Meerut

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Meerut
मेरठ
میرٹھ
Metropolitan City
Martyr's Memorial
Martyr's Memorial
Nickname(s): The Sports Capital of India
Meerut is located in Uttar Pradesh
Meerut
Meerut
Coordinates: 28°59′N 77°42′E / 28.99°N 77.70°E / 28.99; 77.70Coordinates: 28°59′N 77°42′E / 28.99°N 77.70°E / 28.99; 77.70
Country  India
State Uttar Pradesh
District Meerut
Government
 • Mayor Mr. Harikant Ahluwalia (BJP)
Area
 • Metropolitan City 141.89 km2 (54.78 sq mi)
 • Metro 177.57 km2 (68.56 sq mi)
Elevation 224.659 m (737.070 ft)
Population (2011)1
 • Metropolitan City 1,309,023
 • Density 9,200/km2 (24,000/sq mi)
 • Metro2 1,424,908
Languages
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 250 0xx
Telephone code 91- 121- XXXX XXXX
Vehicle registration UP-15
Website meerut.nic.in

Meerut (Hindi: मेरठ, Urdu: میرٹھAbout this sound pronunciation ) is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.3 It is an ancient city with settlements dating back to the Indus Valley civilization having been found in and around the area. The city lies 70 km (43 mi) northeast of the national capital New Delhi, and 453 km (281 mi) northwest of the state capital, Lucknow.4 It is the second largest city in the National Capital Region of India (the largest being Delhi), and as of 2011 the 33rd most populous urban agglomeration and the 26th most populous city in India.56 It ranked 292 in 2006 and is projected to rank 242 in 2020 in the list of largest cities and urban areas in the world.7 The municipal area (as of 2001) is 141.89 km2 (54.78 sq mi)8 with the cantonment covering 35.68 km2 (3,568.06 ha).9 The city is one of the largest producers of sports goods, and the largest producer of musical instruments in India. The city is also an education hub in western Uttar Pradesh.

Etymology

The city may have derived its name from Maya Rashtra, the capital of the kingdom of Mayasura, Mandodari's father and Ravana's father-in-law. This name may have mutated to Mairashtra, Mai-dant-ka-khera, Mairaath and eventually Meerut.1011

According to another version, Maya(sura), being a distinguished architect, received from King Yudhisthira the land on which the city of Meerut now stands and he called this place Mayarashtra, a name which in the course of time became shortened to Meerut. Tradition also has it that the city formed a part of the dominions of Mahipala, the king of Indraprastha, and the word Meerut is associated with his name.12

History

After the archaeological excavations at ‘Vidura-ka-tila’, a collection of several mounds named after Vidura, in 1950–52, a site 37 km (23 miles) north-east of Meerut, it was concluded to be remains of the ancient city of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas of Mahabharata, which was washed away by Ganges floods.131415

Fragment of the 6th Ashoka Pillar in sandstone, with inscription or Edicts of Ashoka, in Brahmi, originally from Meerut, now in the British Museum

Meerut also contained a Harappan settlement known as Alamgirpur. It was also the easternmost settlement of the Indus valley civilisation. Meerut had been a centre of Buddhism in the period of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (r. 273 BC to 232 BC.), and remains of Buddhist structures were found near the Jama Masjid in the present day city.16 The Ashoka Pillar, at Delhi ridge, next to the ‘Bara Hindu Rao Hospital’, near Delhi University, was carried to Delhi from Meerut, by Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 1351–1388);141718 it was later damaged in a 1713 explosion, and restored in 1867.19

In the eleventh century AD, the south-west part of the district was ruled by Har Dat, the Dor Raja of Bulandshahr who built a fort, which was long known for its strength and finds mention in Ain-i-Akbari.20 He was later defeated by Mahmud Ghazni in 1018. A prominent local landmark, the Jama Masjid, dates from this period and is said to have been built by Mahmud's vizir. Shortly after its capture the city was regained by the local Hindu Raja and part of his fortifications, built for the city’s defence, survived until recent times. The first big invasion on the city came later in 1192 AD, from Mohammad Ghori, when his general Qutb-ud-din Aybak attacked the city, and a much worse fate lay ahead for the district, which came with the invasion of Timur in 1398, during which the Rajputs offered a tough resistance at the fort of Loni, where he fought the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad Tughlaq. But, eventually they were all defeated and all the 1,00,000 prisoners his army had taken in since his invasion of India were massacred, according to Timur’s own accounts in Tuzk-e-Taimuri.21 Thereafter he went on to attack Delhi, where he again massacred the local population, and returned to attack Meerut town, then ruled by an Afghan chief, Ilias, and took the city in two days, leading to widespread devastation, before heading north once again.22

