Source: Municipal Corporation, Amritsar, Municipal Year Book (06-07)
2.11 RAILWAY STATION T
Fig. No-8 Railway Station, Amritsar he city of Amritsar is well connected by broad gauge rail network with other parts of country and with the neighboring country of Pakistan via Attari rail link. Major links are from Amritsar to Pathankot, Amritsar to New Delhi, Amritsar to Patti & Amritsar to Attari link lines. There are total of 14 railway stations that are falling in Amritsar. Out of this 10 railway stations fall outside the municipal limit of Amritsar which are namely Beas, Rayya, Butari, Tangra, Jandiala, Manawala, Khasa, Majitha, Jaintipura and Attari. The remaining 4 railway stations exist within municipal limit of Amritsar namely Verka, Chheharta, Bhagtanwala and Amritsar. It is managed by Northern Railways and caters to approximately 28,000 passengers daily. Approximately 40 passenger trains both local and express and 9 goods trains originate or terminate at the Amritsar Railway Station. It is marked by the presence of passenger’s facilities such as ramps and wheel chairs for handicapped, stairs, tourist information centre and waiting halls etc.
The city of Amritsar has an international airport, namely “Rajasansi International Airport” also known as Guru Ram Das International Airport or Amritsar International Airport. It is located 11 kms North-West of the city of Amritsar on Ajnala Road near village Rajasansi. The international airport serves not only the city of Amritsar but also the state of Punjab by extensive network of highways. While private transport in form of automobiles is the most popular way of reaching the airport, public transport infrastructure (with the exception of taxis) has remained weak and needs to be strengthened.
The integrated terminal building at Amritsar have peak hour passenger handling capacity of 1200 passengers and annual handling capacity of 14.6 lakh passengers. It handles around 150 flights a week to different locations within India and abroad. The major destinations abroad include London, Toronto, Abhu Dhabi, Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah, Doha, Tashkent, Ashgabat etc. The apron area has been extended to cater to parking of total of 14 aircrafts instead of ten earlier. Moreover, 44 acres of land area has been acquired by AAI for construction of second runway. Keeping in view the international status of Amritsar Airport there is need to think about its expansion keeping in mind the State of Art Infrastructure to be developed.
2.13 SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE Social infrastructure refers to the facilities and the process involved, which ensures education, better health facilities and community development in any town. The Social Infrastructure includes the education system, health care, social and cultural facilities, parks and open spaces, etc. The different components of social infrastructure will help to know how well a city or town is equipped with facilities. The provision of education, health, etc. defines the quality of life. As the city expands and population increases, the gap between demand and supply of these essential services increases, which deteriorates the quality of life in urban areas.
2.13.1 EDUCATION Educational facilities define the level of development of a city. They are criticial for growth of any settlement in terms of literacy rate, skill upgradation and improving quality of human lives. Higher level of education facilities have been considered vital for economic growth and development of any community or nation, besides improving the quality of life of human beings. Education is found to be a major determinant and promoter of growth and development of any settlement and nation. Accordingly, providing appropriate level of education facilities is extremely important.
The city of Amritsar has a well developed institutional network with one university namely Guru Nanak Dev University, 10 colleges, 2 medical and dental colleges, 9 nursing institutes and 4 engineering colleges, 2 B. Ed. colleges and 2 polytechnics. Apart from higher level institutions, it is well equipped with 258 primary schools, 36 middle schools, 41 secondary and 62 senior secondary schools. It strengthens the fact that Amritsar has developed its importance as an educational centre in the region.
Table 17: Level of Education Facilities in Amritsar – Schools, etc
Senior Secondary Schools
Adult Literacy Center
Source: District Education Office, Amritsar and Census 2001
Table 18: Higher Level of Education Facilities in Amritsar
Distance Education Centers
Source: District Education Office, Amritsar and Census 2001
TABLE 18: Schools / Colleges Per 10,000 Population In Statutory Towns, 2001
Name and urban status of Town
Type of educational institution
Junior Secondary / Middle
Secondary / Matriculation
Raja Sansi (NP)
2001- Census Findings - Population and its distribution:
Table 44 shows number of Schools / Colleges per 10,000 of population for towns. In the district there are 1.5 Primary Schools, 1.3 Junior Secondary/ Middle Schools, 1.0 Secondary/ Matriculation Schools, 0.5 Senior Secondary Schools and 0.2 College per 10,000 population. In other words there is a Primary School for a population of 6667, Junior Secondary/ Middle School for every 7692 persons, a Senior Secondary School for 20,000 persons and a College for a population of 50,000. The following table shows distribution of rural and urban population by tahsils in the district.
