs had moved across the new border into India. Ever since Punjab had lost its beautiful, romantic Lahore to Pakistan, the new capital was urgently needed to administer a state that, from the start, had major problems deriving from the influx of refugees. Those tensions and necessities required him to build a brave new world. Architecture had to fulfill a burning human purpose well beyond the basics of housing.“
Thus, you have the Edict of Chandigarh, a document with no legal sanctity but one that merges philosophy with town planning to give ten clear commandments. On the one hand, it gives mundane details like how roads and sectors should be laid out and on the other talks about the importance of the human scale. The ninth commandment reads: “The age of personal statues is gone. No personal statues shall be erected in the city or parks of Chandigarh. The city is planned to breathe the new sublimated spirit of art. Commemoration of persons shall be confined to suitably placed bronze plaques.“
It is this directive that gives birth to names like Himalaya Marg and Uttar Path and Vidya Path ... As a result, Chandigarh is perhaps the only city in India with an abstract sculpture a massive distorted open palm made of metal sheets that rotates in the wind as its emblem. This again was designed by Le Corbusier as a symbol of peace and reconciliation the hand is open to give and to receive.
Some residents have even criticised the city's almost banal character, suggesting that there should be some landmarks that every roundabout can't be the same as the one before it.This had led the authorities in 2013 to consider having some defining landmarks in the master plan, but in a way that doesn't affect the city's overall character.
Why has Chandigarh remained this way? There are no clear answers but it is believed that because it is a union territory with comparatively less interference from politicians and because bureaucrats love a status quo, the Edict has thus far been largely respected.
But imagine. Le Corbusier said the age of personal statues was over almost 60 years ago while designing a city for us even as we squabble over names today .Perhaps the visionary architect did not realise during his brief stay here that we Indians don't live our lives in a linear progression. Nothing for us is over forever. Everything comes around in an unending cycle. And so, it is quite likely that we will keep fighting over Akbar Road and Aurangzeb Road and Abdul Kalam Road in the future as well even as farmers turn suicide into an epidemic and the world boils up like a tandoor.
Hopefully , the idea of Chandigarh will survive all this.
Single units not to be converted into apartments\ SC
January 11, 2023: The Times of India
New Delhi : The Supreme Court banned conversion of single dwelling units into apartments in Chandigarh Phase-I finding the “unscrupulous and illegal practice” destructive of its famed heritage city plan designed by Le Corbusier, reports Dhananjay Mahapatra.
Issuing a series of directions to preserve the beauty and character of Chandigarh, a bench of Justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna appealed to the Centre and state governments to make environment impact assessment must for every urbanisation plan by learning from civic and transportation woes in Bengaluru due to unplanned development.
Punjab vis-à-vis Haryana
Kanchan Vasdev, April 6, 2022: The Indian Express
When and how did Chandigarh become the capital of Punjab?
After Partition, Shimla was made the temporary capital of Indian Punjab. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted a modern city to replace Lahore as Punjab’s capital, and the idea of Chandigarh was conceived. In March 1948, the Punjab government, in consultation with the Centre, chose the picturesque foothills of the Shivaliks as the site of the new capital. Twenty-two villages in Kharar were acquired for the city, and the government compensated their displaced residents. The capital was officially moved from Shimla to Chandigarh on September 21, 1953. President Rajendra Prasad inaugurated the new capital on October 7, 1953. Until Haryana was born, Chandigarh remained the capital of Punjab.
When was Punjab reorganised, and Chandigarh became a Union Territory?
The Punjab Reorganisation Act of 1966 carved out the new state of Haryana from undivided Punjab, created the new Union Territory of Chandigarh under the direct control of the Centre, and transferred the hill territories of Punjab to Himachal Pradesh.
Chandigarh, identified as the capital of Punjab in The Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, became the common capital of both Punjab and Haryana, and properties were divided between the states in the ratio 60:40. The States Reorganisation Act, 1966, did not make changes in the arrangement arrived at in 1952.
What about a separate capital for Haryana?
During the reorganisation of Punjab, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had announced that Haryana would get its own capital. And on January 29, 1970, the Centre announced that “the capital project area of Chandigarh should, as a whole, go to Punjab”.
Indira’s government took this decision after Fateh Singh, leader of the Punjabi Suba movement, threatened self-immolation if Chandigarh was not transferred to Punjab. The Centre had considered dividing Chandigarh into two parts, but ultimately decided against it. Haryana was told to use the office and residential accommodation in Chandigarh for five years until it built its own capital. The Centre offered a Rs 10 crore grant to Haryana and a loan of equal amount to build the new capital. “The government explained why it had decided against dividing the city (Chandigarh), of which a communique said its ‘layout, architecture and beauty have evoked wide admiration and the city has acquired an international reputation’,” The Indian Express reported in its edition of January 30, 1970. “How long the city will remain a Union Territory will depend on how soon Haryana will be able to build a capital of its own,” the paper said.
What claims on Chandigarh were made subsequently?
In August 1982, the Akali Dal, having expressed dissatisfaction over the Punjab Reorganisation Act, launched the Dharam Yudh Morcha along with Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale with the object of realising the goals of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution of 1973. Among the issues in contention were the inclusion of Punjabi speaking areas in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, and the fact that Chandigarh had not been given to Punjab, and instead made a UT.
On July 24, 1985, the Rajiv-Longowal Accord was signed between then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Akali leader Harchand Singh Longowal. Among other things, the Centre agreed to give Chandigarh to Punjab, and January 26, 1986 was fixed as the date for the actual transfer. However, less than a month after the signing of the accord, Longowal was assassinated by militants.
What has been the mood in the Punjab Assembly over the years?
Friday’s resolution in the Punjab Assembly staking claim to Chandigarh was the seventh of its kind.
The first resolution was brought on May 18, 1967 by Acharya Prithvi Singh Azad, and the second by Chaudhary Balbir Singh on January 19, 1970, both during Gurnam Singh’s government. Sukhdev Singh Dhillon brought a resolution on September 7, 1978 when Parkash Singh Badal was Chief Minister, and Baldev Singh Mann brought a similar resolution on October 31, 1985 during Surjit Singh Barnala’s government. Another resolution, also during Barnala’s government, was brought by Om Parkash Gupta on March 6, 1986.
On December 23, 2014, Gurdev Singh Jhoondan brought a resolution during Badal’s government. The seventh resolution was brought by the government of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
What is the AAP government’s argument on claiming Chandigarh as Punjab’s capital?
AAP MLA Aman Arora has argued that whenever a new state has been carved out of a parent state in the country, the capital city has stayed with the parent state.
When Maharashtra was reorganised and Gujarat was born on January 1, 1960, Maharashtra retained Mumbai as its capital. When Uttarakhand was carved out of UP on November 9, 2000, Lucknow remained the capital of UP. When Chhattisgarh was created on November 1, 2000, Bhopal remained the capital of Madhya Pradesh. When Jharkhand was created on November 15, 2000, Patna remained the capital of Bihar. In the case of Telangana, which was created in 2014, the reorganisation period is 10 years, until 2024. But in Punjab, the reorganisation period continues even after five decades, it is argued.
What has Haryana said on the question of Chandigarh?
In 2018, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar suggested that a special body should be set up for the development of Chandigarh. But the idea was rejected by then Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who said Chandigarh indisputably belonged to Punjab. Haryana has been demanding a separate High Court, and has passed a resolution in the Assembly demanding 20 rooms in the Vidhan Sabha complex that have been in Punjab’s possession.