Sunday, December 14, 2014

Victory March to mark the occasion of 43rd Vijay Diwas - 1971 Indo Pak War.

To mark a tribute to the martyrs of Indian Army who laid down their lives to safeguard ‪#‎Fazilka‬ for their supreme sacrifice in 1971 Indo-Pak war on the eve of 43rd Vijay Diwas celebration, join us for "Victory March" on 15th March 2014 starting from Sanjeev Cinema Chowk at 3:00PM sharp. All are requested to assemble at Sanjeev Cinema chowk.

March will end at Clock Tower 4:30PM sharp. Route is Sanjeev Cinema CHowk – Gowshall Road- Cycle Bazar- Shashtri Chowk- Sarafan Bazar- Clock Tower.
First time in this history families of our all brave soldiers who fought famous 'battle of Fazilka', brought honour to the nation and laid down their lives to safeguard Fazilka during Indo Pak war, are reaching Fazilka and are joining us on this 'Victory March' along with the brave soldiers of Indian Army.

Wife of Major Narayan Singh wife Urmila is also joining us.She was 22 when she lost her husband. Those who are not aware, famous battle of Fazilka or battle of beriwala was held between two Majors; Major Narayan Singh (Indian Army 4 Jat) and Major Shabbir Sharif (Pak Army and elder brother of present Pakistan Army Chief Raheel Sharif) 'man-to-man' combat. It was a very brave and courageous battle between the two. Major Narain Singh, who was commanding a company of Jat Regiment led his men and charged the objective to capture locality in the Fazilka Sector. In this action, Major Narain Singh displayed gallantry, leadership and determination of high order and awarded with Vir Chakra award.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Govt ignoring children with deformities

FAZILKA: In a clear case of ignorance and insensitivity of Punjab government, Teja Ruhela - a small village situated close to the Pakistan border - infamous for children being with deformities like cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairment, among others does not have a single healthcare facility. This, too, after a staggering number of 36 children are suffering from this problem.

Ironically, the village - with a total population of 3,000 - falling under Fazilka assembly constituency is represented by Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jayani. The residents allege that no doctors visit their village and there is no dispensary or primary healthcare facility.

Presence of heavy metals like lead, cadmium, arsenic and uranium in groundwater is the likely reason behind large number of deformities among children.

"With 36 children in severe deformed category, Teja Ruhela has 12 children per 1,000 persons suffering from deformities whereas the international average is 3-4. No extensive survey has been carried to the know ratio of deformities," said Pritpal Singh, who is the president of Baba Farid centre of special children, which is working on deformities among children and its causes.

Meanwhile, health minister Jayani claimed that the problem had diminished after reverse osmosis (RO) plant was installed in the village around three years ago. However, activists differ.

"Though drinking water has improved to some extent after RO plant was installed, toxic effects of water are still there in the local environment due to which the problem of deformities is still grave in the village," said Pritpal.

He added: "It is a case of multi-toxicity as untreated water from Ludhiana and Jalandhar industries passes through a drain which proved disastrous for the area, apart from excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Only purification of drinking water is not enough, but effects of multi-toxicity need to be minimized, which is also proving harmful for animals and increasing infertility and impotency among young people."

Members of social outfits working in the area are also critical of the government's lackadaisical approach to tackle the issue.

Baljinder Singh, secretary Border Vikas Front & Shakti and general secretary Border Area Struggle Committee, said: "Governments never bothered to take care of the village where many children have deformities. No medical facility is available in the village and people have to travel long distance for treatment of such children."

Teja Ruhela sarpanch Des Singh is also critical of the state government. "We have taken up the issue of dealing with deformities among children with the previous and current government, but we're not getting the medical facilities as the village is situated close to the border. Further, there is no financial assistance for taking care of children suffering from deformities."


Fazilka, a sleepy border town in Punjab, is filled with excitement as this grateful town gears up to extend a befitting honour to the ‘Saviours of Fazilka’ – Soldier of Indian Army who made supreme sacrifice during Indo – Pak War of 1971 to save the town from falling into Pakistani hands. On the 43rd Anniversary of this historic event, one week long ‘Fazilka Vijay Diwas’, a tribute to the martyrs who laid down their lives to safeguard the town is being co-hosted by Chetak Corps/Amogh Division and the ‘Saheedon ki Samadhi’ trust, an honorary civilian body of prominent residents residents of Fazilka.

