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Category Archives: tourists

Hi all. It has been a long time since I wrote on the city. But all these months, your city had been growing left right and up. Those of you living abroad away from your home, would like to know that the Uppal’s Centra Mall is open. Remember the Pasco Motors in Industrial Area? Right in front of the Modella, as you entered the Industrial Area Phase 1. It now features an all new Centra Mall and the four-screen PVR cinema had its opening yesterday.
Two months back we had the DT Cinema in the IT Park area, and at Zirakpur, you will soon have the Paras Down Town Square, which again shall have four screen ADLabs screens to satiate the entertainment-hungry populace.

With the establishment of Rajiv Ghandi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), Chandigarh has not only come up on the national map but also on the international one. Within a single year Infosys, Virsa, Net-Solutions, Taurusagile, and IBM are a few international IT companies which have established their units here.

Rajiv Ghandi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) is a major step in bridging the gap between high levels of educational facilities in Chandigarh but not sufficient employment opportunities especially in the knowledge sector.

The Phase I of RGCTP has already been accorded Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status by Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. The UT administration has also approved the Rs.12 crore Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) to be constructed over an area of about 1.5 acres at Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park (RGCTP), Phase-I.

Seeing the huge demand for both commercial and residential land by the IT companies set up in the RGCTP, 250 acres of land has been developed under Phase II. Out of this 123 acres have been reserved for a Tech Habitat under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in order to provide residential facilities to professionals working there. The remaining land has been developed for the use of IT companies such as Wipro, Tech Mahindra, eSys Technologies Ltd., and Bharti Airtel Ltd.

With huge demand pouring in from various sectors across the world, another 270 acres of land has been planned for development under the Phase III of the RGCTP. This land is under acquisition, which is likely to be completed by January 2007 after which further allotments will be undertaken as per the policy.

Keeping in view the huge demand for the residential property and the appreciation in the prices in the last one year, big national developers and colonisers like Westend, TDI, Ansals, MGF, Omaxe have penetrated into the tri-city. In commercial segment DLF has developed state of the art commercial building for the companies to set up operations in the technology park.

Chandigarh along with Ahmedabad, Indore, Kolkata and Nagpur comes under the Tier III cities category in India which is expected to emerge as major centres for the offshoring activities by IT companies over the next five years.

Following RGCTP, there is another Hardware Park being planned to set up in Industrial Area Phase III in Chandigarh near Moli Jagraon close to the railway station. Though it may take several years to come into its real shape, it will surely boost the industrial development in Chandigarh.

The question is what has necessitated this shift to smaller townships? The reason for this shift towards tier II and tier III cities is inevitable owing to the increasing demand for workforce and an acute shortage of manpower projected in the coming years. Secondly, with cost advantage being the crucial factor in the outsourcing, tier II and tier III cities provide the straight away edge over tier I cities which include Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

Talking about Chandigarh, the advantageous location of this place being the centre to states like Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh makes it a much convenient, accessible and preferred destination for both the employers and the employees. Also the excellent quality of life with a huge base of human resources and infrastructure coupled with the proactive policies of the administration play a very favourable role for such investments.

There is a reasonably good quality of talent pool available in Chandigarh. Due to availability of good number and quality of schools, colleges and the Panjab University, the city attracts young crowd from the surrounding states. Though there are some shortcomings like communications skills specifically in the Voice-based processes and areas where these skills are important but this will not be a hindrance in any way.

The government has taken initiatives on its part. As it has provided several benefits and concessions to the companies who have set up their unit in the RGCTP like the tax rebates which may be availed upto 10-15 years. Or facilities like 100 % electricity back –up.

On the other hand, the negative impacts of a technology park cannot be ignored. The fact that the property rates have appreciated manifolds due to setting up of the technology park is inevitable. Due to sky-rocketed property rates, the common man has been badly hit. As now his pocket does not allow him to buy any property, then let it be a flat or a residential land in and around the technology park. Today a 250 square yard plot costs around 60-80 lakhs which used to cost around Rs. 20 lakh 2 years back.

One of the main reasons of property rates appreciation has been due to the speculation of the market by the property dealers and the investors. All this has resulted into too much manipulation of the real estate prices.

The fact that Chandigarh will emerge as a huge IT hub in the coming years is undebatable. But the question still remains unanswered that will it be able to sustain this development or history will repeat itself as the case happened in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

City Center Sector 17

The main shopping and commercial centre of Chandigarh is Sector 17. This vast commercial complex is a pedestrian’s paradise with four main piazzas meeting at a ‘chowk’. It provides something for everyone, from hectic business activity to unhurried window shopping and even crowd gazing in the vicinity of the fountain. Air-conditioned showrooms and departmental stores cater to the needs of shoppers. Government Emporia, innumerable shops, eateries, coffee houses, bars and pubs keep the visitor fully engrossed.

The City Centre or Sector 17, as it is popularly called, is architecturally a blend of cuboids building blocks and open spaces. The piazzas livens up in the afternoon with the office crowds out in the open spaces and shopping colonnades to refresh themselves. In the evenings, shoppers and tourists, enjoying ice creams or popcorns, sit on the steps of the “dove of peace” sculpture, where water cascades down from one level to another in geometrically shaped tanks, amidst delightful play of colourful lights.

 Other Shopping Centers

Auto Centers              Sectors 28, 21
Book Shops                Sector 14, 17, 19, 22
Electronic Goods        Sector 17, 22
Fruits, Vegetables      Sector 26
Furniture                    Sector 34, 7 (Madhya Marg)
Garment, Shoes          Sector 17, 22, 9
Hardware                    Sector 7, 18, 22
Hotels                         Sector 17, 22, 35
Medical Stores            Sector 11, 16, 22
Meat and Fish             Sector 21
Vegetable and Fruit    Sector 19, 20 and 22
Cars and Scooters      Industrial Area