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Impact of Urbanisation on Environs of Amritsar City

Conference Paper · March 2014


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Shubham Khaitan
School of Planning and Architecture


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Impact of Urbanization on Environs of Amritsar City
Presented by
Shubham S. Khaitan
B. Tech (Urban & Regional Planning)

Presented at
UGC sponsored seminar on
Changing Spectrum of Human Settlements
Planning Education
(20-21 March, 2014)

Guru Ramdas School of Planning

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
• Urbanization: Development in the social, economic & behavioral aspects of
people or it means development of people in every aspects of their life.
• Development in Science & Technology attracts people towards city.
• Urbanization is the main cause of Population growth & pollution.
• Adverse impact on Environment in the form of pollution, congestion, heat
islands, lack of green spaces, decrease in visual impression.
• Environment degradation: unfavourable alteration of our surroundings by
man’s activities through direct or indirect efforts of changes in the physical,
chemical and biological characteristics of land, air or water that harmfully
affect human life.
• Main causes: Human population explosion, rapid industrialization, unplanned
urbanization, scientific and technological advancements.
• Parameters: Urban Growth, Landuse change, Slums, Industries, Solid Waste &
Amritsar: a brief
• Border city located in Northern western part of Punjab.
• Second metropolis of state & one of the major trade centre in the region.
• Growth Rate of Urban Population is 17.16%.
• Total area (142.37 Sq. Km), Developed area (68.54%), Agriculture use (31.46%).
• City was divided in 50 wards (1991) but currently it has 65 wards (2011).

Table 1 Census Population of Major Settlements of Punjab (in millions) and their respective growth rate (in %)

Sr. Growth Rate Growth Rate Growth Rate

Settlements 1981 1991 2001 2011
No. (1981-1991) (1991-2001) (2001-2011)

1 Ludhiana 0.94 1.04 10.64 1.40 34.62 1.61 15.00

2 Amritsar 0.59 0.70 18.64 0.97 38.57 1.13 16.49
3 Jalandhar 0.44 0.50 13.64 0.70 40.00 0.87 24.29
4 Patiala 0.20 0.24 20.00 0.30 25.00 0.40 33.33
5 Bathinda 0.13 0.16 23.08 0.22 37.50 0.28 27.27
Source: Census of India, 1981, 1991, 2001 & 2011
Urban growth & Environmental Waning
• Municipal Corporation, Amritsar: the most urbanized settlement of the Local
Planning Area comprising of 61% population of the Local Planning Area.
• It constitutes 91.5% of urban population of the Amritsar district.
• Emerged as a largest city of Punjab in 1855 with population 1,12,186.
• Spatial growth of city from 840 acres in 1849 to about 8317 acres in 1941.
• Ninth largest city of India as per census 1941.
• Population density increased six times from 1,190 persons per sq. km in 2001 to
7,137 persons per sq. km in 2011.
• Congestion particularly in core areas, increase in concrete structures, lack of
open spaces, urban sprawl, no mass space relationship.
Growth of City Limits
Map 1: Municipal limits of Amritsar in 2001

Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU,
Growth of City Limits
Map 2: Municipal limits of Amritsar in 2001

Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU,
Growth of City Limits
Map 3: Municipal limits of Amritsar in 2011

Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU,
Growth of City Limits
Map 4: Municipal limits of Amritsar: 2011

Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU,
Growth of City Limits
Map 5: Direction of Growth of City Limits

Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU,
Change in Landuse Composition
• Landuse refers to the spatial distribution of various functions like Residential,
Commercial, Industrial etc.
• Landuse changes with the changing needs of growing population in the city.
• Municipal limits have increased 2.5 times than the limits in 1991.
• Increase in Residential developments in the form of new townships like Ansal city,
Global City, Metcalfe Nirvana city etc. along major arterial roads (Jalandhar
Bypass, Ajnala road etc).
• Deterioration of Environment by haphazard development & substandard illegal
colonies. Leading to high land values & burden on infrastructure.
• Traditional bazaars & shopping streets have been replaced by modern facilities like
Malls, complexes etc.
• Absence of Freight corridor is the major cause for decreasing industrial sector. No
facility for export & transportation of manufactured goods so no investment in this
sector due to border constraint.
Change in Landuse Composition
• As per the prescribed standards the area under recreation or green spaces should
be 20-25% but presently only 1.5% of the area is under green spaces which is
negligible as compared to the standards.
• It reflects the environmental degradation problem in the city that shows the
picture of the city as a concrete jungle in which no natural green space is there
resulting the city to become a heat island.
• The vast green land in the country side has been cleared for development
activities or through changing their land use.
1991 2001 2011 UDPFI
Area Norms
Area (Hectare) % Area (Hectare) % %
Landuse (Hectare) (%)
Residential 2671.85 48.43 3659.43 43.99 4245.07 50.94 35-40
Commercial 207.83 3.77 251.89 3.03 393.21 4.72 4-5
Industrial 494.78 8.97 548.76 6.6 445.72 5.35 12-14
Public/ Semi-Public 482.51 8.75 560.16 6.73 738.31 8.86 14-16
Recreational Areas 61.47 1.11 61.47 0.74 124.88 1.5 20-25
Circulation 722.69 13.1 956.59 11.5 1388.66 16.66 15-18
Government Land 876.02 15.88 2280.02 27.41 882.13 10.58
Total Area 5517.17 100 8318.34 100 14237.2 100
Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU, Amritsar
Effect of Slums on Environment
• Slums have become a universal phenomenon and are the product of urban
explosion and cause physical and social stress to urban settings.
• Deteriorated conditions i.e. improper availability of basic infrastructure &
utilities. occupied by urban poor or EWS of the society or the migrants from
nearby villages or other states that come to the urban areas in search of
employment in order to earn their livelihood.
• Slums lead to the encroachment over valuable parcel of land & poor sanitary
conditions leading to unhygienic environment.
• Total 64 slums in the city which have been identified by the Municipal
Corporation under The Punjab Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act,
1961. Out of these, 36 slums are notified and 28 are un-notified.
Effect of Slums on Environment
Map 6: Spatial distribution of Slums in Amritsar City

Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU,
Effect of Slums on Environment
Table 3: Decadal population of Slums in Amritsar City

Year City Population Slum Population (%)

1981 5,89,299 32,632 5.53

1991 7,08,835 1,23,000 17.35

2001 10,16,079 3,04,824 30

2011 11,32,761 5,09,742 45

Source: City Development Plan, Amritsar and Census of India, 2001
Effect of Slums on Environment
• Most of the slums (i.e. 25%) have developed in the southern part of city in
proximity to walled city (18.75% slums along the walled city & 6.25% along Tarn
Taran railway line).
• Leads to congestion, bottlenecks on the road, centre of unlawful activities creating
social disorders & adversely affects the aesthetics of the area whereas the northern
side has lesser slums due to major development activities.
• 23.44% of the slum abadies have spread along & near the NH-1 towards Jalandhar
due to easy accessibility thus occupying areas with high land value.
• 12.5% of the slum abadies have been unevenly distributed in the city.
• Number of workers living in slums constitute one fifth of the total work force of
the city.
• Master Plan says that 68.75% of slum population has access to sewerage facilities
whereas rest of 31.25% is defecating in available open spaces.
Environmental Insinuations of Industrial Growth
• Industrialization plays a crucial role in the economic development of any region
and has a direct impact on its environment.
• Main industries of the city are wool, cotton & textile mills as well as dairy & light
engineering works. 69% of the total industries in district lies within the city limits.
• There are four industrial zones being marked by pollution board Amritsar that are
Jandiala road, Focal point, Chehharta and Batala road zone.
• The width of the roads of the industries at Batala road zone is about 20 feet which
is unfit for the industrial transportation.
• More than 50 percent of the industries do not lie in either of the zones and are
within the MC limits which create lots of problems regarding pollution, traffic
congestion. Dye and Rubber industries present in and around the walled city
release pollutants like sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide which are very
harmful for the heritage buildings.
Environmental Insinuations of Industrial Growth
Map 7: Influence of Industrial units in Amritsar City

Source: Study of an Urban Area (2013), unpublished report, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, GNDU,
Environmental Insinuations of Industrial Growth
Table 4: Distribution of Industries in Amritsar City
Sr. Location Sr. Location
No No
1. Focal Point Zone (Engineering and Textile) 6. Putlighar, Islamabad (Textile)
2. Focal Point Extension (Engineering and Textile) 7. Chheharta Industrial Area (Textile)
3. New Focal Point along Mehta road 8. Verka Industrial Area (Textile)
4. Industries in East Mohan Nagar 9. Majitha road (Textile)
5. Along G.T. road towards Amritsar Engineering 10. Batala Road (Textile)
Source: Amritsar Master Plan, 2010-2031

