Meerut is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is an ancient city with settlements dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation 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.
Meerut is the second largest city in the National Capital region, and as of 2011 the 33rd most populous urban agglomeration and the 26th most populous city in India. 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. The municipal area (as of 2001) is 141.89 km2 (54.78 sq mi) with the cantonment covering 35.68 km2 (3,568.06 ha). 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. Meerut is also known as the "Sports City of India". The city is famous for being the starting point of 1857 rebellion for the freedom of the country.
Short Description of Meerut
The district of Meerut (which forms part of the revenue division of the same name) is named after its headquarters city and is said to be associated with earliest traditions of the Hindus according to which Maya, the father-in-law of Ravana, founded this place which has, therefore, been call Maidant-ka-Khera. According to another version Maya, a distinguished architect, got from king Yudhishther the land on which the city of Meerut now stands and he called this place Mayrashtra, a name which in course of time became shortened to Meerut. Tradition are so having it that the district formed part of the dominions of Mahipal, king of Indraprashta and the word Meerut is associated with his name.
History of Meerut
Ancient Era: 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.
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. 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); it was later damaged in a 1713 explosion, and restored in 1867.
Muslim conquests and rule: In the eleventh century AD, the south-west part of the district was ruled by Har Dat, the Dor Rajput Raja of Bulandshahr who built a fort, which was long known for its strength and finds mention in Ain-i-Akbari. 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. Thereafter he went on to attack Delhi, where he again massacred the local population, and returned to attack Meerut, then ruled by an Afghan chief, Ilias, and took the city in two days. Because the people of Meerut initially beat one of Timur's soldiers to death for raping a Hindu woman, all 300,000 of Meerut's inhabitants were mercilessly slaughtered by Timur's soldiers after its capture, followed by the destruction of the city.
The city then came under the rule of the Mughal Empire and saw a period of relative tranquility. During the rule of Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great (r. 1556–1605), there was a mint for copper coins here. 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.
Canonical Area: 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.
Meerut is famously associated with the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company. 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 revolt, which catapulted Meerut into international prominence, started in March, 1857 at Barrackpore, Bengal. Sepoy Mangal Pandey shot and missed two Europeans, failed to kill himself, and was hanged. By April, the fire of Pandey’s Uprising scorched north India and reached Meerut, the second-largest East India Company garrison. Here, Europeans and native sepoys were evenly balanced, with a little more than 2,000 on each side. The European cantonment was separated from the ‘native lines.’ Close by were Sadar Bazar and Lal Kurti Bazar, the latter named after the red uniforms worn by Company soldiers. On 24 April 1857, Meerut’s commander, Colonel CarmichaelSmyth, paraded 90 Indian sepoys of the Bengal Cavalry, hired mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. He ordered them to fire the new Enfield cartridges: 85 refused. The cartridges were covered with paper that had to be torn off: Muslims believed the paper was greased with pig and Hindus, with cow fat.
All 85 were stripped of their uniforms, imprisoned for ten years and shackled - this was a major humiliation. The rebels were from the 3rd cavalry: they owned their horses, and were the upper-caste elite. If they could be shackled, what could others expect from the Company? 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 under 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.
Post-independence era: The city and district also suffered from communal (Hindu-Sikh) riots in 1984 and (Hindu-Muslim) riots in 1982 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. In 2006, a fire at a consumer electronics "Brand India" fair in Victoria Park Stadium killed at least 100 people, with authorities already confirming 45 fatalities, although a specific figure on a toll was difficult to put and was predicted to be much higher.
Meerut is the Largest city in NCR after Delhi. Meerut 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]). However, Meerut's population is thrice less than that of Delhi (Current population of Meerut is 3,443,689).
Development/Infrastructure in Meerut
Meerut is the 63rd-fastest-growing urban area in the world. It is the 14th fastest developing city in India. A June 2011 report by US financial services firm Morgan Stanley gave Meerut the 5th spot on the "vibrancy" index, ahead of Delhi and Mumbai. 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. The infrastructure segment of Meerut is currently going through a boom phase with many new projects coming up in and around the city. There are many new buildings, shopping complexes, malls, roads, flyovers and apartments coming up. The Upper Ganga Canal Expressway is also under development. On the India City Competitiveness Index, the city ranked 45th in 2010, 37th in 2011 and 39th in 2012.
