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Archive for the Category "Chandigarh History Facts"

Old is Gold in Chandigarh Aug 07

“Holiday Inn”, one of the oldest hotel chains in the world, established in 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, at Burail village sounds strange. But it’s true. The location of this hotel is equally strange. It is on the upper floors of shops, which include a country liquor shop.

In absence of any policy on the naming of guesthouses, owners of such establishments are using misleading names to attract customers. For instance, a hotel “Swagat”, which is also a popular South Indian chain of restaurants, also exists in Burail too.

It’s not only the fancy names that are a cause for concern, but also the use of brands by these guesthouses and hotels in Chandigarh. Another international brand “Comfort Inn” too finds its namesake in Sector 17.

As per rules, the guesthouses cannot brand themselves as hotels, but in absence of any checks, every second such establishment in the city is named as such.

It can be gauged from the fact that the ambience of Himachal is being encashed through naming a guesthouse as “Hotel Himachal View”, running from an SCO in Manimajra, or “Hotel Himachal Palace” in Burail. And not the least, “Sunview” from Sector 35 Hotel “Jain Sunview”, actually an SCO in Sector 35. Ironically, there are over 18 such guesthouses in Burail or around 14 in Sector 22 market, five in Sector 17, six in Sector 35, six in Manimajra.

A Tribune team attempted to take note of these guesthouses and found over 55 such guesthouses which are being run either from SCOs or SCFs, without paying the mandatory composition fee or getting their plans approved from the competent authority to run as hotels.

Ironically, these “hotel managements” have webbed a strong nexus with taxi drivers, auto drivers and rickshaw pullars, who get commission for luring the tourists to these places and tourists, too, are easily taken for a ride with swanky brand names.

On the first floor of many of these structures are tyre-repair shops, liquor vends and chemist shops. Their room tariffs, too, depend upon the customer’s ability, anything between Rs 700 and 2,500. Some also happily agree to provide shelter on hourly basis. Rs 800 for three hours was their average rate.

Further investigations revealed that operators of these so-called hotels hardly make any verification or maintain any “check-in” and “check-out” register. The “C” form which carries information about the foreigners, staying in the town, has no significance for them. By law, every hotel, which accommodates any foreign guest, has to deposit this mandatory form with the area police station. Sources in the administration said a survey showed that more than 200 guesthouses and hotels have come up in Kajheri and Attawa too.

Vinod Sehgal Relished Ghazal Enthrals Chandigarh Apr 11

Vinod Sehgal performs at Randhawa auditorium
Vinod Sehgal performs at Randhawa auditorium

Senior citizens relished ghazals and songs by playback singer Vinod Sehgal at Radhawa auditorium here today. Many of them, defying their age, even ventured to dance as the Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association celebrated its raising day.

The musical soiree, organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy and the State Bank of India, got a majestic start with Sufi invocatory “Sunn maalka”. Switching over to ghazals, he rendered “Hein aur bhi duniyan mein” and “Agar talaash karun”. Sehgal enraptured the audience with his Punjabi film numbers and his hit song “Chhod aye voh galian” from film “Maachis”.

Chandigarh Advancing Towards Metro Culture Feb 28

Chandigarh is waking up to metro culture as far as liquor trade is concerned. In fact, the excise policy 2009-10 announced by the Chandigarh Administration today came up with the new concept of the establishment of modern liquor shops in air-conditioned environment, including in shopping malls, in keeping with the changing social trends, besides extending the bar timings to 1 a.m.

The modern shops will be introduced with a lower licence fee of Rs 20 lakh per annum, subject to the condition that such shops will be air-conditioned and be allowed in the SCO/SCFs or shopping malls only. These modern shops will be allowed to have “tasting sessions” as seen in liquor shops abroad and other metropolitan cities of India.

However, the licence fee for the conventional retail sale liquor shops have been retained at Rs 25 lakh per annum. The liquor vends functioning in the existing temporary structures have been disincentivised as the licence fee for such vends has been raised from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh to phase them out in future.

The administration has increased the minimum retail prices for country liquor and IMFL by Rs 5 to Rs 20 per bottle. Similarly, increase in minimum retail price for beer has been pegged at Rs 5 indicating an increase in the liquor rates–a bad news for the tipplers.

In order to promote low alcoholic drinks, the licence fee on the wholesale licence of wine has been reduced from Rs 5,000 per brand to Rs 2,000 per brand and sale of domestic wines has been allowed from licensed departmental stores.

Similarly, keeping in view the changing social trends with regard to increase in the number of visitors to bars/restaurants, the bar closure timings have been further relaxed to 1 am instead of midnight at present. The private possession limits have been kept unchanged. The private possession limits are 18 bottles of IMFL/imported foreign liquor, 36 bottles of beer, 18 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of country liquor, a press note said. There has been no increase in the rate of excise duty on liquor. However, in order to ensure balance in the regional trade and to curb the outflow of liquor to neighboring states, the rate of VAT on liquor has been increased from 4 per cent to 12.5 per cent, bringing it on a par with Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

The licence fee of L-3/L-4/L-5 (bar licences) of 5-star hotels has been reduced from Rs 5 lakh per annum to Rs 2.25 lakh per annum and the licence fee of other bar licences kept unchanged.