The city then came under the rule of the Mughal Empire and saw a period of relative tranquility.22 During the rule of Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great (r. 1556–1605), there was a mint for copper coins here.16 During the decline of the Mughal Empire, after the death of Aurangzeb, the city came effectively under the control of local chieftains, the Saiyids of Muzaffarnagar in the north, the Jats in the south-east, and the Gujars along the Ganges and in the south-west. The city saw Sikh and Maratha invasions in the 18th century, with interruptions by Jats and Rohillas. Walter Reinhardt, an English soldier, established himself at Sardhana and some parts of the district came under his rule. Upon his death, they came into the hands of Begum Samru. During this time, the southern part of the district had remained under Maratha rule. In 1803, with the fall of Delhi, Daulat Rao Scindia of the Marathas ceded the territory to the British. The city was made headquarters of the eponymous district in 1818.222324

1857 Mutineers' Mosque

Meerut is famously associated with the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company.25 The famous slogan "Dilli Chalo" ("Let's march to Delhi!") was first raised here. Meerut cantonment is the place where the rebellion started when Hindu and Muslim soldiers were given rifle cartridges rumoured to have a coating made of animal fat. The bullet wrapping was to be opened by mouth before use, which affected the religious sensibilities of both Muslims and Hindus as the fat used was alleged to be derived from lard and tallow; cows are held sacred by Hindus and Muslims consider the pig unclean. Meerut soldiers set fire to the bungalows of the English.

During this revolt, Meerut leapt into international prominence, when on 24 April 1857 eighty-five of the ninety troopers of the 3rd Cavalry refused to touch the cartridges and after court-martial were sentenced to ten years imprisonment. On Sunday, 10 May 1857, Kotwal Dhan Singh Gurjar opened the gates of the prison. These soldiers, along with other imprisoned soldiers escaped prison and declared themselves free, revolted, attacked and killed several of the British authorities to take the city in their control. This marked the beginning of a widespread revolt across northern India as these soldiers marched towards Delhi. 10 May is still celebrated as a local holiday in Meerut.26

The United Provinces, in 1903

Meerut was also the venue of the controversial Meerut Conspiracy Case in March 1929, in which several trade unionists, including three Englishmen, were arrested for organising Indian-rail strike. This immediately caught attention back in England, inspired the 1932 play titled Meerut Prisoners, by Manchester street theatre group, the 'Red Megaphones', highlighting the detrimental effects of colonisation and industrialisation27 Electricity was brought to Meerut in 1931.23 In the 1940s, Meerut cinemas had a "Don't Move" policy during playing of the British national anthem.citation needed The last session of the Indian National Congress before Indian independence was held at Victoria Park in Meerut on 26 November 1946. It was in this session that the Constitution-making committee was constituted.28

The city and district also suffered from communal (Hindu-Sikh) riots in 198429 and (Hindu-Muslim) riots in 198230 and in 1987, during which the Hashimpura massacre took place, in May 1987, when personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) allegedly shot dead 42 Muslims, the trial of the case is still pending.3132 In 2006, a fire at a consumer electronics "Brand India" fair in Victoria Park Stadium killed over 100 people.

Mythology

  • Meerut was founded as Mayarashtra (lit. Maya's country) by Maya, who was the father of Mandodari, Ravana's wife in the Ramayana.33 Meerut was the capital of Maya.34 Thus the city is also known as 'Ravan Ki Sasural' literally meaning "Ravana's wife's home". There is an old Chandi Devi temple in the compound of Nauchandi ground. It is believed that Ravan's wife Mandodari used to come here to worship Goddess Chandi and since then every year a fete (Nauchandi Mela) is held in sacred days of Navratri ( also called days of Goddess )
  • In the Ramayana, Shravan Kumar carried his feeble parents on his shoulders to all the pilgrimage sites in India, but it is believed that when he passed through Meerut, he put down his parents for a while to rest and drink. It was here that Lord Rama's father, King Dasharatha, mistook Shravan Kumar for a deer and accidentally shot him dead with an arrow. Shravan Kumar's parents cursed the king that he too would suffer and die due to separation from his son as they died.

