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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Chandigarh: To a healthy year, and an administration that cares

As we wake up to a bright new dawn with hopes in our hearts, here are 22 things we can look forward to in 2022

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: December 31, 2021 8:32:52 pm
An aerial view of the Sukhna Lake. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

New general house

Chandigarh can look forward to a new general House in its civic corporation. With the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) getting 14 councillors, the BJP 12, the Congress eight, and the Akali Dal one, Chandigarh is set to have quite a diverse general House. The residents hope holistic development of the city will finally take the centre stage as no single party will be able to monopolise the agenda of the corporation. Here is hoping for silky smooth roads and more friendly parking.

Another fleet of 40 electric buses

The Government of India has given its approval for 40 more electric buses for Chandigarh and these are expected to hit the road this year. Chandigarh already has a fleet of at least 40 electric buses plying on its roads. In August this year, Chandigarh’s first electric bus — Proto Bus — was flagged off by the administration to run on a trial basis. Each bus has a seating capacity of 35 passengers and allows standing space for 20 more. Also, each electric bus has passenger information screens at the front, rear, side and inside saloon areas as well as pneumatically controlled passenger doors. These buses come with panic buttons in cases of emergency and also boasts mobile charging points for each row of seats. The UT’s Transport Department plans to replace all its 358 diesel buses in the Tricity with electric buses by 2027-2028.

The Government of India has given its approval for 40 more electric buses for Chandigarh. (Representational)

Power to be privatised

In 2022, Chandigarh will see its power getting privatised. Last year, the administration had allotted the work of power privatisation to Eminent Electricity Power Company, which had made the highest bid of Rs 871 crore. It is only after the orders of the Supreme Court last month, that the decks were cleared for the process of privatization. Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the process after a petition by the UT Powermens’ Union. The decision to privatize power was taken on directions of the Centre on May 12, 2020.

Rites to submit a fresh mobility plan

Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) will submit a fresh mobility plan in 2022, a project from where Chandigarh hopes to get its alternate mode of transport. The Chandigarh administration had last year asked RITES to make a fresh mobility plan for Chandigarh after junking the 2009 report, which suggested a Metro system for the city. Residents hope that the new plan comes into force soon as traffic woes have been increasing with every passing day as more people converge to the city for work. RITES had in 2009 proposed a Metro covering a distance of 52.4 km, of which 40.4 km was to be in Chandigarh and the rest in Mohali. But the idea has now been junked and a fresh plan will be submitted in 2022.

2022, New Year, Chandigarh administration, Chennai electric buses, panchkula, panchkula railwa station, privatisation, manohar lal khattar, Chandigarh news, Chandigarh, Indian express, Indian express news, Punjab news The iconic Matka Chowk all lit up on the New Year eve. (Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Development of railway station

Panchkula will see the much-awaited renovation of its side of the railway station, which has stayed a long barren land sans even the basic infrastructure. In November last year the Rail Land Development Authority of the Ministry of Railways had prepared a proposal in this regard. The first such announcement for the expansion and development of the railway station falling in Panchkula was made in June. While this work had earlier been given to the Railway Station Development Authority, it has now been transferred to the Rail Land Development Authority. Here is looking forward to more comfortable and visually appealing rail trips soon.

Road re-carpeting

The Municipal Corporation of Panchkula, in an agenda passed in a civic body house meet in November, set aside a budget of Rs 25 crore for the re-carpeting of all major roads of the district, drawing a sigh of relief from residents, who have been bearing the brunt of rutted roads. Potholes have become endemic to the roads in the district with little or no intervention or repair from the Municipal Corporation. It has been more than six years since the district roads were last re-carpeted. Let’s hope we can soon look forward to a smooth ride in Panchkula.

Morni to take off

A pet project of Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, Morni Hills are all set to soon become a tourism hub — with adventure sports like paragliding, hot air balloon, parasailing, power motor, e-hydrofoil, jet scooter, boating. The development will lead to economic development in the area while also providing the youth with employment opportunities. A tourism information centre, as well as a Yatri Niwas, is also being set up in Panchkula. As many as nine one-day trekking routes have been prepared for adventure sports enthusiasts. Plans for two-day trekking routes are also being made with facilities of night stay.

Manohar Lal Khattar Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar (file photo)

Hope for health

The devastating second wave of and the accompanying shortage of beds and critical supplies has led to several changes in the areas of patient care, infrastructure, and technology. Here’s what we can look forward to in 2022.

To counter any future emergency and need for oxygen, the Health Department, UT has increased the oxygen capacity in government hospitals across Chandigarh, with private hospitals too being asked to maintain an adequate supply. According to Yashpal Garg, Health Secretary, there is an adequate supply of oxygen in the city, and this year will see more supply. Upping the capacity of oxygen at PGI to ensure uninterrupted supply, a 1000 LPM capacity PSA medical oxygen plant at Nehru Hospital Extension will cater to 190 patients at a flow rate of five-litre per minute, and the institute has the option of generating medical oxygen onsite, in a cost-effective manner. Two PSA oxygen plants at PGI will utilise PSA technique and molecular sieve (zeolite) technology to generate oxygen directly from atmospheric air. Installation work is underway for one 800 LPM plant in GMSH 16 and one in GMCH 32, with a 500 LPM plant in GMSH-16 already operational.

More oxygenated beds in Chandigarh

In April this year, when the city witnessed a surge in Covid cases, patients faced an acute shortage of hospital beds. Sustained efforts are on to ensure that GMSH-16 and allied hospitals are ready with enough ventilator and oxygenated beds, in case of demand. The total number of oxygenated beds in the city is now 4093, with the highest being in PGI, with 1948 beds. The institute has a special area in the APC for children infected with Covid-19, with a capacity for more beds. GMCH-32 has 971 oxygenated beds, and work is on to ensure that the Sector 48 hospital with 121 oxygenated beds (including 17 ventilator beds) is opened. Special arrangements will be completed in Sector 45 hospital for children with enough ventilator beds, and the number of beds in the private hospitals will now increase to 291.

