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Friday, January 22, 2021

Chandigarh: Goodbye virus, hello life

Our compilation of over 20 things that you can look forward to in the year 2021.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: January 1, 2021 12:56:40 pm

As you open your eyes to a bright new dawn in the tricity, here are the 21 things you can look forward to in 2021

1. A shot at good health

Prof Jagat Ram, director, PGIMER, says January 2021 will be dedicated to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccine. Frontline workers in the emergency, Covid Hospital and other health care workers will be the first to get this vaccine, others like you and I will also follow soon. Taking one last look at the year gone by, Dr Jagat Ram said, “For almost ten months now, fighting Covid was our focus, as we worked 24×7 to attend to more than 3,000 severe to critical patients with excellent outcomes. This period has been one of tremendous learning, as we developed new systems, facilities, protocols, et al. In 2021, we are look forward to the vaccine and good health.”

2. Surgery at PGI

PGI restarted its OPDs with a limited number of patients last November. In 2021, it will not only increase the number of OPDs but also restore surgical facilities while continuing to use telemedicine as a force-mutiplier for consultation. Dr Jagat Ram says projects that could see light of the day this year include satellite centres at Sangrur, Una and Ferozepur. “Also, we now have all the sanctions for the Advanced Mother and Child Centre and the Neurosciences Centre at PGIMER. Another project we are looking forward to this year is Sarangpur, where PGI has been allotted more than 50 acres for a Cancer and Trauma Centre with a facility of 500 beds.” Good luck, we say.

3. New depts at GMCH-32

Ravi Gupta, Medical Superintendent, GMCH-32, says 2020 brought home the importance of being prepared for any eventuality at all times. At GMCH-32, you can look forward to the completion of the new emergency and trauma block. “We hope the Mother and Child Care Centre and the Sports Injury Centre will also be functional this year. Furthermore, we are working to strengthen our super-specialties and also introduce new specialties like neurology, gastroenterology, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery in the F block at GMCH.” Amen to that.

4. Cath lab at GMSH

Dr. VK Nagpal, Medical Superintendent, and Joint Director, Health, says we can look forward to a Cath Lab at the hospital to treat heart patients, who are now referred to the PGI. “The rates of treatment will be comparable to those offered under the Ayushmaan Bharat Yojana. We also
plan to work on the Mother Child Health Centre and start the intensive paediatric care unit soon. The upgradation of the Physiotherapy Centre too is on the cards, with both new equipment and manpower.”

5. Dine mid-air

2021 will gift Chandigarhians a pie of the sky. The UT administration has decided to come up with a sky restaurant that will hang in the air with the help of a crane at a height of 165 feet above the Leisure valley. At one go, it will have the capacity to pitchfork 24 persons to the restaurant where they will be able to spend a little over half an hour for a ticket priced between Rs 2500 and Rs 4000. Talk about a princely dinner at a princely price.

6. The Tribune flyover: Yes or no?

The fate of this contentious flyover will hopefully be decided this year. Even though a large number of residents are against the project on the ground that it mars the character of the City Beautiful, the UT administration has been backing it. A report in this regard will also be submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Residents had in a public hearing held last year on the directions of High Court opposed the flyover. There have also been widespread protests against the cutting of
700 trees for the flyover. Many have suggested other alternatives that will also cost less, but whether the administration agrees or not, 2021 will tell.

7. Mayor for Panchkula

Having remained without an elected civic body for the past two and a half years, Panchkula will finally get rid of its civic woes with the election of a new city mayor and an elected council to represent their wards and sectors. Let’s raise a toast to grievance-free Panchkula this year.

8. Chandigarh mayor

Come January 8, and Chandigarh will get a new mayor. As BJP has majority in the house, it will be a BJP mayor unless there is cross-voting. The frontrunners for mayorship are BJP councillors Shakti
Devshali, Mahesh Inder Sidhu and Ravi Kant Sharma. Gurpreet Dhillon, Vinod Aggarwal and Anil Dubey have also expressed their desire to make a run for it. Also in the fray is BJP president Arun Sood, who has already occupied this chair in the past.

A mayor holds a one-year term in Chandigarh, and to be successful, a candidate needs 14 votes out of 27.

9. General housing project at IT Park

Those desirous of living in Chandigarh will get to apply for the general housing residential scheme that has been approved by the Chandigarh Housing Board in the IT Park this year. The seven-storey towers will house 728 flats in three different categories with two basements for parking. The project will be developed on two plots, measuring 10.51 and 6.43 acres. Though the exact rates are yet to be decided, the tentative cost of the flats will range between Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 2.75 crore.