TABLE 20: Population, Number Of Villages And Towns, 2001
Name of Tehsil
No. of Towns
TABLE 26: Number And Percentage Of Literates And Illiterates By Tahsils, 2001
Total / Rural / Urban
No. OF LITERATES AND ILLITERATES
Percentage of literates
Among the tahsils, Amritsar – II is the tahsil where literacy rate is the highest with 75.9 per cent. Between the two sexes the literacy rate in the district varies between 72.6 for males and 61.3 per cent for females exhibiting a gap of 11.3 percentage points. It is further educed that in literacy, Amritsar district is far behind as compared to Hoshiarpur (81.0%), Rupnagar (78.1%) and Jalandhar (78.0%) districts.
TABLE 22: Number And Percentage Of Literates And Illiterates By Sex In Urban Agglomerations / Towns, 2001
* In case of towns having outgrowth an asterisk mark has been placed against their names to indicate that they have outgrowths which are not separate towns.
It reveals that 77.9 per cent of the urban population in the district is literate. The male literacy is 81.5 per cent while the female literacy is 73.8 per cent.
TABLE 23: Distribution Of Workers By Sex In Four Categories Of Economic Activity In Tehsils, 2001
Persons / Males / Females
Total number of workers (Main + Marginal)
Category of workers
Household Industry workers
There is critical need of improving the health of poor as there is lack of hygienic living conditions in the slum colonies because of the open drain system, improper solid waste disposal mechanism. Besides, there is a need to improve the basic human conditions in the entire Amritsar, where there is a need of the health organizations for improving the existing conditions along with the hospitals and dispensaries.
2.14.1 Institutional Network
Looking at the health institutional network in the city of Amritsar, it has been observed that the city is served by 1 civil hospital, 154 other specialized hospitals and nursing homes (govt. and private both), 8 Urban Family Welfare Centers, 6 MCW Centres, 5 satellite hospitals and 6 govt. dispensaries. It makes the city an emerging medical hub of the district Amritsar. It has number of specialized hospitals such as Escorts for heart speciality, Ram Lal eye & E.N.T Hospital, ESI Hospital, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Guru Ram Dass Dental Research Institute cum Hospital, etc. The table below gives details of the various medical institutes located in city of Amritsar.
Table 24: Medical Infrastructure in Amritsar
CHC/FWC / MCW
Source: Civil Surgeon Ofice, Amritsar
TABLE 25: Number Of Beds In Medical Institutions In Towns, 2001
Name and urban status of the Town
Number of beds in medical institutions
per 10,000 population
Raja Sansi (NP)
Table 45 shows number of beds in medical institution in towns per 10,000 of population. The district on an average has 14 beds per 10,000 of population. Among the towns, Ramdas being the smallest town with 5,779 populations has 52 beds per 10,000 populations and this average is the highest among all the towns in the district. Except Amritsar Cantt, Jandiala and Rayya all other towns have more beds per 10,000 population than that of the district average.
Among the villages in Amritsar, only Baba Bakala is marked by the presence of Civil Hospital while others have presence of either Dispensary or Family Welfare Centre or Maternity and Child Welfare Centre or Maternity Home.
The civil hospital “Guru Nanak Dev Hospital” in Amritsar is located adjacent to the Govt. Medical College on Majitha Road with easy accessibility from all sides. The hospital (114 acres) together with Medical College is spread over an area of 163 acres having total bed capacity of 1050 beds and serving 700 patients per day approximately. The institution apart from serving the whole district’s population, has retained its eminence in providing medical facilities to vast area of north India including Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Rajasthan, U.P., etc. with its spacious OPD complex, emergency, surgery and super specialities viz. nephrology, cardiology, plastic surgery, urology, neurology, cardiothoracic surgery, etc. It also houses ultra modern operation theatre complex, ICU, ICCU, clinical laboratory, radiology, sonography, de-addiction and mental health facilities, and blood transfusion and blood component separation unit. Since the hospital is attached to the Medical College, nearly 320 students are trained every year in MBBS, BDS, nursing and MD/MS courses. The hospital is observed to have sufficient medical, para medical and allied facilities. In terms of disposal of bio-medical waste generated, the segregated waste is collected by a private agency namely “Amritsar Health Care Systems” from hospitals in the city. The waste collected is incinerated in an incinerator, which is located at the village Iban Kalan on Jhabal Road.
