‘Chandigarh Is A Cosmo City, Belongs To Both Punjab, Haryana’

Simar Onkar, a citizen of Chandigarh for three decades, says its status quo as the twin capital should be maintained

It was the year 1993-94, when I got my first job posting in Chandigarh as a sales promotion manager for a telecommunication company. That was the time when the paging service had just launched in India, and Chandigarh was the perfect place for the new technology revolution.

I just fell in love with the city. It was the ‘love at first sight’ kind of thing. A well-planned, calm, peaceful and cosmopolitan city, it ticked every box in my list of how a habitable metropolis should be.

Being the child of an army personnel, I could never call any city my home. But after arriving in Chandigarh, I decided that I was going to make this city my home. It has been almost 30 years since I settled here.

I believe that its cosmopolitan nature makes it more unique than anything. This city belongs to everyone — Sikhs, Jats, Muslims, Hindus, Christians or anyone from any other ethnicity, religious or professional groups. In the last 28 years, I haven’t witnessed any communal disturbances in the city unlike other cities in the country.

But, it seems that politicians can never bear the calm. To stir new debates and disturbances, they keep raising the ownership of Chandigarh. Who does the city belong to — Punjab or Haryana? After every few years, this issue crops up, debates get heated and gradually cools down after the electoral heat.

Recently, the Aam Admi Party-led Punjab government staked a claim over Chandigarh by passing a unanimous resolution in the state assembly. They argued that in case of carving out a new state out of any parent state, the capital city remained with the parent city.

The Haryana government has also presented its counter argument as to why it should be the Capital of both the states.

The moot point is that there’s no such city like Chandigarh in both Punjab and Haryana which they can turn into the respective Capital of their states. The next biggest city in Punjab is Amritsar, which carries the tag of more a historic and holy city; it lacks the infrastructure to be recognized as the capital city of Punjab.

However, in case of Haryana, they do have developed Gurgaon with respect to infrastructure, but it is haphazardly created and will be a poor match to Chandigarh.

I believe that the city should be kept out of the controversy. This discord and the political tug of war between the two states is detrimental to the growth of Chandigarh. The status quo, in which it belongs to both the states, should be maintained.

As told to Md Tausif Alam

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24 days ago

We only have vultures now in the name of politicians..

Col N N Bhatia ( Retd)
Col N N Bhatia ( Retd)
23 days ago

I agree with the views of Mr Simar & why can’t both states accept the issue gracefully. Suggestion of Amritsar as thestate capital of Punjab besides what author has written, suffers from its proxy to Pakistan & will always be Pakistani target & under enemy’s threat. Infact, in Pakistani Operational planning, it must b strategic target for them to capture for bargaining staftervthe war as Lahore must be prize target for the Indian Army. Gurgaon with its haphazard development and bring on the southern limb of Haryana, is also not ideal city for the state’s capital. Chandigarh, eith its ideal location for both the ststes as Union Territory with its infrastructure, good schools university & modern city amenities is most suitable for both the states asbideal capital city. Being UT both states don’t have to spend a penny for it maintenance from their otherwise meager resources as UT has its own budget & administive frastructure.

Harry Sahi
Harry Sahi
22 days ago

It’s the most secular city in the country- we should keep it that way

22 days ago

Chandigarh is my city and I am aware when the UT status happened. It must remain a union territory. If Pb govt has governence issues they can shift their locus to Mohali. The shadow govt is upto dirty games causing interference in clean governence which is the sad state of affairs.
Love the Le corbusier’s planned city

Raman mann
Raman mann
22 days ago

Chandigarh was conceived and made for the state of Punjab. Punjab suffered immensely due to the unjustified partition in 1947. It lost its capital. It again lost a lot of its territory when Himachal and Haryana were carved out. Even now the waters of Punjab are being stolen by both Haryana and Rajasthan. Chandigarh belongs to Punjab and should be rightfully and generously given to it.

Dr Kailash Ahluwalia
Dr Kailash Ahluwalia
20 days ago

Status quo should be maintained. Most people came too Chandigarh in search of Lahore.Let it be their final destination.

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