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Chandigarh has over 4000 millionaires

Onkar Singh in Chandigarh | February 13, 2006 19:00 IST
Last Updated: February 13, 2006 20:20 IST

The little sleepy beautiful city of Chandigarh, once known for its Rock Garden and retired citizens, has traveled a long-way to emerge as one of India's richest cities.

With multi-national companies setting shop, the very contours of the city have gone through sea change. So much so that out of a population of over 900,000 Chandigarh boasts of having more than 4000 crorepatis (millionaires).

"The number has doubled in the last five years and it is still growing. In the next five years we would have approximately 30 per cent of the total population in this category," A C Zulka, a professor of the Punjab University, who has conducted several surveys on this matter, told rediff.com.

According to him out of every ten thousand households 700 have an average income of Rs 50 lakhs (Rs 5 million) and above. The per capita income of a Chandigarh resident ranges between Rs 20,000 and 25,000." The figures could be astonishing but they are true," he said.

"There are more than five hundred Mercedes cars in the city. Some of the households have as many as four to five cars. You name a flashy and swanky car that is in the market and you would find them in good numbers in the city," said Rakesh Talwar owner of the Talwar Jewellers.

What happened in the last five years that the city managed to churn out so many multi-millionaires?

"Majority of them have come from places like Ludhiana, Jallandhar, Himachal Pradesh and Harayana and settled down here as they find it easy to operate from here and live in a stylish manner," explained Pramod Kumar, director of the Institute for Development and Communication.

The growth of the information technology sector has brought about a drastic change in the over all development of the city, said Kumar.

"A Dubai based company has been given the contract for developing other cities around Chandigarh and hence the property prices have shot up many folds in places like Mohali and Zeerakhpur.

"The farmers who have sold their lands for whooping sums are loaded with money. They show off by throwing dance and dinner parties for the elite class in order to build up their contacts. Sale of expensive liquor has increased substantially," said Talwar.

The number of jewellers in the city has multiplied many folds in last ten years. "(Earlier) people hardly cared to buy something expensive like jewellery. But that has changed as well and the people are coming to buy gold and jewelleries.

With retail food chains like Nath's and Halidram's opening joints in the city, the culture of eating out is growing as well.

"People like to spend thousands of rupees on buying a pair of good shoes or clothes of their choices. Jewellers are real crorepatis of the city," said Zulka.


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