Table 5: Growth & Type of Industries in Amritsar City

Type of Industry 2001 2011 Growth Rate (%)*
Food and Beverages 40 63 58
Textile 172 298 73
Leather and Rubber 29 60 107
Paper Products 25 30 20
Manufacturing of Chemicals 67 96 43
Rubber and Plastic 35 36 3
Construction Material 23 38 65
Metal and Alloys 25 87 248
Hardware Material 138 256 86
Equipments and Machinery 204 229 12
Furniture 29 59 103
Communication Products 18 54 200
Source: Pollution Board, Amritsar (2011) & *Computed Values
Environmental Insinuations of Industrial Growth
• Major part of industries is flourished on outer skirts like Jandiala road, Khasa area,
Fatehgarh Churrian road but these regions lacks in the facilities like dedicated
freight corridors, aviation base and other global connectivity.
• Industries are scattered all over which creates problem of non-compatibility as
well as pollution in the city.
• Some industries are located in the residential areas causing pollution and poor
living conditions. Most of the small & medium scale industries release their liquid
wastes & solid waste in the drains which causes blockage of drains & frequent
water logging.
• With the increasing use of fossil fuel by industrial units large amount of gases,
vapours, dust & excessive amount of CO2 are substantially increasing. The large
amount of smoke produced by the industries like Khanna paper mill, Railway
Coach care centre degrades the air around these units.
Solid waste disposal & Environment Degradation
• Materials are considered “Waste” when they exhaust their utility and they cause
Nuisance due to aesthetic and environmental reasons. Improper disposal of trash
material may cause and spread disease and false order.
• The problem of SWM in Amritsar is major issue due to increasing population,
changing lifestyles & consumption patterns. The total generation of solid waste in
the city of Amritsar is estimated to be 600 tons per day (TPD).
• Disposed-off on the landfill site located outside Bhagtanwala having area of 8.10
• The garbage from unauthorized developments, slums, hospitals and industrial
waste etc. is not collected which further adds to the environmental degradation.
• Organic waste is 52%, inert waste is 28% and industrial waste and recyclable
waste constitutes about 20% of total waste generated.
Solid waste disposal & Environment Degradation
• No segregation of waste at the point of generation. No house to house collection is
done in LIG areas and in slum areas such as Sultanwind and Fatehpur where the
solid waste is dumped in open lands, vacant plots and low lying areas or water
• No pre-treatment of waste before disposal in landfill sites located near
Bhagtanwala gate (8.1 Hec), Fatehpur (5.8 Hec) and Bharariwal (2.65 Hec).
• The informal dumping of waste in nallahs, open spaces, vacant plots, along bye-
pass has led to the creation of unhygienic environment in the areas of the city.
Moreover there is absence of solid waste treatment plant and scientific system of
landfill management in the city.
• Large amount of untreated waste generates many harmful gases like Methane,
Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulphide in to air. These gases, overflowed dustbins &
waste spread around them create environment problems and hence become the
cause for many diseases.
Solid waste disposal & Environment Degradation

Table 6: Records from Guru Nanak Hospital, 2005

Disease Out-Patient In-Patient In-Patient Deaths
Typhoid Fever 3347 941 14
Amoebiasis 2548 120 0
Diarrhoea and
21473 543 17
Intestinal Infections 17421 739 82
Viral Hepatitis 2598 100 0
Malaria 1469 0 0
Infectious Parasitic Diseases 10928 382 17
Infectious Skin Diseases 13728 10 0
All other skin diseases 15356 32 0
Source: City Development Plan of Amritsar, 2025
Transport & Environment Degradation
• Transportation is one of the most important creations of man’s creative urges.
The cities are growing in sizes but area under circulation is not increasing in the
same proportion. As per standards about 20% area of city should be under the
circulation. But in Amritsar the scenario is totally different.
• One of the major areas of environmental concern in the Amritsar city is that of
rising air pollution levels which are results of increasing personalized modes of
transport and intermediate modes of transport .
• During the last decades, due to growth of population there are more and more
vehicles on the road .
• These increased vehicular density lead to reduced journey speed, jamming
condition etc and also roads have become accident prone because of high
volume of traffic and poor geometry of important intersections.
Transport & Environment Degradation
• In 1997 RITES conducted survey for CTTP to identify the problems using
parameters like V/C ratio, congestion index & saturation capacity of
• V/C ratio along G.T. road varies between 0.4-0.9. On other major corridors
the V/C ratio varies between 0.4-0.6.
• Congestion also occurs on other major arterial road on account of non-
segregation between slow and fast moving modes, absence of access control
and lack of pedestrian facilities.
• The growth rate of vehicle is 31% and It indicates that growth rate of vehicles
is more than the population.
• About 65% of the city roads have either a single lane carriageway or a two
lane undivided carriageway.
• All other roads have a cross-sectional element between 30 m to 50 m.
Transport & Environment Degradation

Table 7:Growth of Vehicles in Amritsar city

Growth of
vehicle 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
i buses 2082 2182 2207 2289 2379 2510 2682 2787
Cars 42672 47199 50649 55232 63832 68298 74355 82516
Jeeps 2330 2863 3250 3814 4414 3395 3268 3386
2w 385476 411877 431995 458202 492587 516893 538281 573683
Trucks 6863 7551 7925 8938 9972 11895 13972 16256
Tractors 35249 35631 35914 36360 36690 37374 37581 38660

