Friday, September 25, 2020


Chandigarh loses its tag of ‘Beautiful City.’

Y.S.RANA | August 21, 2020 05:23 PM

CHANDIGARH: It is said that development of a city is the beginning of its end. There are number of cities those have now consigned to history. City seems to heading towards history if recent developments are of any indications. In 2012, while the Chandigarh Administration had drafted its Master Plan-2031 for the city. A senior official commented, ”City is on ventilator. We are only providing oxygen not to revive the body but just to keep it alive.”

With the development of the city, cost of living has increased manifolds which majority of the population unable to meet. On the other, city is suffering from a number of problems. Demographic data shows that between 1961-71, the city has recorded an increase of 144.59 per cent in its population. In 1981, it grew by 75.55 per cent followed by 42.16 per cent in 1991 and 40.33 per cent in 2001. The city which was constructed only for five lakh people has now over 14 lakh people besides over 10 lakh registered vehicles.

By 2021, the population of Chandigarh is projected around 20 lakhs almost four times the population for that it was built by Le Corbusier. There would be no space to accommodate rising population as city has left with less than 4.17 square km vacant land. City has been facing shortage of healthcare, schools, closure of industrial units triggering unemployment.

In coming days, city would have to face mounting pressures and demands for health, drinking water, power, education, transportation and quality of life, says senior citizen who has been in Chandigarh since 1970.  There would not enough drinking water and power to meet demand and not enough sewage treatment plants to eat up the sewage the city generates every day. At present, over 60 million gallons of sewage is generated in the city per day. There is no proper disposal of waste in Chandigarh.

City’s daily demand for water stands at 285 LPCD (litres per capita per day) in 2012 gets piped water from Kajauli water works through an extensive network of pipelines. Despite city continues to face water scarcity ( 30 MGD) especially during summer.  It is also estimated that city would need over 40 MGD more water by 2020. By 2031 it will need around 800 million litres extra drinking water per day to quench the thirst of its people. At present, scarcity of water is estimated around 1045 lakh litres per day now.

There also exists a fragile demand-supply equation. The power demand is between 276-340 MW against the allocation of 220 MW from central generating power stations. There are over 2 lakh power connections in Chandigarh and more than 1000 MWs more power would be required daily by 2020 to avoid power shortage.

Besides, people find it difficult to meet both ends meet what to talk of paying hefty water and electricity bills. Because high cost of living which is increasing every day, forcing the people of weaker and middle sections of society to look beyond the boundaries of ‘City Beautiful’ which is now not so beautiful for them.

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