My family hails from Batala which is said to be in District gurdaspur even though Batala is the bigger town.
Though I was brought up in Chandigarh my village is close to Batala (Saidpur). Batala is a native place to myself and I know all about the hansli, "andar wala cinma" and "bahar wala cinma" and sheran wala gate, etc. Everytime I visit India I go straight to Batala.
The issue that Batala is a "bigger" town than Gurdaspur but Gurdaspur is still counted as a district is because.
1. Before 1947 Batala was a "Muslim" town., while the district of Gurdaspur was 50-50 muslim, non-muslim. The district has been called "Gurdaspur" since British took over and first created the districts.
2. After 1947 Sialkote and other Tehsils of District Gurdaspur were given to Pakistan. So Muslims from Batala moved to Pakistan.
3. Majority non-muslims from Pakistan across the district were resettled in around Batala and thus Batala became a city with more population than Gurdaspur.
Now!! If Batala residents want the district to be named "Batala" instead of "Gurdaspur" they have to take it up with the government and demand it. Even smaller places like "Mansa" and "SAS nagar" have become "districts".
Overall Batala has to be the dirtiest town in Punjab with its Bus Stand created before 1947., all roads are broken with mud and dirt. There is no hotel or a park in the city. Trains stop for 2 minutes (enroute to Jammu from Jalandhar and/or Amritsar). There is lots of Farm equipment based industry but not enough support from Government. Area around Batala is a very fertile land and villagers are generally doing bad (loans, credit, suicide issues). Lots of problem with "Drugs and Alcohol", most of the youth wants to sell their property and immigrate to Canada, Australia, UK, Spain, Italy or USA.
BTW. I am not blaming Government of India but Print and Electronics Media! Punjab government and/or Government of India should gentally remind media that the real name is SAS nagar and not "Mohali".