If air is considered essential for life, land is the platform for the same. Land provides base to all flora and fauna and even under the water, it is the land where flora roots to regulate the life cycle of the fauna. It is an essential resource for one’s existence & livelihood. The Union Territory of Chandigarh has an area of 114 sq. km. In addition to this area, Sukhna Wild Life Sanctuary in U.T. Chandigarh spreads across 26 sq. km. It had population of 1054686 (Census 2011) which has crossed the mark of 1 million now. Chandigarh is the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana and enjoys the status of Union Territory as well. It has emerged as a regional hub for education, health, information and technology, and service sector etc. Chandigarh is ranked highest in Human Development Index and Quality of Life. In the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the majority of land is under Urban area (97%). Total area under agricultural crops is shrunk to negaligible. Total Green Cover in the city, including Sukhna Wild Life Sanctuary, is 35.7% and area under water bodies is 3.1%, out of which 1.6% area is under Sukhna Wetland. The rest of the area is under vacant land and miscellaneous uses.
Chandigarh has witnessed rapid population growth from 1961 to 2011i.e. From 1,19,881 to 1054986. This pressure has driven change in land use pattern over the period of time.
Land Use pattern of Chandigarh
Land use pattern in Chandigarh is driven by anthropogenic activities. Nature has made indirect impact by attracting so many people from the neighboring states i.e. Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pardesh. A lot of commercial activities have come up in the form of industrial area and shopping complexes. Agricultural land is affected the most with increase in commercialization in Chandigarh. More population means more of transportation and traffic which triggers change in land use pattern for locomotion. Also, waste generated from industrial activities, encroachment, and urbanization impacts the land use pattern.
(In addition to 114 Sq. Km. area, Sukhna wild Life sanctuary spread over 26 Sq. Km. hilly terrain)
Available land area of Chandigarh is divided in to different categories depending upon the land use type. The development of the city was well planed in three phases(Phase I, Phase II,Phase III with total distributed area of 28.170 acre.Phase wise distribution of the total land area of Chandigarh among diffrent categories is described by the graph below .Out of the total area nearly 3082 acre is still lying vacant.
| Land Use Type || Total Area (Acre)|
| Phase I|| 9398.82|
| Phase II|| 5158.75|
| Phase III|| 1870.53|
| Periphery|| 11741.86|
| Residential|| 10672.15|
| Commercial || 1339.72|
| Transport|| 2046.9|
| Industrial/IT Park|| 1346.39|
| Public/Semi Public|| 2968.78|
| Recreational || 2428.46|
| Public Utility|| 302.32|
| Railway Land|| 316.29|
| Defence total|| 1573|
| Forest Total || 2113.97|
| Vacant Land || 3082.67|