Climate

Meerut has a monsoon influenced humid subtropical climate characterised by hot summers and cooler winters. Summers last from early April to late June during and are extremely hot, with temperatures reaching 43 °C (109 °F).3 The monsoon arrives in late June and continues till the middle of September. Temperatures drop slightly, with plenty of cloud cover but with higher humidity. Temperatures rise again in October and the city then has a mild, dry winter season from late October to the middle of March3 The lowest temperature ever recorded is −0.4 °C (31.3 °F), recorded on Sunday, 6 January 2013.35 Rainfall is about 80 cm to 100 cm per annum, which is suitable for growing crops. Most of the rainfall is received during the monsoon. Humidity varies from 30 to 100%.3 The city receives no snow.

Climate data for Meerut
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 29
(84)
32.2
(90)
39
(102)
43
(109)
45
(113)
46
(115)
44
(111)
40
(104)
39
(102)
38
(100)
34
(93)
30
(86)
46
(115)
Average high °C (°F) 21.9
(71.4)
23.1
(73.6)
28.7
(83.7)
36.3
(97.3)
39.1
(102.4)
37.6
(99.7)
33.6
(92.5)
32.6
(90.7)
33.7
(92.7)
32.8
(91)
28.6
(83.5)
23.5
(74.3)
31.1
(88)
Average low °C (°F) 7.2
(45)
9.1
(48.4)
13.8
(56.8)
19.9
(67.8)
24.3
(75.7)
26.0
(78.8)
25.9
(78.6)
25.5
(77.9)
23.6
(74.5)
18.2
(64.8)
12.4
(54.3)
8.0
(46.4)
17.7
(63.9)
Record low °C (°F) 0
(32)
0.1
(32.2)
5
(41)
8
(46)
15
(59)
17
(63)
16
(61)
19
(66)
15
(59)
10
(50)
1
(34)
0
(32)
0
(32)
Rainfall mm (inches) 24
(0.94)
18
(0.71)
10
(0.39)
5
(0.2)
15
(0.59)
54
(2.13)
248
(9.76)
332
(13.07)
138
(5.43)
42
(1.65)
3
(0.12)
8
(0.31)
897
(35.31)
Avg. rainy days 2 1 1 0 1 3 9 11 4 1 0 0 33
 % humidity 79 70 59 42 41 58 80 84 77 68 67 75 66.7
Source #1: Department of Meteorology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India36
Source #2: India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India37

Geography

The city lies between the plains of the Ganges and those of the Yamuna. In area Meerut District covers 2,522 km2 (974 sq mi), which is larger than Delhi (Delhi covers an area of 1,484 km2 [573 sq mi]), but in population Meerut had population of 3,443,689, which is three times less than Delhi.

Meerut Cantonment

Mall Road in Meerut Cantonment

Meerut Cantonment was established by the British East India Company in 1803 after the Battle of Laswari. It is the second largest cantonment of India both in land area (3568.06 hectares) and population (90521 people as per 2001 census).citation needed The Revolt of 1857 started from "Kali Paltan" in Meerut Cantonment and Indian soldiers stationed here actively participated in the rebellion.49 The cantonment surrounds the old city from 3 sides – from Pallavpuram to Sainik Vihar to Ganga Nagar.38 It is well connected with the rest of country by roads as well as by rail. The Delhi Niti Paas Road (State Highway No. 45) passes through Meerut Cantonment.9 Meerut cantonment was the divisional headquarters of the 7th (Meerut) Division of the British Indian Army from 1829 to 1920.

Soldiers from the cantonment have actively participated in the Battle of Ypres, both the 1st and 2nd Battles of El Alamein, France, Burma Campaign, the Indo-Pak Wars, Bangladesh Liberation War and Kargil War.citation needed

It has been the regimental centre of Punjab Regiment Corps of Signals, Jat Regiment, Sikh Regiment and Dogra Regiment in the past.citation needed