Table 26: Veterinary Institutions in Amritsar
Source: Civil Surgeon, Amritsar
Besides this, there are 4 govt. veterinary hospitals and 4 govt. dispensaries existing in the city of Amritsar.
2.15 Civic Amenities/Services
The other amenities of the city include Post Offices, Fire Stations, Cremation Grounds, etc. Each urban area must have these amenities to serve its growing population, as the requirement of these amenities increases with the increase of city population and area.
2.15.1 Fire Station
The city of Amritsar at present has four fire stations located at Town Hall, Beri Gate, Gilwali Gate and Civil Lines which are the following:
Table 27: Fire Stations of Amritsar District
Name of the Fire stations
Central Fire Station
101, 2541111, 2557366
As per the UDPFI standards of one fire station for 2 lakh population, the city should have 5 fire stations to serve the population. Therefore, the city has a backlog of one fire station. All the four fire stations are located on major city roads, which are wide enough to allow free movement of these vehicles. The vehicles at the time of disaster are available from these fire stations. The Civil Lines fire station serves the northern portion of the city, while Town Hall, Beri Gate and Gilwali Gate fire stations serve the walled city area and its surrounding that is the southern half of the city. Hence, it can be said that northern portion of the city is served with only 1 fire station, which is insufficient and requires one more fire station. Besides, the existing backlog of one fire station, there is also requirement of another 5 fire stations in the city to cater the needs up to 2031.
Apart from four fire stations, city also has nearly 400 fire hydrants at different locations to combat with the fire. The fire brigade wing in the city has total of 8 fire fighting vans and total staff strength of 126 out of which 51 posts at present are vacant. This implies that the city does not have required number of personnel, which needs to be taken care off. Moreover, the existing fire fighting infrastructure needs upgradation as new buildings of greater height are being constructed.
There is no provision of separate fire station or fire fighting facilities in the Taran taran district. They are dependant on Amritsar for fire fighting facilities in case of any disaster. Therefore, it can be analysed that the existing fire facilities in the city of Amritsar are over burdened that needs to be reduced.
2.15.2 POLICE STATIONS The list of 28 police stations along with their location is given in the table below:
Table 28: Police Stations Falling in Amritsar
Source: Police Dept. Amritsar
At present, there is backlog of 2 police stations within the city as per the UDFI guidelines standard of one police station for 90,000 persons. Further, there is a demand for 12 more police stations up to the year 2031 for the city of Amritsar.
2.16 DRAINAGE AND CANAL SYSTEMThe River System And Water Resources
(i) Main Rivers and Tributaries.-The Beas and the Ravi are the two master streams of the district. The former forms its border with the Kapurthala District of the Punjab State and the latter separates it from Pakistan. Both the rivers originate near the Rohtang Pass in the Kullu District and traverse through the Himachal Pradesh and the Gurdaspur District before entering the Amritsar District. In consonance with the slope of the land, both of them flow in the north-east and south-west direction.
The Beas touches the Amritsar District in the vicinity of the village of Sheron. It is adjoined by an abruptly rising bluff to its right throughout its course in the Amritsar and Tarn Taran tahsils. It is joined by the River Satluj at Harike in the Patti Tahsil.
The Ravi enters the district near the village of Ghoneywala and it moves into Pakistan beyond the village of Ranian. In contrast to the Beas, this river makes a wide floodplain in the Amritsar District. This floodplain has been highly susceptible to floods, causing heavy damage to human settlements, crops and the livestock. The construction of an embankment along the river has, however, reduced the frequency and intensity of floods. The main significance of the Ravi lies in its being the border between India and Pakistan.
