Chandigarh diary: Funds shortage, Bus fare hike, runway upgrade

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will soon install a decommissioned MiG-21 fighter aircraft and a helicopter each at two public places in the city.

Published: 28th February 2018 02:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2018 06:27 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Old war machines to be installed in city

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will soon install a decommissioned MiG-21 fighter aircraft and a helicopter each at two public places in the city. They are most likely to be put on display at the entry and exit points of the city. The exact points will be decided in few days. While the Indian Air Force will maintain both the aircraft and helicopter, the corporation will provide space and security for them. Following the footsteps of the corporation, the Department of Aerospace Engineering of the Punjab Engineering College will also install a decommissioned MiG-21 on the college campus within a month.

Civic body short of funds

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation might not be able to pay the salaries for the month of March to its employees if it does not get the remaining `30 crore instalment from the Chandigarh administration. As it has to release `40 crore for February salary and establishment expenses, the corporation will be left with just `24 crore in its Fixed Deposit. A lack of funds mean stop to many development works. The administration has approved only a `269-crore grant to the municipal corporation against its demand of `1,100 crore. Now, the corporation is looking to the Union government for grant-in-aid in order to bail itself out.

Bus fares hiked

The Chandigarh Administration has decided to hike local bus fares in the city by 10 to 15 per cent, after a gap of six years. The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) is running in losses. The fleet of CTU buses carries around 1.7 lakh passengers daily. The public transporter has 533 buses on tri-city and long routes. The annual revenue of the CTU is just H135 crore whereas the operation cost runs into H225 crore. Currently, the fare for non-AC buses is H5 for up to 3 km, H10 for 3-10 km and H15 for over 10 km. It goes up to H10, H15 and H20 for above 10 km in the case of AC buses.

Airport runway to be upgraded

The Chandigarh International Airport will be closed from May 14 to May 28 for upgradation of its runway. Flight operations have been suspended for two weeks till February 26 for the same reason.  Soon, the airport will be CAT III-B compliant allowing aircraft to land under 50-metre visibility. The main runway has two sides - runway 29 and runway 11.  The runway 29 will remain CAT II compliant, while the runway 11 will be upgraded to CAT III-B, according to sources.

Charging stations for e-vehicles

The Chandigarh Administration plans to set-up charging stations for electricity vehicles in different parts of the city. Accordingly, the power department has proposed a power tariff plan. The joint electricity regulatory commission needs to approve this proposal. The first electric charging station will be set up at IT Park new Lalit Hotel. The Indian Oil Corporation has bought the site for `21.03 crore. The city has 14 e-cars and 400 e-bikes.

Harpreet Bajwa

Our correspondent in Chandigarh

hsbajwa73@gmail.com

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