Development

Atop an under-construction overpass

Meerut is the 63rd-fastest-growing urban area in the world.39 It is the 14th fastest developing city in India. A June 2011 report by U.S. financial services firm Morgan Stanley gave Meerut the 5th spot on the "vibrancy" index, ahead of Delhi and Mumbai.40 Meerut ranked second on both the financial penetration index, which measures things like the presence of ATMs and bank branches, and on the consumption index, indicating the city’s transformation into an urban town. While the city ranked in the bottom 10 in job creations, the report suggests that overall there are plenty of signs of "potential for urbanisation," including future employment opportunities.41 The infrastructure segment of Meerut is currently going through a boom phase with many new projects coming up in and around the city.4243 There are many new buildings, shopping complexes, malls, roads, flyovers and apartments coming up. The Upper Ganga Canal Expressway is also under development.citation needed On the India City Competitiveness Index, the city ranked 45th in 2010,44 37th in 201145 and 39th in 201246

Economy

Industry

The cover of the book Sangeet Puranmal Ka (lit. The Music of Puranmal) by Ramlal. The book was published in 1879 from the city.

Meerut is one of the important industrial towns of western Uttar Pradesh.3 It is traditionally known for handloom works and scissors industry.47 Meerut was one of the first cities in northern India where publishing was set up during the 19th century. It was a major center of commercial publishing during the 1860s and 1870s.48

Meerut is a rich agricultural area with such pockets of land that do not fit in for crop purpose. Being in the proximity of Delhi, it is ideal for industry. It is home to 520 micro, small and medium scale industries.49 As of August 2006, Meerut has about 23,471 industrial units, including 15,510 small-scale units and 7,922 cottage industries.50

Existing industries in the city include tyres, textile, transformer, sugar, distillery, chemical, engineering, paper, publishing, and sports goods manufacture.475149 Prospective industries include IT and ITES.52 The city is home to some prominent regional pharmaceuticals companies like Perk Pharmaceuticals Limited, Mankind Pharma & Bestochem.53 Meerut is one of the major manufacturing regions for sports goods in India.535455 The city is especially famous for the manufacture of cricket goods with SG being the largest Indian cricket goods manufacturer and exporter operating in Meerut.56 Meerut is also a hub of gold design in India. Meerut is also the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in India.5354 Meerut is also home to a battle gear and armoury industry which produces gear for use in Hollywood films and television series. Notable uses have been in the movies Gladiator, 300 and the television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The industry is pegged to be around INR25 crore (US$4.2 million) per annum.57

Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) has two industrial estates in the city, namely Partapur and Udyog Puram.5859

GAIL Gas Ltd is laying infrastructure for piped CNG throughout the city for industrial, domestic and transport use. Some areas such as Supertech, Panchwati, Devlok Puri on Delhi Road have already been connected and extension to Shastri Nagar and Jagriti Vihar is planned for 2013.60

Retail

Melange Mall and multiplex at Pallavpuram

Aside shops representing a range of well-known brands, car showrooms, hotels, bars and clubs, the city's gold market is one of Asia’s largest, employing over 25,000 skilled craftsmen and processing around 60 kilograms of the precious metal per day.61 The city has over 40 BIS Hallmark showrooms.clarification needed

Revenue generation

Meerut has shown healthy numbers in terms of revenue generation. In 2005–06, Meerut occupied the fifth slot and contributed Rs 10,306 crore to the direct tax collection. It slipped to number six in 2006–07 when the revenue collection at Rs 11,203 crore was 18% lower than the target of Rs 13,627 crore. According to statistics compiled by the Income Tax department, Meerut contributed a Rs.10,089 crore to the national treasury in 2007/08, overall it was ranked 9th outperforming Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Kochi and Bhubaneshwar.62

Civic administration

Meerut district is divided into three tehsils, namely Meerut, Mawana and Sardhana. These tehsils are further divided into 12 blocks.63

The city is administered by Meerut Municipal Corporation, which is responsible for performing civic administrative functions. Infrastructure development of the city is looked after by the Meerut Development Authority (MDA).