The eastern limit of the floodplain of the Ravi corresponds with the Sakki Nala, which is a tributary of the Ravi and flows parallel to it before meeting it near the village of Kakkar in the Amritsar District. This nala is the continuation of the Kiran Nala which originates from the Chhambs (marshy lands) lying to the south-west of the Pathankot town in the Gurdaspur District. The course of the nala is characteristically sinuous. It floods during the rainy season and this factor has been partly responsible for keeping the western part of the Ajnala Tahsil isolated from the rest of the district till recently. Ajnala is situated on the left bank of this nala. A diversion for the nala near the village of Shahpur has been constructed. It would secure the outfall of the Sakki Nala 96 km upstream of its present outfall and this would save 741 sq. km. of the land around Ajnala from damage owing to floods.
As in case of other rivers of the Punjab, the discharges of the Beas and the Ravi are subject to wide fluctuations from season to season and from year to year. These rivers contain a trickle of water during the dry winter with the approach of the summer, snow melts in the source areas of these rivers and their water-level begins to rise. These rivers swell during the rainy season.
Upper Bari Doab Canal:- In addition to the Beas and the Ravi and the Sakki Nala, another major source of water in the district is available from the various branches and distributaries of the Upper Bari Doab Canal which runs through the district. The canal had started operating in 1860. Its four main branches passing through the district include from east to west the Sobraon Branch, the Kasur Branch Lower, the Main Branch and the Lahore Branch. It is primarily through this canal that about 90 per cent of the cultivated land in the Amritsar District receives irrigation.
However, the extensive canal irrigation, which has been there for more than a century, has caused serious waterlogging conditions. It seems that the Amritsar District is just floating on its subsurface water, which comes up to a metre or two from the surface during the rainy season. Even in the driest month of June, the water-table is only 1.5 to 3 metres below the surface. The wide-spread waterlogging has given rise to kallar (concentration of harmful salts) over extensive areas and some cultivable land has been lost to agriculture. Various measures are being adopted to tackle this problem: the existing Patti and Kasur drains have been deepened and some new drains have been constructed to facilitate the run-off of the underground water. Wherever possible, canal irrigation is being replaced by tube-well irrigation so as to reduce the quantity of underground water and eucalyptus trees are being planted, particularly along the canals, roads and railway lines, so as to soak the extra subsurface water. These measures have already started giving good results.
Thus, the water resources of the Amritsar District are varied. The district is bordered by two perennial streams on two sides; it contains a dense network of canals, and its subsurface water reservoir is close to the surface. The underground water is, however, brackish in parts of the Patti and Tarn Taran tahsils. This brackishness discourages its use both for irrigation and drinking. The two rivers which touch the district, viz. the Beas, Ravi and Satluj, and also the Sakki Nala, are described below in greater detail:
River Beas.-The Beas River rises north of the Kullu Valley, and passing through the Kangra District (Himachal Pradesh), and between Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur districts, enters the sandy valley which divides the Amritsar District from the Kapurthala District. Here, its bank on the right, i.e., the Amritsar side, is an abrupt cliff, the upper stratum of which is hard clay mixed with kankar (lime concretions) and the lower usually, though not always, is fine river sand. At the foot of this cliff, between it and the cold-weather bed of the river, lies a strip of alluvial land, which at some points is as much as three kilometers broad. At other points, the cold-weather stream flows close under the cliffs and in the southern part of the district its set towards Amritsar entails some loss of cultivation and damage to residential sites. At some places, there are embayments caused by the river which cuts into the high cliff consisting of the alluvial deposit of soil. The left bank, on the other hand, is uniformly low, and on the Kapurthala side there is a stretch of moist alluvial land running back for several kilometers into the interior, which is fertile, well-wooded and liable to inundation. There is a tradition that over a century and a quarter ago, the river ran on the site of the village of Mira in the Kapurthala territory, eleven kilometers from its present course, and the depression is still clearly traceable and is now part of the West Bein. In this district, whatever cultivation there is in the valley is carried on between the foot of the cliff and the normal cold-weather stream, or in the embayments caused by the erosion of the cliff. Back from the river, the influence of the cliffs persists for considerable distances in some places, because gullies make cultivation impossible and even spoil the fertility of the hinterland by accelerating the run-off of rain-water before it has time to soak in the soil and benefit it.
