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Chandigarh is a city and a union territory in the northern part of India that serves as the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana. As a union territory, the city is ruled directly by the Union Government of India and is not part of either state.
The city of Chandigarh was the first planned city in India post-independence in 1947 and is known internationally for its architecture and urban design. The master plan of the city was prepared by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, transformed from earlier plans created by the Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and the American planner Albert Mayer. Most of the government buildings and housing in the city, however, were designed by the Chandigarh Capital Project Team headed by Pierre Jeanneret, Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry.
The city experiences extreme climate and uneven distribution of rainfall. The roads in Chandigarh are surrounded by trees and it has the third highest forest cover in India at 8.51% following Lakshadweep and Goa.
The city tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories by per capita income in the country. The city was reported to be the cleanest in India in 2010, based on a national government study, and the territory also headed the list of Indian states and territories according to Human Development Index. The metropolitan of Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula collectively forms a Tri-city, with a combined population of over 2 million. Total Population of Chandigarh is 10.55 Lakhs as per census 2011.This is the first smoke-free city in India.
After the partition of India in 1947, the former British province of Punjab was also split between (mostly Hindu) east Punjab in India and (mostly Muslim) west Punjab in Pakistan. The Indian Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition. So, the government carved out Chandigarh of nearly 50 Pwadhi speaking villages of the then state of East Punjab, India.
Chandigarh hosts the largest of Le Corbusier's many Open Hand sculptures, standing 26 metres high. The Open Hand (La Main Ouverte) is a recurring motif in Le Corbusier's architecture, a sign for him of "peace and reconciliation. It is open to give and open to receive." It represents what Le Corbusier called the 'Second Machine Age'. Two of the six monuments planned in the Capitol Complex which has the High Court, the Assembly and the Secretariat, remain incomplete. These include Geometric Hill and Martyrs Memorial; drawings were made, and they were begun in 1956, but they were never completed.
On 1 November 1966, the newly formed state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of Punjab, in order to create a new state for the majority Haryanvi-speaking people in that portion, while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi-speaking majority and remained as the current state of Punjab. Chandigarh was located on the border of both states and the states moved to incorporate the city into their respective territories. However, the city of Chandigarh was made into a union territory to serve as capital of both states.
Till date, many historical villages in Chandigarh are still inhibited within the modern blocks of sectors including Burail and Attawa, while there are a number of non-sectoral villages that lie on the outskirts of the city. These villages were a part of the pre-Chandigarh era.
Chandigarh has been rated as the �Wealthiest Town� of India. The RBI ranked Chandigarh as the twelfth largest deposit centre and tenth largest credit centre nationwide as of June 2012.
The government is a major employer in Chandigarh with three governments having their base here. A significant percentage of Chandigarh�s population therefore consists of people who are either working for one of these governments or have retired from government service. For this reason, Chandigarh is often called a "Pensioner's Paradise". Ordnance Cable Factory of the Ordnance Factories Board has been set up by the Government of India. There are about 15 medium to large industries including two in the Public sector. In addition Chandigarh has over 2500 units registered under small-scale sector. The important industries are paper manufacturing, basic metals and alloys and machinery. Other industries are relating to food products, sanitary ware, auto parts, machine tools, pharmaceuticals and electrical appliances. Yet, with a per capita income of Indian Rupee symbol.svg 99,262, Chandigarh is the richest city in India. Chandigarh's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $2.2 billion in current prices.
Chandigarh ranks first in India in the Human Development Index, quality of life and e-readiness. The main occupation here is trade and business. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), the availability of an IT Park and more than a hundred of government schools provide job opportunity to people.
Three major trade promotion organisations have their offices in Chandigarh. These are: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, (FICCI) the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which has its regional headquarters at Sector 31, Chandigarh.
Chandigarh IT Park (also known as Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park) is the city's attempt to break into the information technology world. Chandigarh's infrastructure, proximity to Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, and the IT talent pool attracts IT businesses looking for office space in the area. Major Indian firms and multinational corporations like Quark, Infosys, Dell, IBM, TechMahindra, have set up base in the city and its suburbs. According to a 2014 survey, Chandigarh is ranked 9th in the top 50 cities identified globally as "emerging outsourcing and IT services destinations" ahead of cities like Beijing
Chandigarh has the largest number of vehicles per capita in India. Wide, well maintained roads and parking spaces all over the city ease local transport.
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) operates public transport buses from its Inter State Bus Terminals (ISBT) in Sectors 17 and 43 of the city. CTU also operates frequent bus services to the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and to Delhi. Chandigarh is well connected by road by NH 22 (Ambala - Kalka - Shimla - Khab, Kinnaur) and NH 21 (Chandigarh - Manali).
Chandigarh railway station lies in the Northern Railway zone of the Indian Railway network and provide connectivity to all the regions of India and some major Indian cities. It provides connectivity to eastern states with link to cities like Kolkata, Dibrugarh; southern states with trains to Visakhapatnam, Trivendrum, Bangalore and Kollam; western states with trains to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Mumbai; central states with trains to Bhopal and Indore; other northern states with trains to Lucknow, Amritsar,Ambala, Panipat, Kalka and Shimla.
The Chandigarh Metro Rail is a proposed metro rail to serve the city locally and connect it to other two cities of the Chandigarh Tricity. It is expected to start working by 2018 along with the extension of Kolkata Metro and proposed Indore Metro.
Chandigarh Airport is a Customs airport with international flights for unloading and loading imported and exported goods. However, it doesn't have commercial international flights owing to the presence of an Air Force Base on the same runway which denied to extend watch hours beyond 8pm
Chandigarh has scheduled commercial flights to major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Jaipur, Bangalore and Srinagar. Flights are available to Kullu-Manali also with Himalayan Bulls. A new international terminal has been constructed on the same runway in Chandigarh and portions of Ajitgarh. International flights were initially scheduled to ply from March 2015, however due to delays, the same will ply from October 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new terminal on September 11, 2015