Despite the limited land available with it, the Chandigarh administration on Thursday decided to allot more land to two premier institutions - the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and Panjab University (PU).
This was decided at a meeting of the union territory's top officials with senior functionaries of these two autonomous, prestigious institutions here.
While discussing detailed, long-term requirement of both institutions, Punjab Governor and U.T. administrator Shivraj Patil said both institutions were rendering service to people from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.
Patil said Panjab University needed more than 100 acres of land to meet its demand, while PGIMER also needs nearly 150 acres of land for establishing new facilities.
He said the land would be given to PGIMER and Panjab University on priority from the available pool of land with Chandigarh administration to meet their needs for the next 50 years.
While PGIMER is the leading state-run health institution of the region and gets thousands of patients from all over the country, PU has emerged as the top-rated institution in the country.
Both were conceived and established in the 1960s in Chandigarh when the city was itself being set up.
PU presently has its own 550-acre campus spread in Sectors 14 and 25 of Chandigarh. It is one of the best kept university campuses in the country. The PGIMER is located in Sector 12 of the city.
PU's famous alumni include former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and I.K. Gujral, former president S.D. Sharma, Nobel laureate Hargobind Khurana, union Minister Sushma Swaraj, NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla (who died in the space shuttle Columbia disaster), several union ministers and chief ministers.
Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, is a 114 square-km union territory. It is surrounded by both states and has limited land available under its administration.