River Ravi.-The Ravi is a river of a different character. The high bank of the Beas affords a measure of security to cultivation in some part of almost every low riverine estate. The rudiments of a dhaya or high bank appear on the left bank of the Sakki Nala in its last 16-kilometre length but this is a long way from the present river and does nothing to mitigate the defencelessness of the villages between the two streams. The villages on the Amritsar side of the river have no protection and the sixty estates officially recognized as liable to river action do not exhaust the limit of the liability to trouble, if there is really a high flood in the river. Every effort is, however, made to ensure that damage to human life and to works of public utility does not occur. The tendency of the river to swallow up the cultivated lands and damage the crops is checked by constructing suitable protective works at vulnerable points, as the situation warrants. In this way, the frequency of the floods is reduced. The Ravi carries rather more fertilizing silt than the Beas (which from the comparative clearness of its water is sometimes called nili or blue dhaar) and where this silt is thrown up, bumper crops of wheat can be raised. But cultivation in the river-bed is always precarious.
Saki Nala.-The only other perennial stream found in the district is the Sakki Nala. The Sakki begins as the Kiran Nala in the Gurdaspur District where some irrigation is done from an inundation canal taken out of it. This canal tails into the Ajnala Tahsil in Ramdas. In the Amritsar District, the nala has the appearance of a narrow river whose left bank is generally higher than the right bank. Winter discharges are low, but the considerable summer stream is further augmented by unwanted canal water sent down the Aliwal Escape from the Main Branch Upper of the Upper Bari Doab Canal. The stream ends its independent existence where it joins the Ravi at Kakkar. The sinuous course of the Sakki Nala has not only done much to isolate the Sailab and Hithar Circles from the rest of the tahsil and from the markets, but has also stood in the way of the extension of regular canal irrigation to this tract. The stream is sluggish and the erosion of the banks is almost unknown. Damage is done by floods, however, to the spring crops sown on the shelving land sloping down to the edges of the banks, and by spills into depressions leading from the Sakki towards the Ravi. The Sakki is also called Ajal Nala, meaning the stream of death on account of the considerable damage to life and property it causes during the rainy season. A small canal has been taken out from it for irrigation in the Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts.
(ii) Natural Drainage and Artificial Drains
Amritsar Tahsil.-In the Amritsar Tahsil, east of the Kasur Branch of the Upper Bari Doab Canal, drainage causes no concern. The Patti Rohi often evades the eye in its sandy course southwards and does no appreciable damage. A parallel depression nearer the river has in the past been known by the same name. The Riarki Vang is, strictly speaking, a creek of the river and not a drainage at all. Only the last 8 km of its course to the river is distinct and, throughout this length, the creek runs in a broad deep bed, the banks of which have much the same appearance as the dhaya. Erosion on the sides of this creek has caused greater loss of cultivated land in the tahsil than the river. A short artificial drain runs from the Riarki Vang to the river in Buddha Theh but has never been used to divert water. Drainage does not become an important problem until the Kasur Nala is reached well west of the Kasur Branch. Known in this tahsil as the Hansli, the nala follows a well-defined course from the point where it enters the tahsil from Bata until it passes out into Tarn Taran. On its margins, the soil is stiff and often Kalrathi (salt-infested) and its presence is a handicap to villages whose lands are divided by its passage. Surplus water from the area between the nala and the Main Branch of the Upper Bari Doab Canal is led into the Hansli north of the Grand Trunk Road by the Makhanwindi and Valla drains. South of the road, the drainage is defective in the basin of the Sultanwind Drain, otherwise known as the Mandiala Rohi, where there is much of inferior land. West of the main Branch of the canal, the drainage has always been a matter of serious concern. In the northern part of this tract, surface water collects at many places in the form of chhambs or lakes for which the least destructive outlets have to be found. The Hudiara Drain, starting from the Majitha Fort, was made the central feature of the scheme. Its natural bed was deepened and trained and, since 1927, it has been notified under section 55 of the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act. From this tahsil, it passes on through the Ajnala and Tarn Taran tahsils to the Lahore District of Pakistan, collecting the dregs of the city sewage from the Ganda nala on its way. Sixteen kilometers north of the Amritsar city, close to the Gurdaspur road, the Gumtala Drain begins to carry away the surface water of the north-western part of the tract and, after being joined by the Verka and Tung Dhab drains just north of the city, turns west and ultimately joins the Hudiara Drain in the Ajnala Tahsil. Though not intended to cope with extraordinary conditions, this drainage system improved matters. North of the Lahore Branch, the Vadala Viram chhamb covers sixty-five acres. An attempt has been made without much success to drain it towards the west. Two short drains-the Ghosal and Tarpai-pour surplus water in the same neighbourhood into the Lahore Branch. The trouble here is saturation rather than the surface drainage. The canal carrying a considerable volume of water runs above the level of the surrounding country and there is every evidence of waterlogging. The same is true to some extent of the northern reaches of the Main Branch above the point where it crosses the Gurdaspur metalled road. This tahsil does not show such progressive deterioration as is evident in Tarn Taran. Improvements in drainage have apparently retarded the advance of kallar and, apart from the elimination of local defects in drainage, the primary object of the remedial measures must be the reclamation of the land which is still capable of cultivation.
