City Profile

city profile

Chandigarh is famous for its architecture and landscaping world over. It combines elegant architectural forms with wide tree-lined avenues, green belts and gardens and is hence referred to as the ‘City Beautiful’. Chandigarh was neither built nor realized in a day. Over a period of time, several technical exercises were conducted and surveys undertaken to give a practical shape to the dreams of political visionaries, who wanted to offer a unique city of its kind to the people who had undergone through traumas of partition. The site for the City Beautiful was, after a careful thought and analysis of huge data, carved out mainly from the Kharar Tehsil of erstwhile composite State of Punjab taking into consideration the topography, contours and continuous proximity with other areas which had an immediate bearing on the selected site in relation to its environment, natural setting and sloping landscape. Chandigarh U.T. was officially approved as a capital project in 1950, blueprinted by Le Corbusier in 1951, legislated by the Punjab Assembly in 1952, and formally declared open by the President of India in 1953. Chandigarh, the fully planned new headquarters of post-Independence Punjab, was designed for a population of 500,000. It may surprise many to learn that initially fears were expressed in several quarters about potential of the city in acquiring a size of half-a-million in the foreseeable future. Such a concern was reinforced by a hesitant growth of the city in the early years of its evolution. A dramatic change came with the re-organization of Punjab in 1966. Haryana was carved out as a new state and Chandigarh constituted as a union territory out of the body of the parent state. Chandigarh became the triple capital of Punjab , Haryana and its own territory. By reasons of its role as a multiple capital, in conjunction with a gradual accumulation of commercial, industrial, educational, health and other functions, Chandigarh today has grown to a size, which its planners did not perceive. The limits of its planned population have already been crossed. The city has already reached a population of 900,000 although the planners did envisage construction of huge buildings for official, commercial and residential purposes, requiring the services of different kind of labor force, yet they did not make provision for their shelter at all in the city plan itself. They might have thought that the Labour force would go back, after the construction work was over, but this did not materialize and thus started the process of migrant Labour set ling on land wherever available and this is in brief the genesis of the slums in Chandigarh . During the period of 1970-1998, there has been a Multifold increase in the population of the slum dwellers as well as households living in unauthorized colonies. Despite the serious efforts of the administration to provide better shelter to such dwellers, there has been no dent in the increasing influx of such migrants and their present number in the unauthorized colonies calls for an immediate Programmes of action as the pockets of abject poverty and the denial of basic human needs in areas of affluence does not auger well for the State and the country as a whole.