Meerut is the headquarters of NCR Zone and upwest zone A of Police. An ADG and a secretary level IAS officer cover west U.P.zone. Both the officers look after the legal and developmental condition and system of Western Uttar Pradesh from Meerut for 6 Division of western Uttar Pradesh, namely Meerut, Agra, Bareily Moradabad, Saharanpur and Aligarh under West Zone, and Meerut Division with Saharanpur is in NCR Zone. A DIG looks after Meerut for legal condition and law, Commissioner also looks for 6 district of Meerut Division.citation needed

The office of the Chief Commissioner, Customs & Central Excise, Meerut Zone, has jurisdiction over 13 districts of Uttrakhand and 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh. This jurisdiction was carved out of the Lucknow Zone. It comprises the erstwhile Customs & Central Excise Commissionerates of Meerut & Noida. The Meerut Commissionerate was bifurcated into two Commissionerates, namely, ‘Meerut-I and Ghaziabad’ and the Noida Commissionerate was bifurcated into ‘Noida and Meerut-II’. In addition, jurisdiction of Central Excise Division Bareilly was included in the jurisdiction of Meerut-II Commissionerate.64

Transport

Air

The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport which is about 100 km away.

The Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar airstrip is located at Partapur. It was proposed by the state government that the airstrip be converted to an international airport to reduce pressure on Delhi airport.65 However, Plans to expand the airstrip were called off after protests against land acquisition started in other parts of the state.66 Following an accident in May 2012, the city administration barred private flights from using the airstrip.67

Road

By road Meerut is well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Haridwar, etc. A large number of people commute to Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon every day for work. Three national highways (NH-58, NH-119 & NH-235) pass through Meerut. Upper Ganga Canal Expressway which passes through outskirts of the city is under development.

There are 2 main bus terminals, namely Bhainsali bus terminal and Sohrab Gate bus terminal from where Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses ply to cities all over the state and all nearby cities.

As Meerut has been declared a metropolitan city in 2007,citation needed JNNURM scheme has been put in place.54 Low Floor City Buses (under JNNURM),citation needed Normal City Buses, auto rickshaws and rickshaws are convenient public transport options to commute within the city.68 Many new transport infrastructure projects like inner ring road, outer ring road and construction of new flyovers are proposed.6970 and soon after within a span of 2 years an approximate count of about 10 overpasses were built in the city.citation needed

Delhi-Meerut Expressway

A proposal for a Ghaziabad to Meerut expressway was mentioned in the Lok Sabha by the then Minister of State for Urban Affairs and Employment in March 1999.71 The proposal again found mention in a February 2000 seminar speech by the then Union Urban Development Minister.72

An expressway from Delhi to Meerut via Ghaziabad was then proposed under the NCR Transport Plan 2021, which was notified in September 2005. The Delhi to Ghaziabad section was to be taken up in 2001-11 with the Ghaziabad to Meerut scheduled 2011-21.7374 In February 2006, the Committee on infrastructure gave approval for a feasibility study for the expressway.75 The decision to build the expressway was announced in the 2006 budget speech by then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.7677 Construction of 1,000 km of expressways under National Highway Development Program (NHDP) Phase-VI was approved in November 2006.78 In December 2006, it was reported that 600 km of expressways would be chosen from among the proposed expressways including the Delhi-Meerut expressway for the first stage of NHDP Phase-VI on the basis of a prioritization study being taken up by the NHAI.7879

In April 2008, it was reported that proposals had been invited from consultants for deciding the alignment of the expressway.80 In November 2009, it was reported that the alignment study had been completed and a consultant had been appointed for the feasibility study for the project, with the expected completion of the study by May 2010.81 In August 2011, it was reported that the expressway was targeted for completion by December 2015.82 In October 2011, it was reported that the feasibility report was under progress and the project was to be taken up under NHDP Phase-VI. The alignment proposed was to be along NH-24 from Nizammuddin to Dasna and then to Meerut.83 In December 2011, the December 2015 targeted completion date was reaffirmed and the feasibility report submitted by the appointed consultant was said to be under study.84

In May 2012, it was reported that the original target of awarding concession by 2009-10 was not completed due to various problems regarding alignment finalisation, and the consequent delay in feasibility reports.85 In July 2013, the Steering Group appointed by the Prime Minister to accelerate Infrastructure Investment decided on 15 March 2014 as the last date for awarding of contract for the expressway.86

In August 2013, it was reported that the expressway was targeted for the contemporary financial year.87 In November 2013, it was reported that the stretch from Delhi up to UP Gate was to be converted from six lanes to fourteen lanes with six lanes grade-separated exclusively for traffic moving towards Meerut. The stretch from UP Gate to Dasna was to be eight laned and a new six lane alignment was to come up from Dasna to Meerut bypass on NH-58. The project cost, including land acquisition, was estimated at INR6450 crore (US$1.1 billion).88

As of December 2013, the Delhi-Meerut expressway proposal is under preparation for consideration of Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee with proposals for a flyover at Mohan Nagar, a 4710 m long viaduct at Modinagar and a 1710 m long viaduct at Murad Nagar.89 The project involves 6-laning of NH-58 from UP Gate to Partapur.90

Railways

Meerut has four railway stations: Meerut City, Meerut Cantt, Partapur and Pabli Khas. Meerut City station is the busiest in the city. The railway line between Delhi and Meerut was constructed in 186423 and the Meerut Cantt station, which serves as a secondary railway station was founded in 1865. Meerut lies on the Delhi–Saharanpur railway line.