Ajnala Tahsil.-The surface drainage of the Ajnala Tahsil finds its natural outlet in the Sakki nala but is obstructed by the Lahore Branch of the Upper Bari Doab Canal and its subsidiary channels. Water in the confined area to the left of the Branch now finds its way by various routes into the Hudiara Drain. On the right bank of the canal, the Lashkri nangal-bagga Drain collects water from the area north of the Mananwala Distributary, siphons it under the distributary and carries it along to the Mahalanwala Pond (chhamb) whence the reinforced stream is carried under the arterial road past the Bagga to the Sakki Nala at Saurian. This drain does its work efficiently enough, provided it is regularly cleared and maintained.
(iii) Underground Water Resources.-The entire area in the district is underlain by quaternary alluvium comprising fine to coarse sand, silt and clay, with intercalations of pebbles and kankar. Bore holes drilled down to a depth of about 100 metres have encountered 70-90 per cent of sand.
Groundwater occurs both under confined and unconfined conditions. The depth of reach water in the area ranges from about 1 to 20 metres below the land surfaces. The water-table is generally deep towards the high banks of the Beas. However, in the vicinity of the canal-irrigated area and also in the floodplains of the Beas, the water-table is very shallow. In many parts of the canal-irrigated areas, waterlogged conditions prevail. Land salinization is also observed in areas affected with waterlogging.
Groundwater is tapped by open wells, dug-cum-bore wells, and tubewells. Open wells yield small to moderate quantities of water. Shallow tube-wells constructed up to a depth of 35 metres yield 700 to 2000 litres of water per minute, depending on the capacity of the pumping-sets. Some of these tube-wells are of cavity type, whereas in others the indigenous strainer, which consists of iron or bamboo strips laid over the iron rings of 7-10 cm diameter and closely wrapped by ordinary coir rope, has been used. This type of construction is quite effective and economical. Deep tube-wells constructed up to depths of 65 to 105 metres below the land surface yield copious supplies of water. Some such tube-wells have been found to yield over 4000 litres of water per minute for drawdowns of less than 5 metres. A pump test conducted on an 86.86-metre-deep tube-well at Dera Radhasoami, Beas, indicated that the specific capacity of the tube-well was 757 litres of water per minute per metre. The transmissibility of the sand which forms the waterbearing zone is of the order of 1410 cubic metres per metre.
The groundwater available in the greater part of the district is generally fresh but hard, except in the southern part of the district where it is of inferior quality, being saline to bitter.
Hydrogeological studies carried out in the district in 1968 by the Geological Survey of India have indicated the possibilities of a large-scale development of groundwater through heavy-duty tube-wells in most parts of the district.
CHAPTER 3 HAZARD AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT 3.1 TYPES OF HAZARDS THE DISTRICT PRONE TO Amritsar district is highly prone to multi hazards like earthquake, flood, Pollution, Accidents and war. The low socio-economic development in the district along with the high density of population is one of the most important reasons for this menace. The history of disasters in the district will provide a clear picture of the vulnerability to which the district is prone.
Probability Period/Seasonality Of Disasters
Type of Hazards
Time of occurrence
Loss of life, livestock, crop and infrastructure
Loss to human life
Human Loss and house damage
Loss of Life, Livestock and Infrastructure
Damaged to crops
Loss of human lives, livestock, paddy, infrastructures, houses