 Week long event will include multiple events organized by Indian Army and Citizen Forum of Fazilka to pay gratitude to martyrs and sensitise the youth about the symbiotic relationship between Army and Local Community in this border town. Presentations on Battle of Beriwala and Battlefield Tours are being organized by Army for college/school children to sensitise the young generation about sacrifices made by Indian Army.
On 15 Dec, a first of its kind event in India, a grand ‘Victory Parade’ through the heart of the town will be organized by Citizens and Army to mark the solidarity and close bond between the two and reaffirm the resolve that together they will safeguard the motherland from any misadventure by our adversary. Entire town is expected to converge at historic Clock Tower for this grand event. A Light and Sound Show is also being organized by Indian Army on 15 Dec to bring alive the battlefield of 1971 operations in Fazilka Sector. This will be open to all residents of Fazilka Town.
The grand culmination of ‘Fazilka Vijay Diwas’ events will take place at ‘Asafwala War Memorial’ which is a unique monument revered as a Temple and Shrine by local community. Events will include National Unity Marathon run with expected participation by more than 1,000 runners from across Punjab, Wreath Laying at War Memorial by Senior Army and State functionaries, cultural programme and Bhandara. Entire town will be witness to this ‘Saheedon ka Mela’ at War Memorial and pay homage to martyrs.
Event will be graced by large number of Veteran officers and Soldiers of Indian Army. Mrs Urmila Patyal, w/o Late Maj Narayan Singh of 4 JAT and Mrs Santosh Rana, w/o Maj K S Rana of 15 RAJPUT, who were martyred while saving Fazilka will be the guests of honour on the occasion.

The main function related to Fazilka Vijay Diwas will spread over one week as under:-
(a) Presentations in Schools on Battle of Beriwala. (10 - 14 Dec)
(b) Battle field tour for local youth (13 - 14 Dec)
(c) Victory Parade through Fazilka Town. - 15 Dec
(d) Light and Sound Show - 15 Dec
(e) Events at Asafwala War Memorial  - 16 Dec

(to incl Marathon run, Wreath Laying, Cultural Pgme and Bhandara)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Build public conveniences to display ads, MCG told

TNN | Dec 6, 2014, 04.07AM IST
GURGAON: The Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the MCG to consider building public conveniences across the city to display advertisements in a hearing on outdoor advertisements on Friday.

Advertisement agencies had sought adequate compensation from the MCG for pulling down their outdoor ads. The hearing was attended by the new MCG commissioner, Vikas Gupta. In the last hearing, the high court had asked the MCG to remove all unipole advertisements displayed along the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and LED advertisements displayed on top of building No. 8 in Cyber City and a building wrap advertisement on a building at IFFCO Chowk as all of them were causing distraction to motorists.

According to sources, when the advertisement agencies sought adequate compensation from the MCG, the court asked the civic body to consider constructing public conveniences across the city on which these advertisements can be displayed.

"The high court has asked us to find out the spots where such public conveniences can be constructed at strategic locations so that these advertisement agencies whose ads have been pulled down since the last court hearing. We will draw up a plan in the coming days and submit the locations to the high court which will then approve these sites and we will construct these toilets," said an official.

A few months ago, the high court had appointed a traffic expert, Navdeep Asija, to give a report about the traffic hazard posed by the existing advertisement hoardings put up by the MCG. Subsequently, the expert informed the court that most of the ads were a distraction to drivers on the road and based on his report the high court ordered the MCG to remove those ads at once. Last week the enforcement team of the MCG removed these ads.

Little help to navigate around in Gurgaon: Report

Times of India, 23rd November 2013

CHANDIGARH: It is difficult to find your way around in Gurgaon with signboards either missing or giving confusing information, besides being installed at wrong places in violation of norms. This has been pointed out in a preliminary report of 'Gurgaon Outdoor Advertisement and Signage Study' conducted on directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court, which was submitted in the court on Friday.

"In general, Gurgaon has more advertisement panels than normal road information signages. For an unknown user, it is almost difficult to travel in Gurgaon due to non-availability of any driving aid in the form of signage," it reads.

"Placement of advertisement hoardings clearly violates the normal policy terms and can be serious road safety threat to road users. Most of the footpaths and sideways are encroached by wrongly placed signage and unauthorised hoardings, which is restricting free and safe movement of pedestrians," adds the report.

