From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Chandigarh
Mains level : Interstate boundary disputes in India
Earlier this month, Haryana Dy. CM said it would be better if both Haryana and Punjab agreed on Chandigarh as a Union Territory and make their independent capitals and Benches of High Courts.
Try answering this
Q.The linguistic re-organization of Indian states in the post-Independence period has prevented its balkanization, unlike our neighbourhood. Comment.
Why was Chandigarh created?
- Chandigarh was planned to replace Lahore, the capital of erstwhile Punjab, which became part of Pakistan during the Partition.
- In March 1948, the Government of (India’s) Punjab, in consultation with the Centre, approved the area of the foothills of the Shivaliks as the site for the new capital.
- From 1952 to 1966 (till Haryana was carved out of Punjab), Chandigarh remained the capital of Punjab.
How did it become a shared capital?
- At the time of reorganization of Punjab in 1966, the city assumed the unique distinction of being the capital of both Punjab and Haryana.
- Even as it was declared a union territory and was placed under the direct control of the Centre.
- The properties in Chandigarh were to be divided into 60:40 ratio in favour of Punjab.
- The-then PM Indira Gandhi had announced that Haryana, in due course, would have its own capital and Chandigarh would go to Punjab.
- As per documents submitted in the Lok Sabha, the Centre had even issued a formal communication is this regard on January 29, 1970, almost three years after Haryana came into being.
- Again, in 1985, under the Rajiv-Longowal accord, Chandigarh was to be handed over to Punjab on January 26, 1986, but the Rajiv Gandhi government withdrew at the last minute.
- As per the 1970 documents, the Centre had considered various alternatives for settling the matter, including dividing the city.
- But that wasn’t feasible since Chandigarh was built as a planned city to serve as the capital of one state.
- Haryana was told to use the office and residential accommodation in Chandigarh only for five years till it shifts to its own new capital.
- The Centre had offered Rs 10 crore grant to Haryana and an equal amount of loan for setting up the new capital.
- In 2018, Haryana CM suggested setting up a special body for the development of Chandigarh, but the Punjab CM rejected it, saying the city “indisputably belonged to Punjab”.