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After Le Corbusier

Punjab state underwent reorganization in the year 1966 and Chandigarh was made a Union Territory. The city was also made the joint capital of Haryana and Punjab state. During this process the city gained thrice importance for being the capital of dual state and a Union territory in itself. In the year 1978 Dr. M. S. Randhawa became the first Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh and he realized the need to commence IInd phase of sector development. The Second phase development comprised of developing seventeen sectors from 31 to 47 under the guidance of Mr. M. N. Sharma, the chief architect. The various observations and anomalies of first phase were carefully overcome in planning the second phase. Certain enhancement in plans to cater for better commercial environment, sector lay out and housing was introduced. Second phase was intended to accommodate three and a half lakh people with an average density of population of 60 people in an acre. This was quite more than the density of population of 1st phase which consisted of 17 people per acre.

Second phase developments involved approximately thirty years. The following factors largely influenced the developments:

Enormous Population and Development Pressure

Population growth rate in Chandigarh recorded highest in the decade 1961-71 to 140%. The setting up of various industries and administrative blocks made more and more people settle in Chandigarh. This demanded more accommodation and houses. Chandigarh was surely emerging as the developmental hub by this time. Both Haryana and Punjab state wanted to take developmental advantage by making it their capital city. Lot of people started migrating and settling in outskirts of Chandigarh in regions like Mohali and Panchkula. These people were dependent on the city for infrastructural facilities.

Need For Small Houses

The population of Chandigarh was very less when the first phase began and residential plots measurement ranged from 5 Marla to 6 kanals. However, with migration and settling of more and more people in Chandigarh, the size of residential plots decreased and density of population increased. The biggest residential plot in this phase measured 2 kanals. The Marla type houses which were frame controlled contained second floor as Barsati. This helped the people to sleep outside during summer and carry out other activities.  However, in the new phase these were replaced and redesigned to provide better use of open space.

The space constraints made the administration think of other alternatives to provide economical houses to all people in the society. Thus emerged the idea of multi storied flats. In this phase different housing projects were built by taking the income levels into consideration. The flats were divided as Higher Income Group (HIG), Lower Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG). This process helped the administration achieve its target of making people to live in a community and attain more density of population. 

Separate Land-use Pattern

The construction and appearance pattern of market places and commercial complexes underwent rapid changes from Phase-1 to Phase-3. The facades containing brick jails and louvers were replaced by glass.

The construction work in India followed a pattern of mixed land-use. This pattern is being followed since a long time in the country with an aim to keep working area and accommodation area nearby to save considerable time in commuting.  The first phase made adequate use of this concept. The houses were constructed on the first floor and shopping areas were in the ground floor on structures made of bricks. There were no basements in first phase due to minimal business opportunities. The only drawback with this concept was that it made people live within their mindset in limited area without giving a thought for expansion of business and progress in life in the years to come.

Consequently the concept of shop and office at same location emerged after first phase. This concept came as a blessing for various corporate sector companies who considered Chandigarh an excellent place for their staff to live considering the high level of adaptability and excellent quality of urban infrastructure. This thought helped many corporate companies to set up their offices and work sites in the city.

Social and Economic Changes

The first phase mainly concentrated on establishing the city and focused on construction of government buildings. However, the new phase mainly emphasized on prosperity, comfort and better living condition. The third phase witnessed drastic reduction in the size of the residential area due to paucity of land. But the area under commercial usage which included hotels, hospitals, schools, banks and shopping malls rose to many folds. An excellent global shopping arcade for people of southern sectors is being planned at sector 34. This world class commercial complex with all facilities is believed to help people of the area to avoid going to distant main city center.

Unforeseen Growth - IIIrd Phase is Born

The expansion and progress of the city lies in its ability to meet emerging demands of inhabitants. The economic developments and congenial settling options have enhanced the population and resulted in paucity of accommodation. In order to meet this growing needs the third phase has come up towards south of 'Vikas Marg'. The third phase consists of 9 sectors from sector 48 to 56. Sectors 48 & 49 mainly consist of multi storied apartments built by Cooperative Group Housing societies. Sectors 55 & 56 shares its boundaries with the state of Punjab and are meant for migratory population and people working in the city. These people are responsible for providing work services and administration works in the city.

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