Special arrangements will be completed in Sector 45 hospital for children with enough ventilator beds, and the number of beds in the private hospitals will now increase to 291. (Representational)

Health records to be digitised

As PGI returns to normalcy after the second Covid wave, Kumar Gaurav Dhawan, Deputy Director of administration, PGI, looks ahead with new hope, as some projects, which were delayed due to the pandemic, have now picked up pace. Dhawan says that while many patient reports are now available by email, the PGI is in the process of digitising the health records of patients, with their consent. With this move, a patient’s medical history, including diagnosis, treatment, will be available online for any doctor to check across the country.

New OPD at Sarangpur, Neurosciences Centre at PGI

A new screening OPD, set up on 50.76 acres in Sarangpur close to the existing PGI, will help manage the growing number of patients at PGI. The institute will also have a 500-bed trauma centre as well as a state-of-the-art oncology centre, which will include services like medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiotherapy and rehabilitation.

To provide cost-effective tertiary care services, two more centres, a neurosciences centre and a mother and child care 300-bed centre are being built at a rapid pace on the existing campus. Additionally, a geriatrics centre to take care of the health of older people is also in the pipeline.

“We hope the Neurosciences Centre will be operational in 2022. We are also planning more than 100 Type 5 flats on campus for the faculty. An important initiative is the linking of the satellite centres of the Institute in Una, Ferozepur, Sangrur, through the Hospital Information System-2, which will help patients gain access to the best medical facilities near their home. We are also going to add new amenities and equipment to the Psychiatry, Eye, Cardiac and Pediatric Departments,” says Dhawan. Way to go, we say.

New RT-PCR lab at GMSH-16

The GMSH-16 will soon have its own RT-PCR lab. “It is the need of the hour so that there is no delay in test reports and PGI is not burdened,” says Dr. Suman Singh, DHS. As part of the hospital’s Covid preparedness, the Advanced Pediatrics Centre will have hi-tech facilities and equipment — with 20 beds, ventilators, oxygen supply. “We will modify the building of the Nurses College to add more than 35 beds, ventilators and an oxygen pipeline. The ENT department will now have a new vertigo clinic, while the dental department will have new lasers. In the coming year (2022), every department will step up its facilities,” promised Dr. Singh.

gujarat coronavirus latest updates, gujarat coronavirus cases, gujarat covid testing, RT-PCR tests gujarat, RT-PCR tests price gujarat, ahmedabad news The GMSH-16 will soon have its own RT-PCR lab. (Representational/Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Mother and Child Centre at GMCH-32

Dr. Sudhir Garg, Medical Superintendent, GMCH-32, says the hospital is fully prepared with oxygen tanks, liquid oxygen, apart from an 800 LPM plant. “We have submitted the final plan of the Mother and Child Centre, a 300-bed centre, which will have the best neonatology facilities and we will start it at the end of this financial year. A new Cobalt Therapy Machine for radiotherapy, will prove to be very beneficial for patients suffering from cancer. Also, in the pipeline is a trauma centre, apart from the upgrading of other facilities,” says Dr. Garg.

A new medical college

Mohali residents will get a big dose of good health with the Mohali Medical College and Hospital getting operational this year. It will bring Mohali on par with its elder cousin Chandigarh that is famous for GMCH-32.

More water for Mohali

Mohali residents this year will get 20MGD water supply from Kajauli — which has been a long pending demand of the city residents. This will solve the problem of water shortage and low water pressure in several parts of the city that have to bank on water tankers in parched summers.

A new route from Mullanpur

This year also brings good news for all those commuting from Mullanpur Garibdas to Mohali. The airport road extension work from Sunny Enclave up to Mullanpur will be completed this year, cutting down their travel time.

A shorter road to the airport

With the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) deciding to conduct a feasibility study on the connectivity of the airport from the Purv Marg side near Sector 48, Chandigarh residents can expect a huge cut in their commute time to the airport. In the good old days, the old airport was merely 2.71 km away from the Tribune Chowk. Now the distance has increased to almost 18 km. With prices of fuel skyrocketing, this additional distance has been burning a hole in everyone’s pockets. The expected alternative road now will run through Jagatpura area. Here is hoping 2022 helps speed up this commute.

50-acre township in New Chandigarh

This year will see rapid pace of development in New Chandigarh with GMADA set to work on its 50-acre township. Urban planners say the sparsely populated area will soon witness a big surge in its population.

New auditorium

All the theatre aficionados will be happy to note that Mohali civic body will begin work on a new auditorium in Sector 78 this year. With the Punjab government gifting 2.5 acres of land free of cost to the civic body, besides a grant of 15 crore, Mohali can look forward to an auditorium that will make Tagore theatre pale in comparison.

Friendly police stations

This year, all the 17 police stations of Chandigarh will get their individual reception desks in an effort to make the experience of visiting police stations people-friendly.

17 police stations of Chandigarh will get their individual reception desks. (Representational)

Instant online FIR

Residents of Chandigarh in 2022 will also get the option of registering an instant FIR online in case their vehicle is stolen.

Cyber desks

Chandigarh police have decided to set up cyber desks in every police station to help people who get duped of their money in online scams. These cyber desks will also help create awareness among residents about such dubious elements.

(With inputs from Parul, Hina Rohtaki, Pallavi Singhal, Jagdeep Singh and Saurabh Prashar)

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