The electrification of the line from Meerut to Ghaziabad has been done in 2012.citation needed

About 20,000 passengers travel daily to Delhi and back. Around 27 pairs of trains run between Meerut and Delhi, and four between Meerut and Khurja. Two trains are available for Lucknow daily, namely Nauchandi Express and Rajya Rani Express. A weekly train goes to Chennai and Kuchuvelli. Ahemdabad Mail connects the city to Gujrat, and Chattisgarh Express to Chattisgarh state.

Rapid Rail

The NCR Transport Plan 2021 proposed a rail-based mass transit system called Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) between Delhi to Meerut with the Shahdara-Ghaziabad section scheduled for construction during 2001-11 and the Ghaziabad-Meerut section scheduled for 2011-21.73

In September 2010, the RRTS was reported to be proposed between Anand Vihar and Meerut with the project in its initial stages. The cost was projected to be around INR1000 crore (US$170 million) with the expected time of the journey being 45 minutes.91 In November 2010, the train speed was proposed to be between 130-160 kmph with stations at Anand Vihar, Sahibabad, Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai, Moradnagar, Modinagar, Meerut South, Shatabdi Nagar, Meerut Centre, Begumpul, Meerut North, Pallavpuram.92

On 14 December 2010, the NCR Planning Board, Meerut Development Authority (MDA) and Nagar Nigam Meerut approved this system.93 In August 2011, it was reported that the project tender had been awarded to Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS). The proposed system was to have dedicated trains between Anand Vihar and Meerut, which stop nowhere in between, and trains which stop at stations to be constructed after a gap of 4–5 km. The reported stations were Anand Vihar, Vaishali, Mohan Nagar, Meerut Road (Airtel Cut) Morta, Duhai, Muradnagar, Gang Nahar, Modi Nagar, Mohiuddinpur, Meerut Bypass Cut and Pallavpuram with completion expected in 2017. The track between Anand Vihar to Dabur was proposed to be underground with the rest of the track overhead.94

On 11 July 2013, the Union Cabinet of India approved the formation of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTCL) with a seed capital of INR100 crore (US$17 million). The corporation is to take up the construction of the 90 km long Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor on a priority basis (along with two other corridors) with planned completion in 2016.95 It was reported that the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the three corridors were under the process of finalization.96

In December 2013, problems were reported in the proposed alignment of the Delhi-Meerut corridor.97 In January 2014, it was reported that the proposed alignment had to be changed due to objections by NHAI and the feasibility report had to be prepared again. The new proposed alignment increased the length from 90 km to 106 km.98

Demographics

According to the 2011 census, the Meerut Urban Agglomeration (including the area under the Municipal Corporation and the Cantonment Board), has a population of around 1.4 million,2 with the municipality contributing roughly 1.31 million of it.1 This makes Meerut the 33rd most populous urban agglomeration and the 26th most populous city in India. The sex ratio in Meerut is 888, lower than the state average of 908; while the child sex ratio is 847, lower than the state average of 899. 12.41% of the population is under 6 years of age. The overall literacy rate is 78.29%, higher than the state average of 69.72%.299

As of 2012, Meerut has a crime rate (total cognizable crimes under IPC per lakh population) of 309.1, higher than the state average of 96.4 and the national average of 196.7.100

According to the 2001 census, the city ranked 2nd in terms of population in NCR101 and 25th in India.102