Industries: Meerut is one of the important industrial towns of western Uttar Pradesh with several traditional and modern industries. It is traditionally known for handloom works and scissors industry. Meerut was one of the first cities in northern India where publishing was set up during the 19th century. It was a major centre of commercial publishing during the 1860s and 1870s.
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 micros, small and medium scale industries. As of August 2006, Meerut has about 23,471 industrial units, including 15,510 small-scale units and 7,922 cottage industries.
Existing industries in the city include tyres, textile, transformer, sugar, distillery, chemical, engineering, paper, publishing, and sports goods manufacture. Prospective industries include IT and ITES. The city is home to some prominent regional pharmaceuticals companies like Perk Pharmaceuticals Limited, Mankind Pharma & Bestochem. Meerut is one of the major manufacturing regions for sports goods in India. 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. Meerut is also a hub of gold design in India. Meerut is also the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in India. 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 â‚¹25 crores (US$3.7 million) per annum.
Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) has two industrial estates in the city, namely Partapur and Udyog Puram.
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 crores to the national treasury in 2007/08, overall it was ranked 9th outperforming Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Kochi and Bhubaneshwar.
Connectivity and Transportation
Air: The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport which is about 100 km away. The Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Airport 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.However, Plans to expand the Domestic airport were called off after protests against land acquisition started in other parts of the state. Following an accident in May 2012, the city administration barred private flights from using the airstrip.
Railways: Meerut lies on the Delhi–Saharanpur electrified railway line and has five railway stations: Meerut City, Meerut Cantt, Partapur, Mohiuddinpur and Pabli Khas. Meerut City railway station is the busiest in the city. The railway line between Delhi and Meerut was constructed in 1864 and the Meerut Cantt station, which serves as a secondary railway station was founded in 1865.
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. Daily trains connect Meerut to Bombay, Ahemdabad Jaipur, Rajkot and cities in other states.
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. A JNNURM scheme was put in place. Low Floor City Buses (under JNNURM), Normal City Buses, auto rickshaws and rickshaws are convenient public transport options to commute within the city. Many new transport infrastructure projects like inner ring road, outer ring road and construction of new flyovers are proposed.
Metro Project in Meerut
On December 30, 2014, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet had approved the proposed Metro Rail projects in Meerut, to boost urban mass transport infrastructure in Meerut.The state government has nominated RITES Limited and Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) for preparing the respective detailed project report (DPR) and as coordinator, respectively. The development authorities would be nodal agencies for DPR.
The metro project got the green signal from the divisional commissioner. It was decided in the meeting that the project would be along two corridors - Partapur to Pallavpuram Phase 2 and Rajban Market to Gokalpur village. The main stations on the first corridor will be Partapur, Panchwati Enclave, Rithani, Rithani West, Shatabdi Nagar, Devlok, Madhavpuram, Meerut Railway Station Road, Lajpat Bazaar, Begampul, Gandhi Bagh, Lekha Nagar, Pallavpuram Dorli, Ansal City and Pallavpuram Phase 2. While the corridor in the Partapur-Pallavpuram Phase 2 route will cover 20 km and will have a total number of 18 stations in between, the 10 km-long route from Rajban Market to Gokalpur village will have nine stations.
Rapid Metro: 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.
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 â‚¹1,000 crores (US$150 million) with the expected time of the journey being 45 minutes. 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.
On 14 December 2010, the NCR Planning Board, Meerut Development Authority (MDA) and Nagar Nigam Meerut approved this system. 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.
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, 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.
Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCSU) is public and state university which has many degree colleges affiliated to it. They fall in two divisions: Saharanpur and Meerut with nine districts including Saharanpur, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Gautam Budh Nagar, Bagpat, Hapur, Bulandshahr and Ghaziabad administered by Vice-Chancellor and Registrar (PCS officer). 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 nearest government university which offers degrees in Engineering, Science, Management and Humanities is Gautam Buddha University located in Greater Noida.
Map of Meerut
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