Planning and Architecture of Modern Chandigarh Jan 27

Planning and Architecture of Modern Chandigarh

Planning and Architecture of Modern Chandigarh

Le Corbusier’s plan of modern Chandigarh Taking over from Albert Mayer, Le Corbusier produced a plan for Chandigarh that conformed to the modern city planning principles of Congres International d’Architecture Moderne CIAM, in terms of division of urban functions, an anthropomorphic plan form, and a hierarchy of road and pedestrian networks. This vision of Chandigarh, contained in the innumerable conceptual maps on the drawing board together with notes and sketches had to be translated into brick and mortar. Le Corbusier retained many of the seminal ideas of Mayer and Nowicki, like the basic framework of the master plan and its components: The Capitol, City Center, besides the University, Industrial area, and linear parkland. Even the neighborhood unit was retained as the basic module of planning. However, the curving outline of Mayer and Nowicki was reorganized into a mesh of rectangles, and the buildings were characterized by an “honesty of materials”. Exposed brick and boulder stone masonry in its rough form produced unfinished concrete surfaces, in geometrical structures. This became the architectural form characteristic of Chandigarh, set amidst landscaped gardens and parks.

The initial plan had two phases: the first for a population of 150,000 and the second taking the total population to 500,000. Le Corbusier divided the city into units called “sectors”, each representing a theoretically self-sufficient entity with space for living, working and leisure. The sectors were linked to each other by a road and path network developed along the line of the 7 Vs, or a hierarchy of seven types of circulation patterns. At the highest point in this network was the V1, the highways connecting the city to others, and at the lowest were the V7s, the streets leading to individual houses. Later a V8 was added: cycle and pedestrian paths. The Palace Assembly, designed by Le Corbusier The city plan is laid down in a grid pattern. The whole city has been divided into rectangular patterns, forming identical looking sectors, each sector measures 800 m x 1200 m. The sectors were to act as self-sufficient neighbourhoods, each with its own market, places of worship, schools and colleges - all within 10 minutes walking distance from within the sector. The original two phases of the plan delineated sectors from 1 to 47, with the exception of 13 (Number 13 is considered unlucky). The Assembly, the secretariat and the high court, all located in Sector - 1 are the three monumental buildings designed by Le Corbusier in which he showcased his architectural genius to the maximum. The city was to be surrounded by a 16 kilometer wide greenbelt that was to ensure that no development could take place in the immediate vicinity of the town, thus checking suburbs and urban sprawl; hence is famous for its greenness too.

While leaving the bulk of the city’s architecture to other members of his team, Le Corbusier took responsibility for the overall master plan of the city, and the design of some of the major public buildings including the High Court, Assembly, Secretariat, the Museum and Art Gallery, School of Art and the Lake Club. Le Corbusier’s most prominent building, the Court House, consists of the High court, which is literally higher than the other, eight lower courts. Most of the other housing was done by Le Corbusier’s cousin Pierre Jeanneret, the English husband and wife team of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, along with a team of nine Indian architects. The city in its final form, while not resembling his previous city projects like the Ville Contemporaine or the Ville Radieuse, was an important and iconic landmark in the history of town planning. It continues to be an object of interest for architects, planners, historians and social scientists. Chandigarh has two satellite cities: Panchkula and Mohali. Sometimes, the triangle of these three cities is collectively called the Chandigarh Tricity.

Brief History of Chandigarh Jan 17

Brief History of Chandigarh

Brief History of Chandigarh

After the partition of British India into the two nations of India and Pakistan in 1947, the region of Punjab was also split between India and Pakistan. The Indian state of Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition. After several plans to make additions to existing cities were found to be infeasible for various reasons, the decision to construct a new and planned city was undertaken. The city derives its name from Chandi Mandir, a temple of goddess Chandi, located in nearby Panchkula District of Haryana. The word Chandigarh literally means “the fort of Chandi”.

Of all the new town schemes in independent India, the Chandigarh project quickly assumed prime significance, because of the city’s strategic location as well as the personal interest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. Commissioned by Nehru to reflect the new nation’s modern, progressive outlook, Nehru famously proclaimed Chandigarh to be “unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation’s faith in the future.” Several buildings and layouts in Chandigarh were designed by the Swiss born French architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, in the 1950s. Le Corbusier was in fact the second architect of the city, after the initial master plan was prepared by the American architect-planner Albert Mayer who was working with the Poland-born architect Matthew Nowicki. It was only after Nowicki’s untimely death in 1950 that Le Corbusier was pulled into the project.

On 1 November,1966, the newly-formed Indian state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of the Punjab, in order to create Haryana as a majority Hindi speaking state, while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi language-speaking majority and remained as the current day Punjab. However, the city of Chandigarh was on the border, and was thus created into a union territory to serve as capital of both these states. Chandigarh was due to be transferred to Punjab in 1986, in accordance with an agreement signed in August 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal of the Akali Dal. This was to be accompanied by the creation of a new capital for Haryana, but the transfer had been delayed. There is currently a discussion about which villages in southern districts of Punjab should be transferred to Haryana, and about which Punjabi-speaking villages should be transferred to Punjab.

On 15 July 2007,Chandigarh became the first Indian city to go smoke-free. Smoking at public places has been strictly prohibited and considered as a punishable act by Chandigarh Administration. That was followed up by a complete ban on polythene bags with effect from 2 October 2008, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.