The survey was conducted by traffic researcher Navdeep Asija and Anvita Arora on the directions of the court. It has been pointed out that there is no local support from Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) or municipal corporation, Gurgaon (MCG). For instance, advertisement on red lights pose safety hazard and there are wide intersections with no information signs but advertisement boards. At many places, signboards have been placed in the middle of footpaths, obstructing passage.

Because of non-cooperation of local bodies, the exact count of missing signages could not be arrived at as the survey could not be matched with locations that have been identified for putting up of boards on paper, reads the report.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hoardings to be cleared along roads, expressways

Snehil Sinha, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, December 03, 2014

The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has removed several hoardings and wall wraps from buildings near NH-8.

The drive, which started on Monday, comes after the Punjab and Haryana High Court on November 21 passed an order, directing that all advertisements and hoardings — excluding those put up at 77 sites approved by the court-appointed road safety expert — must be removed.

The order was passed to ensure road safety, especially along the expressway. Navdeep Asija, the road safety expert, has suggested removing more unipoles and wall wraps, displaying advertisements.

Wall wraps on buildings, including ABW Tower and Signature Tower, were pulled down on Monday.

"We have removed several hoardings, unipoles, wall wraps and billboards from buildings along the DelhiGurgaon expressway in our day-long operation. The drive will continue till we complete the exercise as directed by the High Court. We have to submit an action-taken report soon," said MCG's chief engineer RK Singla on Monday.

According to MCG officials, wall wraps on around five buildings along the highway and 10 unipoles, displaying advertisements, may be removed soon. The unipoles are located in new Gurgaon areas. Of these, five are located near the Huda City Centre Metro station.

A day after the HC passed this interim order, the MCG had pulled down 15 unipoles along NH-8.

"The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon having accepted the sites identified is permitted to invite tenders subject, however, to the removal of all other illegal hoardings, signages and glow signs, etc," the court order stated.

According to a report submitted by Asija, only 77 of the proposed 200 sites in the city have been approved for advertisements.

The report suggests that advertisements put up on or around NH-8 should be removed immediately in view of the safety of commuters on the high-speed stretch.

"The placement of these advertisements creates obstruction and distracts drivers, especially on fast-moving stretches like highways. There are other strategic locations in the city too where these advertisements can be profitably placed, without overlooking road safety," said Asija

