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New Delhi ( ) is the capital of Indiamarker. It is situated within the metropolis of Delhimarker and serves as the seat of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The city was planned by Edwin Lutyens, a leading 20th century Britishmarker architect. The city is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and houses numerous national institutions and landmarks. The total area of the city is 42.7 km2.

History

New Delhi was laid out to the south of the Old City which was constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. However, New Delhi overlays the site of seven ancient cities and hence includes many historic monuments like the Jantar Mantarmarker and the Lodhi Gardens.

Much of New Delhi was planned by Edwin Lutyens, a leading 20th century Britishmarker architect and Herbert Baker, and contracted to Sir Sobha Singh. Lutyens first visited Delhi in 1912, and construction really began after World War I and was completed by 1931, when the city later dubbed "Lutyens' Delhi" was inaugurated. Lutyens laid out the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain's imperial aspirations.

Though soon Lutyens started considering other places, and finalized on a site atop the Raisina Hillmarker, formerly Raisina Pind a Sikh village, for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, then known as Viceroy's House. The historic reason being that the hill lay directly opposite to the Dinapanah citadel, which was also considered the site of Indraprastha, the oldest Delhi. Subsequently, the foundation stone was shifted from the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911-1912, where the Coronation Pillar stood as well, and embedded in the walls of the forecourt of the Secretariat. The Rajpathmarker, also known as King's Way, stretched from the India Gatemarker to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Secretariat building which houses various ministries of the Government of India, flanked out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, and the Parliament House, both designed by Herbert Baker, is located at the Sansad Marg, which runs parallel to the Rajpath .

Calcuttamarker was the capital of India until December 1911 during the British Raj. However, Delhimarker had served as the political and financial centre of several empires of ancient and medieval India, most notably of the Mughal Empire from 1799 to 1849. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the Indian Empire from Calcutta to Delhi. Unlike Calcutta, which was located on the eastern coast of India, Delhi was located in northern India and the Government of British India felt that it would be easier to administer India from Delhi rather than from Calcutta. On December 12, 1911, George V, the then Emperor of India along with Queen Mary, during the Delhi Durbar, made the announcement that the capital of the Raj was to be shifted from Calcuttamarker to Delhimarker, while laying the foundation stone for Viceroy's residence in the Coronation parkmarker.

After India gained independence in 1947, a limited autonomy was conferred to New Delhi and was administered by a Chief Commissioner appointed by the Government of India. In 1956, Delhi was converted into a union territory and eventually the Chief Commissioner was replaced by a Lieutenant Governor. The Constitution Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi. A system of diarchy was introduced under which the elected Government was given wide powers, excluding law and order which remained with the Central Government. The actual enforcement of the legislation came in 1993.

Geography and climate

Geography

With a total area of 42.7 km2, New Delhi forms a small part of the Delhi metropolitan area and is located in the Indo-Gangetic Plain because of which there is little difference in the city's altitude. New Delhi and surrounding areas were once a part of the Aravalli Rangemarker, but all that is left now is the Delhi ridge. The second feature is the Yamunamarker floodplains; New Delhi lies west of the Yamuna river, although for the most part, New Delhi is a landlocked city. East of the river is the urban area of Shahdara. New Delhi falls under the seismic zone-IV, making it vulnerable to major earthquakes.

Climate

The climate of New Delhi is a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cwa) with high variation between summer and winter temperatures and precipitation. The temperature varies from 40 degrees Celsius in summers to around 4 degrees Celsius in winters.. New Delhi's version of a humid subtropical climate is noticeably different from many other cities with this climate classification in that it features long and very hot summers, relatively dry cool winters, and monsoon and dust storms. Summers are long, from early April to October, with the monsoon season in between. Winter starts in November and peaks in January. The annual mean temperature is 25 °C (77 °F); monthly mean temperatures range from 14 °C to 33 °C (58 °F to 92 °F). The average annual rainfall is approximately 714 mm (28.1 inches), most of which is during the monsoons in July and August.





Government

As of 2005, the government structure of the New Delhi Municipal Council includes a chairperson, three members of New Delhi's Legislative Assembly, two members nominated by the Chief Minister of National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) and five members nominated by the central government. The current Chief Minister of the NCT is Sheila Dikshit. According to the Indian constitution, if a law passed by Delhi's legislative assembly is repugnant to any law passed by the Parliament of India, then the law enacted by the parliament shall prevail over the law enacted by the assembly.

New Delhi is governed through a municipal government, known as the New Delhi Municipal Council. Other urban areas of the metropolis of Delhi are administered by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and are hence not considered a part of the capital city. However, the entire metropolis of Delhi is commonly known as New Delhi in contrast to Old Delhi.

Urban structure

Much of New Delhi was planned by Edwin Lutyens, a leading 20th century British architect and has been dubbed "Lutyens' Delhi". Lutyens laid out the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain's imperial pretensions. New Delhi is structured around two central promenades called the Rajpathmarker and the Janpath. The Rajpath, or King's Way, stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhavanmarker to the India Gatemarker. The Janpath (Hindi: "Path of the People"), formerly Queen's Way, begins at Connaught Circusmarker and cuts the Rajpath at right angles. Nineteen (19) foreign embassies are located on the nearby Shantipath (Hindi: "Path of Peace"), making it the largest diplomatic enclave in India.