Combines 27 29 30 91 112 115 125 135

Total 474699 507332 531970 564926 609986 640480 670264 717423

Source: District Transport Office, Amritsar

Transport & Environment Degradation
Table 8:Peak Hour traffic Characteristics and Saturation Capacities at major Intersections
Location Morning Peak Evening Peak Saturation Capacity
Rotary Intersections PCUs PCUs
Hall Gate 8132 7148 1.48
Hathi Gate 6317 5989 1.18
Lohgarh Gate 4904 7188 1.43
Lahori Gate 5836 5436 1.1
Khazana Gate 4238 3681 0.73
Hakiman Gate 2814 2690 0.53
Bhagtanwala Gate 2624 2716 0.54
Gilwali Gate 2990 3057 0.60
Sultanwind Gate 6889 5524 0.51
Ghee Mandi Gate 6751 5736 0.56
Mahan Singh Gate 8103 7909 1.58
Ram Bagh Gate 6139 5928 1.18
Rialto Chowk 4919 3943 0.78
Nandan Cinema 6698 6619 1.32
Hussainpura 6677 5805 1.16
Sheranwali Gate 4580 4443 0.88
Chatiwind Gate 6575 5510 1.10
Combined Intersections
District Court 7054 7416 0.96
Pul Paudian 1.38
Bhandari Bridge 10888 9539
Four Armed Signalized
Citylite Chowk 3544 3693 0.80
Putligarh Chowk 6854 6469 1.1
Queens Chowk 5715 5173 0.78
Novelty Chowk 5717 5366 0.8
Rattan Singh Chowk 5600 4705 0.70
Charretta Chowk 2663 2707 0.62
Income Tax Chowk 4310 4331 0.60
Three Armed Signalized
Crystal Chowk 5832 5069 0.85
Sadar Police Station Chowk 4656 4616 0.61
Five Armed Unsignalised
Grand Hotel Chowk 3792 3650 0.66

Source: District Transport Office, Amritsar

Transport & Environment Degradation
Table 9: Degree of Congestion of Various roads in Amritsar
Road Degree of congestion
GT road- India gate-Putligarh chowk 10-40
GT road-Putlighar chowk-Maqboolpura 30-40
GT road-Maqboolpura-Bypass (Jalandhar Side) 10-40
Ramtirath road <10-30
Bypass <10
Ajnala road <10
Fatehgarh Churrian road <10-40
Majitha road >40
Pathankot road <10-40
Circular road <10-30
Lawrence road 20-30
Mall road <10
Khemkaran road >40
Taran-taaran road >40
Jalandhar road 10-20
Outer circular road 20-30
Hall bazar road >40
Source: Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Study on Amritsar by RITES (1997)
Transport & Environment Degradation
• The rotaries at Hall gate, Hussainpura Chowk, Court road chowk are getting
locked during peak hours.
• Maximum speed is 35 km/hr in mixed urban traffic.
• Most roads inside the walled city are the ones that are the most congested and
exhibit a high degree of congestion
• Increase in the number of all types of vehicles in Amritsar city has created
parking problems.
• Leads to problems like traffic congestion, reduced traffic speed, scarcity of
land for parking which in turn have a significant impact on environment
through carbon and lead emissions causing severe diseases like breathing
problem, cancer, bronchitis, skin reactions, eye sores, stress, mental
imbalances, high blood pressure etc.
Transport & Environment Degradation
Transport & Environment Degradation
Transport & Environment Degradation
Conclusion & Strategies
• Man and environment are indispensable parts of nature and subjected to natural
changes, which maintain the dynamic equilibrium of the ecosystem.
• Man’s desire for rapid development has compelled him to exploit the natural
• Rapid urbanization and increase in modern technology has created ecological
imbalances and environmental hazards. City is growing in unplanned manner.
• More concentration of built environment rather than open spaces. Absence of
natural environment in the city which makes the city poor in terms of leisure
• Heaps of stinking waste can be seen in the city which makes the city unhygienic
& its management being a challenging task for the local bodies.
• Poorer in terms of natural environment and its environment is getting relapsed
with rapid urbanization.
Conclusion & Strategies
Various Strategies can be implemented to safeguard the environment of the city
• Promoting planned development through effective city planning.
• Minimizing haphazard, unplanned & sub-standard growth.
• Rationalizing landuse pattern for effective traffic management.
• Making urban environment integral & essential part of city development
• Improving solid waste management through state of art technologies.
• Developing & improving existing gardens, parks & open spaces.
• Promoting optimum use of natural resources.
• Making city free from air, water and soil & land pollution.
• Improving road geometry & road capacity of existing road network.
• Minimizing pollution caused by traffic & transportation.
• Minimizing the use of private vehicles & promoting the public transport.

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