Sunday, November 23, 2014

रोड सेफ्टी के लिए पहला प्रयोग, साइिकल और रिक्शा के लिए एनएमटी ट्रैक

नवांशहर/चंडीगढ़. पंजाब में रोड सेफ्टी के मानक गाड़ियों को ध्यान में रखकर तय किए जाते हैं। लेकिन सेफ्टी के लिहाज से पहली बार इसमें पैदल, साइकिल व रिक्शा सवारों का भी ध्यान रखा गया है। चंडीगढ़ की तर्ज पर पहली बार 'नॉन मोटर ट्रांसपोर्ट ट्रैक' का प्रयोग पायलट प्रोजेक्ट के तौर पर नवांशहर से शुरू होगा। इसके लिए बाकायदा नॉन मोटर ट्रांसपोर्ट (एनएमटी) सोसायटी भी बनाई गई है। इसका चेयरमैन जिले की डीसी अनंदिता मित्रा को बनाया गया है। उन्होंने बताया कि पैदल के लिए फुटपाथ और साइिकल व रिक्शा के लिए अलग से रोड बनाई जाएगी ताकि बड़े वाहनों की चपेट से आने से इन्हें बचाया जा सके। प्रोजेक्ट पर काम शुरू हो चुका है। शुक्रवार को पंजाब सरकार द्वारा जारी रोड सेफ्टी पॉलिसी में भी एनएमटी को शामिल किया है।
फुटपाथ और लग्जरी रिक्शा
पहले चरण में पैदल चलने वालों के लिए फुटपाथ बनाया जा रहा है ताकि मुख्य सड़कों पर भीड़ कम हो। बस अड्डे पर निजी वाहनों की भीड़ कम करने के लिए विशेष रिक्शे चलाए गए हैं। यह लो फ्लोर रिक्शा होगा। इसमें शॉकर्स हैं, जो सफर आरामदायक बनाते हैं। इनमें रेडियम लगा है जो रात में चमकता है। इससे हादसा होने के चांस बहुत कम रह जाते हैं।
यूं लुभाएंगे 
रिक्शा पैसेंजर फ्रेंडली है। सेफ्टी के लिहाज से सीट बेल्ट है। सामान नीचे रखने की जगह है। पहिए कवर हैं ताकि महिलाओं के दुपट्टे न फंसें। 
नवांशहर ही क्यों ? 
नवांशहर स्टेट हाइवे पर स्थित है। शहर सड़क के दोनों ओर बसा है। ट्रैिफक के कारण पैदल और साइकिल चालकों के लिए जगह नहीं बचती। बड़े वाहनों की चपेट में आने का खतरा बना रहता है। 
यूं आया आइडिया: डीसी मित्रा ने बताया कि सड़क पर भीड़ का कारण इन्क्रोचमेंट पाया गया। दूसरी वजह निजी वाहनों की भीड़ और तीसरी वजह पैदल व साइकिल सवारों के लिए कोई अलग रास्ता नहीं होना।
चंडीगढ़ में एनएमटी: चंडीगढ़ में ज्यादातर सड़कों के साइड में एनएमटी ट्रैक बनाए गए हैं ताकि बड़ी गाड़ियों की चपेट में आने से लोगों को बचाया जा सके। यह प्रयोग यहां काफी सफल भी रहा है। इस तरह के हादसे शहर में न के बराबर ही होते हैं। 
नाटक के जरिए पढ़ाया ट्रैफिक का पाठ
अमृतसर. हादसों के खिलाफ चलाया जा रहा भास्कर महाअभियान शनिवार की शाम कंपनी बाग में सैर करने आने वाले लोगों पर भी छाप छोड़ गया। इस मौके पर साई क्रिएशन की तरफ से पेश नाटक ने जहां लोगों को जागरूक किया। वहीं लोगों ने संकल्प भी लिया कि वह ट्रैफिक नियमों का पालन करेंगे। 

साई क्रिएशन की तरफ से कलाकार गुरिंदर मकना लिखित तथा निर्देशित नाटक 'आजा मेरे शहर दी नुहार वेख लै' की थीम चरमराई ट्रैफिक व्यवस्था पर थी। इसमें कलाकारों ने इसके विभिन्न कारणों पर बड़ी ही बारीकी से रोशनी डाली। विकास के नाम पर खराब की गई सड़कें, अतिक्रमण, सड़कों पर बेशुमार वाहन, ऑटो रिक्शा की भरमार, रेड लाइट जंप करना और ट्रैफिक पुलिस में भ्रष्टाचार जैसे मुद्दे दिल को दू गए।
पोस्ट ऑफिस के कर्मचारियों ने प्रेशर हॉर्न न लगाने की कसम खाई
जालंधर/नाभा. दैनिक भास्कर महा अभियान के तहत मेन पोस्ट ऑफिस फोरम के मेंबर्स ने प्रेशर हॉर्न न लगाने का संकल्प लिया। कर्मचािरयों ने कहा, भास्कर ने आम लोगों की प्रॉब्लम समझी और सही दिशा में जागरूकता कैंपेन चलाया है। कहा, हम न तो प्रेशर हाॅर्न लगाएंगे और न ही ट्रैफिक नियम तोड़ेंगे।

