18 happy things you can expect in New Year in Chandigarh
From new international flights and faster Shatabdi to round-the-clock water supply and lower school fees, this year promises to be a harbinger of good news. HT brings you a list of happy happenings.punjab Updated: Jan 01, 2018 17:42 IST
1. Get set to pedal around Chandigarh
Bring out your cycles and pedal away, for City Beautiful will soon be one of the most cyclist-friendly places in the world. It’s already completed the cycle tracks on the Vigyan Marg (the dividing road between Sector 4 and Sector 9), and work in the rest of the city will be completed by June. With this, we will have 146-km-long cycle tracks, perhaps the longest in India.
2. Water in your tap, round the clock
Come thirsty April and Chandigarhians will start getting water supply round the clock. New pipes being laid from Jandpur village in Mohali to the Sector 39 waterworks at a cost of 21 crore will carry an additional 35 millions gallons (MGD) of water every day to meet the shortfall of around 40% that the city has been battling for long.
3. Spread your wings afar with new flightss
The Chandigarh international airport will get a global reach this year, thanks to the increase in its runway length from 9,000 feet to 10,400 feet to allow wide-bodied aircraft to land here. These aircraft will be able to connect the city to destinations in Europe and the US. The commute to the airport will also get smoother with GMADA recarpeting the 25-km-long Airport Road, which claimed several lives this year due to its faulty layout.
4. A new MC for Pinjore, Kalka
The Panchkula MC is heading for bifurcation with a panel under Ambala divisional commissioner recommending a separate corporation for Panchkula city and a common civic body for Kalka and Pinjore. The final decision will be taken by the state Cabinet soon. The demand to abolish Panchkula MC started in 2010 when it was formed by merging the civic bodies of Panchkula, Kalka and Pinjore. The flash point came when BJP’s Kalka MLA Latika Sharma sought the exclusion of Pinjore and Kalka from the corporation, claiming that these areas did not see any development under the MC.
5. New low-cost pharmacy at PGI
Patients at PGIMER can look forward to more pocket-friendly medicines once the institute gets its in-house pharmacy in July. Once functional, it will provide drugs at a discount of 50% or more as compared to the market price. The proposal for this pharmacy was mooted in October 2014.
6. Subway from Sector 17 to Rose Garden
Get ready for an underground stroll to Sector 17 this year. The subway connecting the city centre to Rose Garden in Sector 16 will be completed by August this year. The new underpass near the Reserve Bank of India building will allow the visitors to access rose garden without crossing the Jan Marg. The administration is also proposing to liven up the underpass, pegged at Rs 8 crore, with some recreational facilities. Other projects under the smart city project, which will be inaugurated this year, include an urban park on the lines of Hyde Park in London on nine acres behind Neelam theatre for which the construction work will start in March.
7. UT to cap fee hike at 8%
Chances are that the UT proposal to cap at 8% the fee hike by government schools will be ratified by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) this year. It will be a godsend for parents as many schools in the city have proposed a fee hike of 10% for 2018-19.
8. 600 CCTV cameras for traffic violators
Don’t try jumping red lights this year. Chances are you will get a challan in your postbox. The administration is all set to install 600 CCTV cameras at various intersections in the city to check traffic violations and enable the cops to send challans home to the violators. The traffic cops will also be armed with speed gun radars by June this year.
9. A quicker ride to Patiala
If all goes well, the Zirakpur-Patiala four-laning project will be completed early this year. The authorities have set a new deadline of January 31 after missing their last deadline of October. The ₹600-crore project includes 12 bridges, several underpasses and railway overbridges.
10. Goodbye to Kharar traffic snarls
The elevated road in Kharar is likely to be completed by the end of this year. The 448-crore project that began in 2016, is the main reason for the traffic snarls in this part of Mohali. The NHAI, which is the executing agency, has already made giant strides towards the completion of this project by completing 102 of the 139 pillars.
11. Dial 112 for any emergency
The UT administration will soon roll out a single number for people in distress. Be it for police assistance, fire department or ambulance services, you will just have to punch 112. At present, it’s 100 for the police, 101 for the fire department and 102 for ambulance services. This new control room to be set up at police headquarters, Sector 9, has already received a grant of 4.5 crore from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
12. Road from Kharar to New Chandigarh
GMADA plans to construct a new road from Kharar to New Chandigarh at a cost of 200 crore so that passengers traveling to Himachal Pradesh don’t have to enter Chandigarh. Land for this road is being acquired and work is expected to begin by the middle of this year.
13. A faster Shatabdi soon
You will be able to reach Delhi faster once the double-laning of the Chandigarh-Dappar track is completed this year after missing over five deadlines in 2017. The doubling of the track will facilitate faster movement of trains, and we may even get to see Tajas, the high-speed AC train, on the Chandigarh-Delhi tracks. The delay in this double-laning has been holding up several projects, including that of a faster Shatabdi with a speed of 130 kmph.
14. Goodbye to PU’s financial blues
The year 2018 could spell an end to the financial misery of Panjab University as the central government is planning to give it a healthier annual grant. The Haryana government may also boost its funding to the varsity, which is also trying to garner funds from the UT administration for the upkeep of its infrastructure. The alumni association too is planning to chip in to rescue the beleaguered campus.
15. New VC for PU
Panjab University will get a new vice chancellor this year as the extended tenure of the present incumbent, Prof Arun Kumar Grover, ends on July 22. As per sources, the search committee to select the new VC is likely to be appointed soon. Prof Grover says unlike other universities, PU post has never advertised this post. “We are still governed by a variant of Indian Universities Act 1904; there is no mention of any eligibility, age, algorithm, etc. It is the exclusive responsibility of the Chancellor.”
16. Now zip from Panchkula to Yamunanagar
The four-laning of the 104-km stretch of NH-73 from Panchkula to Yamunanagar will be completed this year. NHAI project director Jaswinder Singh said work on the project has been divided into three phases – 19 kms from Panchkula to Saha, a 42-km stretch from Saha to Maulana and then 44 kms from Maulana to Yamunanagar. The section from Yamunanagar to Saha via Maulana will be completed in April, while the Saha to Panchkula stretch will be complete by December end.
17. PEC eyes IIT status
The Punjab Engineering College (PEC) University of Technology, which has been vying for the IIT status for long, will take a giant leap towards getting it this year with the UT administration approving 100 crore for its infrastructural revamp. UT Home Secretary, Anurag Aggarwal,
said, “We shall talk to the government of India. By spending this amount out of our own budget, we are showing our seriousness towards the development of this institute.”
18. GMADA to acquire 5000 acres
GMADA proposes to acquire 5000 acres under Land Pooling Scheme in Greater Mohali Area this year. Acquisition of 560 acres in New Chandigarh has already been initiated and the process shall be completed this year. The area to be acquired falls in the villages of Bakarpur, Nariangarh, Kishanpura, Safipur, Rurka, Manoli, Matran, Chachumajra, Chatt, Badi, Sau, Kurdi, Kishanpur, Paton, and Chaumajra. The projects for which this land is being acquired are yet to be planned.