Increase in population, development in periphery set to take a toll on Chandigarh

With Chandigarh being a landlocked city leaving little scope for expansion, it is the development in the periphery that is adding to the burden on the city's infrastructure. The focus of the development in the peripheral areas is on housing projects with civic amenities as well as essential services not being adequate. And Chandigarh is being forced to cater to the needs of its own residents which would increase in the coming years as well as the expansion in the periphery.

As per a study by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), the population of Chandigarh will increase to 12.47 lakh in the year 2025, an increase of around 2 lakh people. The population density would rise to 10,946 persons per sq kilometre. The census data for the year 2011 reveals that the city has a population of 10.55 lakh. The rise in the population would put a burden on the physical infrastructure, especially housing, education and health.

The study, conducted by Pawan Kumar Sharma, states that on average, 4.5 persons were residing in a house in Chandigarh in 2011. Assuming it is the same situation in 2025, the administration would require to construct 42,205 houses. In case the family size reduces then more houses would be required. In addition, 68 more health institutions and 128 schools and colleges would be required to be established by the administration.

Sharma says Chandigarh is unique in a way that unlike other places, it is a landlocked city and there is not much scope for expansion. "The zoning is well-defined so one knows how many people would fit into a particular area. The population is being redistributed and people from Chandigarh are moving to the periphery for finding accommodation. However, those areas are not well equipped with any other amenities apart from houses. The burden to provide health and education facilities then falls on Chandigarh," says Sharma.

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