Traffic woes on campus
A Panjab University panel has recommended banning four-wheelers for hostellers. It is of the view that no student should be allowed to keep or park his or her vehicle at the hostel. There are around 5,000 students in the hostels, while over 11,000 students are day scholars.
In order to reduce the traffic pressure on the campus, along with hostellers the day scholars should also not be allowed to bring their vehicles on the campus. To regulate traffic on the campus, the shuttle bus service should be improved, and e-rickshaws should be provided.
New solar power plant
The Chandigarh Administration has approved the detailed project report for a 800 kW solar power plant at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore at the parking area of New Lake in Sector 42. Out of the 800 kW, 90 kW will be reserved for charging e-vehicles. The charging station for electricity-run vehicles will be the first of its kind in the city. Once the project is successfully implemented, charging stations will be built in Sector 19, Sector 22 and Sector 15.
A tender will be issued shortly for the installation of solar plants of 500 kW, 210 kW and 90 kW. The city does not have a government station where the owners of electric vehicles can charge them. There are around 2,500 e-rickshaws on Chandigarh roads. The e-rickshaw pullers charge the e-vehicles at home or at private stations.
For the first time in the city, a test tube baby will be born using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) technology. The woman has conceived and is eight weeks pregnant. Dr Sheetal Jindal, a city-based gynaecologist, is in charge of the case. In the absence of this technology, a mother had to undergo termination of pregnancy. Dr Umesh Jindal started the first IVF centre in the city. The PGD technology will ensure a healthy baby, as the chances the baby having Down’s syndrome was 80 per cent in the woman. PGD is done only after screening of the parents for any genetic abnormality.
Getting smarter on plastics
As Chandigarh has been selected as a Smart City under the Smart City Mission, widespread use of polythene carry bags, single-use plastic bags and styrofoam cutlery did not go hand in hand with the objective of being a Smart City. Thus a campaign, “Chandigarh Says Goodbye to Polybags”, has been started. The Chandigarh Administration had banned the use of polythene bags in the City Beautiful a decade ago, in 2008, but they are still being used. Over 500 cloth bags were distributed free of cost among the public to promote the initiative.
Incinerator for animals
The first animal incinerator in the city to dispose of carcasses of animals free of cost will be installed by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The project was recently approved by the technical committee of the Smart City. The incinerator, which will run on LPG, will cost around Rs 5 crore and will be set up in the private-public partnership mode. The company that bags the contract will set up the infrastructure for the project and the civic body will pay per animal carcass. The company will also set up a 24X7 call centre and pick up dead animals.