Chandigarh civic body gets new mayor
Raj Bala Malik of the BJP was elected the 24th mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for a one-year term. She defeated Gurbax Rawat of the Congress in voting that was held in the MC House. Malik got 22 votes out of the total 27 votes (26 councillors and one by ex-officio member, Member of Parliament Kirron Kher). Malik was elected as a councillor in 2011. This is not her first stint as mayor as she had assumed the office in 2012 when she was a Congress candidate. Four years on, she switched to the saffron camp. Malik is married to RK Malik, a senior lawyer. There was a fear of cross-voting, but it did not happen.
Restrictions on heavy vehicles
To decongest city roads, the Chandigarh administration plans to restrict entry timings from February 1 for heavy vehicles. Heavy vehicles will be banned on four major entry and exit points of the city from 8.30am to 10.30am and 5pm to 8pm, which are peak traffic hours. Within the city, the plan is to ban such vehicles from 6am to 11pm on all internal roads (V-2, V-3, V-4, V-5, V-6) within Sectors 1 to 56. In special cases, the senior superintendent of police (traffic), all sub-divisional magistrates and deputy superintendents of police (traffic) will have the authority to give permission to ply such vehicles during the restricted hours in case of any emergency. The traffic police have been trying out various plans to regulate the flow of traffic so that commuters are not inconvenienced.
QR code must for autorickshaws
The State Transport Authority (STA) has decided to make QR code mandatory for all auto rickshaws in Chandigarh. The code will be pasted on autos prominently having all details about the driver so that the passengers can share it with their family or friends. A passenger can lodge a complaint if the auto driver misbehaves. The passengers can scan the code through their mobile by using an app, which is being developed by the department. They can also call up on the numbers shown in the list. No permits will be issued if the auto owners do not have QR code.
Hike in bus fares
The Chandigarh Administration has hiked the bus fares of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) by 5 per cent in the wake of losses faced by the travel authority. In 2017-18, the CTU suffered a loss of I72 crore. The increase in the fares will be applicable in AC and non-AC buses for both local and long routes. Two lakh commuters use these buses daily. Of the total 533 CTU buses, 410 ply within the city and the rest are reserved on long routes while operating from four depots.
Our correspondent in Chandigarh