10. Integrated Command Control Centre

As part of Intelligent Traffic Management System, traffic enforcement systems will be installed at 40 more locations this year to detect traffic violations. This will help the city make its roads safer and reduce the incidence of accidents.

The centre will monitor the smart field elements like CCTV cameras via a video wall. Optical fibre has
been laid for real-time connectivity between the on-field devices and command centre for live monitoring of the system.

11. Hello, hello, it’s Burail jail calling

With the Model Jail of Burail all set to launch its radio station, the year 2021 will see prisoners playing the role of radio jockeys. The idea is to reform and rehabilitate prisoners, and the UT prisons department is already in talks with different FM houses in the city to train them in this field. The jail also plans to rename the barracks after freedom fighters, brave women and saints.

A brief history of these legends will be etched outside each “kuteer” as these cells will now be called, with their pictures, to motivate the inmates. In another move, to reduce the cost of electricity, and get the maximum benefit of solar energy, solar panels will be set up outside the main gate.

12. Good riddance to stench

If all goes well, the trans-Ghaggar residents will achieve freedom from stench spread by a mountain of garbage in 2021. The long awaited bio-remediation of legacy waste situated at the Sector 23 dumping ground of Panchkula will be completed by April 2021 as per orders of the National Green Tribunal.

The Rs 38 crore project will shift the waste from the current site to Jhuriwala plant. And the current area that houses the garbage mountain will be developed as a recreational park.

13. Farewell to stray cattle and dog

The Sukhdarshanpur cowshed of Panchkula will be inaugurated in the first week of 2021 by Haryana Assembly Speaker and local MLA Gian Chand Gupta. The shed spread over 4.25 acre has the capacity to accommodate up to 1000 stray cattle.

A dog-pond built inside the same building will be home to 850 stray dogs and 150 pet dogs. Residents hope this will solve the growing menace of stray dogs in the city.

14. The Kharar Flyover

The long-awaited Kharar flyover, which has been coming up at a snail’s pace for the last five years, will finally be opened to public in 2021. And this time we are sure, for you can see it nearing completion.

Many stretches have already been opened. All it needs is one final push and residents of Kharar and Mohali will be liberated from the daily traffic jams and chaos.

15. New police station buildings

The new year will bring special cheer to Mohali cops, for they will get new buildings for Mullanpur Garibdas, Kharar and Phase 11 police stations. No more sitting in damp rooms or makeshift offices.

16. Another road to Mullanpur

The year will also bring good news for all those people who have shifted or are planning to shift to Mullanpur Garibdas aka New Chandigarh with an airport extension road from Kharar to Mullanpur Garibdas. Now a resident of Mohali will no longer need to cross Chandigarh for a trip to Mullanpur.

17. Mohali medical college

In what is a very good news for the city, Mohali will finally get its own spanking new medical college and hostel this year. Though Covid caused a delay in its opening, 2021 will ensure that it gains pace.

18. UT to get two new police divisions

Chandigarh will get two more police sub-divisions comprising three police stations each for better law and order in the city. At present, 16 police stations are divided among three police sub-divisions, namely, Central, East and South. The six more police stations are sure to keep crime at bay.

19. Weekly offs for cops

Though the traffic police wing effectively implemented the weekly off policy at the fag end of 2020, this year will see it being enforced across all wings. As an upshot, you will see happier cops. The UT police has a strength of around 6,400 cops. Around 57 percent of the force is deputed in sensitive units, and gets barely any time off duty. Here is a happier year for them.

20. Robotic Dinosaurs Park

The Chhatbir Zoo will soon go hi-tech with six attractive, life-size dinosaurs on display at what will be called the Robotic Dinosaur Park. Two of these will be interactive. So next time you are planning to go out this year, head towards Chhatbir and a have a word with these dinos. The park is part of Zoo Education Park, designed to raise scientific awareness among people, especially children, about this extinct reptile and its habitat. The field director, Chhatbir Zoo, M Sudhagar, said, “Despite Covid-19, we are committed to complete this facility in 2021.” More power to him.

21. Talk to exotic birds

If you’re turning green at the sight of all those social media posts showing your friend with birds perched on his shoulder, look no further than Chhatbir. An exclusive area for exotic birds will open for the general public in its walk-in-aviary, the biggest in India. Exotic birds will be brought from other zoos under the aviary exchange program. If this doesn’t tempt you to visit Chhatbir this year, nothing can.

So, chin up. Let’s give Covid a cold shoulder and 2021 a big, warm hug.

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