Historical Population Statistics2023103a
Year Male Female Total Growth
1847 NA NA 29,014
1853 NA NA 82,035 182.74%
1872 NA NA 81,386 -0.79%
1881 NA NA 99,565 22.34%
1891 NA NA 119,390 19.91%
1901 65,822 (55.53%) 52,717 (44.47%) 118,539 -0.71%
1911 66,542 (57.05%) 50,089 (42.95%) 116,631 -1.6%
1921 71,816 (58.57%) 50,793 (41.43%) 122,609 5.12%
1931 80,073 (58.57%) 56,636 (41.43%) 136,709 11.49%
1941 98,829 (58.38%) 70,461 (41.62%) 169,290 23.83%
1951 133,094 (57.08%) 100,089 (42.92%) 233,183 37.74%
1961 157,572 (55.48%) 126,425 (44.52%) 283,997 21.79%
  1. ^ Includes municipality and cantonment populations
Population Statisticsa
Year Male Female Total Growth rate Sex ratiob
2001104 621,481 (53.50%) 540,235 (46.50%) 1,161,716 NA NA
20112 754,857 (52.98%) 670,051 (47.02%) 1,424,908 22.66% 888
  1. ^ For Meerut Urban Agglomeration, includes municipality and cantonment populations
  2. ^ In females per 1000 males
Literacy Rate (Percentage)
Year Male Female Total
2001105 65.22 53.17 59.62
20112 83.74 (+18.52) 72.19 (+19.02) 78.29 (+18.67)

Culture

Most traditional Indian festivals, including Holi, Dussehra, Diwali, Eid among others are celebrated with fervor in the city. Notably, a fair by the name of Nauchandi Fair is held two weeks after Holi every year.106 The fair, which started in 1672,107 continues for about 15 days and is attended by lakhs of people. It includes events such as poetry recitations in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi etc.108 The Khariboli dialect of the Hindustani language is the dominant language for conversation with official business being conducted in either English, Hindi or Urdu.

Meerut is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Meerut Diocese, which covers the districts of Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Dehradun, Haridwar, Moradabad, Rampur, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Dhampur Tehsil of Bijnor district.109

Film and television

Meerut is home to a booming local film industry, which has a large following in Western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The films are usually folklore stories or comedies or localised versions of Bollywood hits.110

Notable people from Meerut in the film and television industry include Mandakini,111 Achint Kaur,112113 Kailash Kher,114 Chitrangada Singh,113115 Vishal Bhardwaj,113 Deepti Bhatnagar113115116 and Pravesh Rana.117

Education

Meerut is an education hub of Western Uttar Pradesh with four universities, approximately 50 engineering colleges, 23 management colleges, seven pharmacy colleges, four colleges offering hotel management, one college offering fashion design, over 150 academic colleges and over 50 schools. The city is home to Chaudhary Charan Singh University (formerly Meerut University), Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Swami Vivekanand Subharti University and Shobhit University. The city has one government-run engineering college, Sir Chhotu Ram Institute of Engineering and Technology, which is a constituent college of Chaudhary Charan Singh University. The city also has St. John's Sr. Sec.School, which was established by Begum Samru and is over 130 years old.

The Indian Film and Television Institute is located at the western bypass of the city. The city has two medical colleges: Subharti Medical College and Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College.

The city has many madrasahs which provide religious education as well as modern education with computer learning. The city also has coaching institutions for preparing students for entrance exams of engineering and medical fields.citation needed

Media

Meerut is becoming an important media center, as journalists from all over Uttar Pradesh and other Indian states are working in Meerut. As media centres are situated in Meerut, the city is getting a good amount of publicity on the national platform. The law and order situation has improved a lot in the recent past and media has had an important role to play in it. Radio stations shared with Delhi are Radio City 91.1 MHz, Big FM 92.7 MHz, Red FM 93.5 MHz, Radio One 94.3 MHz, Hit 95 (95 MHz), Radio Mirchi 98.3 MHz, AIR FM Rainbow 102.6 MHz, Meow FM 104.8 MHz, AIR FM Gold 106.4 MHz. Radio IIMT (90.4 MHz)118 is the only radio station located in the city. The Hindi-language daily newspapers Dainik Jagran,119 Amar Ujala, Dainik Hindustan, Janwani, Hindu, Rashtrasewa, National Duniya, DLA, I-Next are published from the city. The English language supplements HT City, Meerut with Hindustan Times and Meerut Plus with the Times of India are also published here. A fortnightly tabloid English Newspaper 'Pulse of Markets' promoting local businesses,120 and Moneymakers, an English daily are also published here.

