Sector 16/17 Underpass: More Than Just a Passage For Pedestrians


Chandigarh is known for its open spaces which are the hallmark of City Beautiful. The ‘lungs’ of Chandigarh are its parks, stadium, Sukhna Lake, Leisure valley and umpteen and gardens dotting the entire Tricity.

There is one place which is a good amalgamation of greenery and open concrete and walking-cum-sitting space for community leisure in the heart of the city. Tricity denizens also make the optimum use of this facility—this is the underpass at Sector 17 which connects the heart of Chandigarh, Sector 17, to the Sector 16 Rose Garden with the Reserve Bank of India building near it being a major landmark.

underpass at Sector 17

If you are mistaking it as just as underpass, you are wrong. It’s an open platform to show your skill, create a synergy with your talent and the audience, a creative space for artists where they get the right ambience to bring out their creative skills. If nothing, you can just sit there, think, read, write …. be creative.

painting and photography exhibitions

Most importantly, painting and photography exhibitions are held at the underpass by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademy. “When the underpass was made , we demanded that it be used for displaying public art . It directly connects public with art and art with public,” says Bheem Malhotra, Chairman, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi. There is a lot of open space with the underpass being 70 mt-long and 12 mt-wide where painters get an appropriate forum to display their work. Thuosands of people cross the underpass everyday, there can be no better place than this to reach out to people.

Sector 17 Underpass

There is a special provision for an open karaoke where you can go and sing your heart out, perform an act or show your talent in whatever form – dancing, acting, monoacting, one-act play, theatre play, social message play, standup comedy. And you also get an audience.  A music system has been provided by the Chandigarh Administration with mike and a music system operator as well.

Skaters and cyclists

Skaters and cyclists use this place for their daily practice and hone their techniques. The utility of the underpass is so much that people soak in the sun in winters, take a break from office work at the neat and clean surroundings with sculpture artefacts and layered staircase.

Saturdays and Sundays witness more spectators and events. Maintained by the Chandigarh Adminstration, there is always a guard on duty.

Sector 17 underpass

The under pass has been functional since January 2020. Built at a cost of Rs 9 crore, it has an amphi theatre, cycle and golf cart ramps and a dedicated wall for art works and painting . It is also called the heritage gateway as it opens to two museums in Sector 10 and the capitol complex near the underpass. A sculpture in black marble, designed by sculptor Hirday Kaushal from Haryana art and the Cultural Affairs Department, has been displayed at the underpass entrances depicting the  growth of Chandigarh.

Extensive lighting in Night time at Underpass

Extensive lighting has been done in and around the underpass with beautiful landscaping to let people enjoy during evening and night hours.

The underpass became a necessity because of the traffic on the Jan Marg with a lot of VIP movement which made it difficult for people to cross easily from Sector 17 to the Rose Garden on the other side of the road. With more than 43,000 vehicles crossing the Jan Marg from both directions of the stretch every day, the underpass allows visitors to go directly to Rose Garden without crossing Jan Marg, one of the busiest roads in the city.

The underpass is part of the rejuvenation plan of Sector 17. The plan has been prepared with an aim to develop Sector 17 as a hub of activities and a city centre where residents of the city, nearby areas and tourists can come and enjoy recreational activities.


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