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About the City

The city beautiful Chandigarh originated in 1950 in the foothills of Shivalik ranges. Geographically speaking, the city is situated in the Northern part of India and is ideally located between it's parent states i.e. Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh largely owes a lot to the late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru who initiated this ambitious project with the famous lines, "Let this be a new town symbolic of the freedom of India. Unfettered by the traditions of the expression of the nation's faith in the future." With this optimistic note the Project Chandigarh started and is still one of the most significant urban projects of the post partition period in India.

Chandigarh was conceived in the period of crisis and turbulence, when the nation was suffering the partition and post independence confusions, and the earlier capital of the joint Punjab, Lahore, had gone to Pakistan after the partition in 1947.It is then that the need of a new capital arose. Finally a committee was appointed by the Punjab Government in 1948 under the chairmanship of the Chief Architect Mr. P.L. Verma for the construction of this capital city.The committee carefully examined all the factors of building a high caliber city with the necessary potential such as military vulnerability, drinking water, climatic conditions etc. Finally the site chosen was in the shape of the farms and two seasonal rivers with a population of about 9000 citizens scattered in 24 villages. After selecting the site a master plan of the city was prepared by an American firm (Mayor, Whittleslay, Glass & Nowicki), but with the sudden demise of Nowicki,the Chandigarh project suffered it's first set back as the team resisted to work further on the project. Once again the committee was sent abroad to select a team for the completion of the project. In 1951, the committee appointed the greatest architect of our time, Le Corbusier, who had been prolific in his contribution to urban design theory since 1920. But not until this time was he given an opportunity for the successful realization of his ideas. Working under the leadership of the great French architect, Le Corbusier, on the design of Chandigarh, The City Beautiful, were British architects Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew, & Pierre Jeanneret. The new appointed team worked on the master plan and decided to build the city in two phases.

The first phase covered 9000 acres of land in the shape 29 distinct sectors. On the whole the city was designed to rehabilitate a population of five lakhs in 15,000 acres of land in 46 sectors. Each sector consists of 800 x 1200 meters of land. While designing on the city, the city designer emphasized on various factors such as pollution, tourism, traffic etc. Although initially the city roads were distinguished in seven categories naming V's i.e. V1, V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7. Taking care of environmental factors, the city was designed in such a manner that the Railway Station and the Highways didn't interfere with the city environment.