At the heart of the city is the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly known as Viceroy's House) which sits atop Raisina Hillmarker. The Secretariat, which houses various ministries of the Government of India, flanks out of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Parliament House, designed by Herbert Baker, is located at the Sansad Marg, which runs parallel to the Rajpath. The Connaught Placemarker is a large, circular commercial area in New Delhi, modeled after the Royal Crescentmarker in Englandmarker. Twelve separate roads lead out of the outer ring of Connaught Place, one of them being the Janpath.

Transport

Being a planned city, New Delhi has numerous arterial roads, some of which have an iconic status associated with them such as Rajpathmarker, Janpath and Akbar Roadmarker. In 2005, private vehicles accounted for 30% of total transportation demand for the Delhi metropolitan area. Road construction and maintenance is primarily the responsibility of NDMC's Civil Engineering Department. Underground subways are a common feature across New Delhi. As of 2008, 15 subways were operational. In 1971, the administrative responsibility of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was transferred from Municipal Corporation of Delhi to Government of India following which DTC extended its operations to New Delhi. In 2007, there were 2700 bus stops in New Delhi, of which 200 were built and maintained by NDMC and the rest by DTC.

The Delhi Metro, constructed and operated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), connects the city with the rest of the metropolis of Delhi. Under an agreement with NDMC, DMRC can acquire land for the construction of metro rail and stations in New Delhi without any financial implications. NDMC is also constructing multi-level parking systems in collaboration with DMRC at various Delhi metro stations across New Delhi to increase parking space. The New Delhi Railway Stationmarker is the main railway station in Delhi serving many trains to important cities.

New Delhi Station is the second busiest, and one of the largest, in India. It handles over 300 trains each day, from 18 platforms connecting New Delhi with the rest of India.

Indira Gandhi International Airportmarker (DEL) is the primary aviation hub of Delhi. In 2006–07, the airport recorded a traffic of more than 23 million passengers, making it one of the busiest airports in South Asia. A new US$1.93 billion Terminal 3 is currently under construction and will handle an additional 34 million passengers annually by 2010. Further expansion programs will allow the airport to handle more than 100 million passengers per annum by 2020. Safdarjung Airportmarker is the other airfield in Delhi used for general aviation purpose.

Demographics

2001, New Delhi had a population of 302,363 while the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) had a population of 9.81 million., making it the second largest metropolitan area in India after Mumbaimarker. There are 925 women per 1000 men in NCT, and the literacy rate is 81.67%. National Literacy Missions Report,



Hinduism is the religion of 82% of Delhi's population, of which New Delhi is a part. There are also large communities of Muslims (11.7%), Sikhs (4.0%), Jains (1.1%) and Christians (0.9%) in Delhi. Other minorities include Parsis, Buddhists and Jews.Hindi is the principal spoken language while English is the principal written language of the city. The linguistic groups from all over India are well represented in the city; among them are Punjabi, Haryanvi, Urdu, Bihari, Bengali, Tamil, Rajasthani, Telugu, Garhwali, Kannada, Malayali, North-East, Marathi and Gujarati, roughly in same order.

Culture

New Delhi is a cosmopolitan city due to the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural presence of the vast Indian bureaucracy and political system. The city's capital status has amplified the importance of national events and holidays. National events such as Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi's birthday) are celebrated with great enthusiasm in New Delhi and the rest of India. On India's Independence Day (15 August) the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fortmarker. Most Delhiites celebrate the day by flying kites, which are considered a symbol of freedom. The Republic Day Parade is a large cultural and military parade showcasing India's cultural diversity and military might.

Religious festivals include Divali (the festival of light), Guru Nanak Jayanti, Baisakhi, Durga Puja, Holi, Lohri, Maha Shivaratri, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Christmas and Mahavir Jayanti. The Qutub Festival is a cultural event during which performances of musicians and dancers from all over India are showcased at night, with the Qutub Minar as the chosen backdrop of the event. Other events such as Kite Flying Festival, International Mango Festival and Vasant Panchami (the Spring Festival) are held every year in Delhi.

P. Chidambaram, the Home Minister, said that the people of Delhi needed an "attitude makeover" so they could "play good hosts" for the Commonwealth Games.

Economy



Connaught Placemarker, one of northern India's largest commercial and financial centres, is located in the heart of New Delhi. Adjoining areas such as Barakhamba Road is also a major commercial centre. Government and quasi government sector was the primary employer in New Delhi. The city's service sector has expanded due in part to the large skilled English-speaking workforce that has attracted many multinational companies. Key service industries include information technology, telecommunications, hotels, banking, media and tourism.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi does not release any economic figures specifically for New Delhi but publishes an official economic report on the whole of Delhi annually. According to the Economic Survey of Delhi, the metropolis has a net State Domestic Product (SDP) of Rs. 83,085 crores (for the year 2004–05) and a per capita income of Rs. 53,976. The tertiary sector contributes 78.4% of Delhi's gross SDP followed by secondary and primary sectors with 20.2% and 1.4% contribution respectively.

References

Further reading



External links




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