Tourist destinations

Augarnath Temple at 2nd Navratri night
St. John's Church
Statue of Mangal Pandey at Martyr's Memorial

Tourist destinations in and around Meerut include:

  • Jain temples of Hastinapur – Located on the banks of old ravine of Ganges, Hastinapur is considered one of the holiest place on earth by Jains. It is believed to be the birthplace of three Jain Tirthankaras. There are many ancient Jain temples in Hastinapur. Shri Digamber Jain Mandir, Jambudweep, Kailash Parvat, Shwetambar Jain Temple are the main and famous temples in Hastinapur. Apart from Jain temples, Pandeshwar temple, Historical Gurdwara and Hastinapur Sanctuary are worth being seen.121
  • St. John's Church – This church was established by Chaplin Reverend Henry Fisher on behalf of the East India Company in 1819 in the cantonment area and was completed in 1822.13107 It is considered one of the oldest churches in North India. The Church was dedicated to the people by Bishop Wilson. It has a seating capacity of 10,000 people.13 During the war of 1857, this church was the scene of heavy fighting between Indians and the British forces.122
  • Augarnath Temple – This temple (also known as Kalipaltan Mandir locally) is located at the site where the soldiers of the war of 1857 planned their operations. The temple also houses a memorial built to honour the martyrs of the revolt of 1857. The old temple has been replaced by a modern version.123
  • Jama Masjid – The Jama Masjid was built by Hasan Mahdi, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi's Wazir (chief minister) in 1019 AD (older than the Qutb Minar).13124 That makes it the first Masjid in North India. And although it was restored by Humayun,13124 it is one of the oldest Muslim mosques in India.
  • Martyr's Memorial (Hindi: शहीद स्मारक Shaheed Smarak): The memorial is a 30 metres (98 feet) high pillar of marble situated at Bhainsali. Functions are organised at the memorial around the national holidays of India.15 The memorial complex also houses the Government Freedom Struggle Museum which is dedicated to the first war of Indian independence.125
An entrance to Gandhi Bagh
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces, Sardhana
  • Gandhi Bagh – This centrally located garden has a very beautiful and serene environment. Locally known as "Company Garden", it has been present since before independence, when it got renamed to its current name. It runs a musical fountain show every evening. Earlier, the garden used to have multiple entrances like the one shown on the right, which were always kept open, and there was no entry fee. But now, only one entrance is kept open and a ticketing system with nominal charges has been put in place.
  • Shahpeer's Mausoleum (Hindi: शाहपीर की दरगाह Shahpeer ki dargah) – This is a Mughal mausoleum erected by the empress Nur Jahan in 1628 in honour of a local Muslim Hazrat Shahpeer.124126 It is a red stone structure that was partly built and is incomplete till date.126 The tomb is adorned by intricate nakashi (stone painting). There is no roof on the main tomb. Peoplewho? say that Shahpeer was the teacher of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. The tomb is listed by the Archaeological Survey of India as a national heritage monument.125127 Shahpeer gate was built in 1829 by a local Jagirdar "Raja Ji".
  • Shahi Eid Gaah (Hindi: शाही ईदगाह) – It was built by Nasir ud din Mahmud, the youngest son of Iltutmish, and the eighth Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate. It is about six hundred years old and has a capacity of about one lac people to offer prayers (Namaz) on Eid. There is Nakkashi on the walls of Eidgah which reflect the Sulatani Gulam era.
  • Parikshitgarh – The place is associated with and derives its name from King Parikshit of Hastinapur (the grandson of Arjuna). The fort was built by Parikshit and restored by Gurjar King Nain Singh in the eighteenth century.1013
  • Dargah of Baley Miyan (Hindi: बले मियाँ की दरगाह Bale Miyan ki Dargah) – This dargah was built by Qutb-ud-din Aybak in 1194 in the memory of Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud (known locally as Baley Miyan).13128 An Urs is organised annually at the Dargah during the Nauchandi fair.13
  • Suraj Kund - This is a pond, built by a businessman Lawar Jahawar Lal in 1714. It is filled with water from the Ganga Canal. It is surrounded by several temples, including the Baba Manohar Nath temple, which is said to have been built during the period of Shahjahan.126

Other places of interest include Mansa Devi Temple, Baleni, Basilica of Our Lady of Graces, Sardhana and the Chandi Devi Temple which was built by holkar queen Devi Ahiliyabai Holkar.1315

See also

References

Notes

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Citations

Further reading

External links









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