Police on Friday arrested BJP lawmaker Hema Malini’s driver, a day after her Mercedes collided with a Maruti Alto in Rajasthan killing a two-year-old girl and leaving the actor and four others injured.

    He was produced in court and later granted bail. Officials said Uttar Pradesh resident Mahesh Thakur, the accused, was facing charges of culpable homicide and causing death by negligence.

    Television footage showed Mathura MP Hema Malini walking away from the spot with blood dripping down her face following the crash on National Highway 11 near Dausa district in the western state.

    The incident brought the spotlight back on India’s dangerous roads where about 200,000 people die every year in traffic accidents, according to WHO data. Last year, Hema Malini’s party colleague Gopinath Munde was killed in a car crash in Delhi nearly a week after the 64-year-old took office as the country’s rural affairs minister.

    While the infant travelling in the Maruti hatchback reportedly died on the spot, her parents, a four-year-old brother and an aunt are undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Jaipur.

    Hema Malini, who was in the back seat of the Mercedes, was admitted to a private medical centre with a nasal fracture and injuries to her forehead, cheeks and legs.

    “A surgery of debridement (removal of damaged tissues) and repair of lacerated wounds was carried out post-midnight,” said Pratim Tambole, facility director at the Fortis hospital. “It was a two-hour long process under general anaesthesia. She is now in post-operative intensive care unit.”

    The 66-year-old actor was going to Jaipur after visiting a temple in Rajasthan’s Karauli district when her car crashed into the Maruti Alto carrying the family headed to Lalsot city.

    Read: After criticism, Hema Malini expresses sorrow over child's death

    Car crash victims protest 'lavish attention' to Hema Malini

Sector-17 buildings to get heritage facade

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2014 23:38 IST

You could soon have naturally-coloured uniform buildings at Sector-17, the heart of the city, if the administration's plan of restoration of buildings is approved by its heritage committee. The move is aimed at ensuring that buildings at the city centre are able to get a longer life and present a heritage look.

The department of architecture and urban planning, UT administration, has prepared a report that recommends that standard grey/white cement concrete needs to be ensured on the façade of all the buildings in Sector 17.  The cost of the restoration will be borne by the owner of the building and 430 buildings will be getting the new façade.

The heritage committee meets later this month, where a final decision will be taken.

The chief architect of the administration chaired a meeting of the heritage sub-committee, where it was decided that since it was difficult to remove the colour from concrete surface on the buildings, a mixture of putti and cement must be applied on the buildings to bring the texture as close as possible to concrete.

"We zeroed in on the right colour for the buildings after a lot of experiments. This will bring the city on a global footing as far as heritage is concerned and can also be taken as a positive for tourism," said Rajnish Wattas, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and a member of the heritage sub-committee.

To prevent further damage and decay and to bring out the original character of building, it would also be sand-blasted (the process of construction in which layers of building gets removed).

The committee in its report also mentioned that in the absence of norms, standards or specification for restoration and altered/damaged concrete surfaces, more than 40% of the buildings in Sector-17 (whether publicly-owned, individuals or private ownership) have a façade of exposed cement concrete. The restoration will ensure uniform surface texture and colour of the concrete façade.

The 2031 Draft Master Plan of Chandigarh defines heritage sites and buildings of special architectural interest and empowers the authorities to ensure harmony and unified composition of buildings.

40 building blocks and around 430 buildings to be restored
Restoration will cost around Rs 57 per square ft (Rs 25 for putty and Rs 32 for sand blasting etc)
Owners to bear the cost of the restoration


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