नाभा| रेड लाइट को कभी क्रॉस मत करें। हेलमेट पहनकर दोपहिया वाहन चलाएं। घर से निकलते समय गाड़ी के कागज चेक करें। शराब पीकर गाड़ी कभी भी ड्राइव न करें। गांव तूंगा के सरकारी स्कूल में बच्चों ने ट्रैफिक जागरूकता रैली निकाली। हाथ में बैनर लेकर वह पूरे गांव में घूमे। 
बठिंडा: भोखड़ा स्कूल में ट्रैफिक अवेयरनेस को लेकर स्टूडेंट्स की हुई प्रतियोगिता
बठिंडा. ट्रैफिक नियमों से अपडेट करने के लिए मानवी अधिकार सुरक्षा संगठन के प्रोजेक्ट मिशन रीच सेफ के तहत सरकारी सेकंडरी स्कूल भोखड़ा में प्रतियोगिता आधारित वर्कशाप का आयोजन किया गया। ट्रैफिक नियमों संबंधी स्कूल के 40 छात्रों से लिखित टेस्ट लिया गया। मिशन कोऑर्डीनेटर नवनीत दुग्गल ने छात्रों को नियम फॉलो करने के लिए प्रेरित किया। इधर, आर्य मॉडल सीसे  स्कूल में सुबह की सभा में ट्रैफिक अवेयरनेस वर्कशाप लगाई गई। प्रिंसिपल विपिन गर्ग ने बच्चों को सड़क पर चलने के नियमों से अवगत कराया। साथ ही बच्चों से सुरक्षित गाड़ी चलाने की सलाह दी।
लुधियाना पुलिस फेसबुक पर लोगों से मांग रही सुझाव
लुधियाना. सिटी का ट्रैफिक सिस्टम सुधारने के लिए पुलिस सोशल नेटवर्किंग साइट फेसबुक के जरिए सीधे पब्लिक के बीच पहुंच गई है। इसके लिए पुलिस ने फेसबुक पेज Traffic Police Ludhiana को सुझावों के लिए ओपन कर दिया है। इसमें पेज से जुड़ा कोई भी व्यक्ति शहर में ट्रैफिक सिस्टम को ठीक करने के बारे में अपने सुझाव दे सकता है। जिस पर पुलिस अफसर चर्चा करेंगे । 

CRRI Report quashed by HC : Civic body pulls down 15 unipoles along expressway

Hindustan Times, Gurgaon Edition 23 November 2014
Complying with the high court's orders to remove all advertisements along the expressway within 24 hours, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) dismantled 15 unipoles.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the removal of advertisements along the e-way in 24 hours.Officials have also disconnected the LED advertisement atop a DLF cybercity building.

There were 13 unipoles displaying advertisements along the highway that had been allotted on tender and two more with special permission near Ambience mall, they have all been removed. The HC has asked the department to submit a compliance report by next Friday.

According to a report submitted in court by a road safety expert, 77 sites in the city have been approved for advertisements.The court on Friday also quashed a report by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and asked the MCG to follow the instructions in the report submitted by the court-appointed road safety expert Navdeep Asija.

"We have been told to remove advertisements along the expressway and we are implementing the same. All advertisements will be removed by Saturday evening," said Vikas Yadav, MCG commissioner, Gurgaon.

According to officials, the department earns revenue of ` 1.5-2 lakh per month from each unipole. The total revenue from advertisements is approximately ` 1.2 crore per month.

"The MCG officials identified 200 locations for Unipoles and hoardings for the inspection. Out of these, 77 locations were found to be safe. These have been finalised for outdoor advertisement plan after audit and inspection in phase -1," said Asija, road safety and sustainable transport consultant.

The report further states that six unipoles are installed within 500m of IFFCO Chowk flyover and need to be removed. Of the 15 unipoles that have been dismantled, five were displaying advertisements near Iffco Chowk.

"The MCG placed a list of 125 locations including more than 30 on the national highway, which falls on existing black spots. It is requested that MCG may review its document," added the report.
The CRRI report that was sought by the MCG to review the observations of the court appointed expert had approved all 125 locations proposed by the MCG for advertisements.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Standards dodged for new Gurgaon roads

Times of India, 17th November 2014

GURGAON: The consultant appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court to study the implementation of the Integrated Mobility Plan for Gurgaon made by Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), has raised objections concerning several aspects of the plan, such as width of roads, cycle tracks and footpaths, etc.

According to the mobility plan, HUDA, HSIIDC and MCG together were to build 250 km new roads, while also undertaking repair on about 200 km of existing roads, and also building 200 km of footpaths, with cycle tracks where feasible.

Earlier this year, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) chief administrator had written to the Department of Urban Local Bodies, stating that with the exponential growth of the city and its vehicular traffic, the widths of roads sanctioned in the development plan needed to be revised. Following this, instructions were issued to all senior town planners, as well as the district town planner, to upgrade the widths of all sanctioned roads, with the width of major arterial roads raised from 60metres to 75 m, arterial roads kept the same at 60 m, width of sector roads raised from 30 m to 45 m, collector roads from 18 m to 24 m and local roads from nine metres to 12 m.

However, on its own, the high court appointed Navdeep Asija - who shot to fame with Ecocabs, his dial-a-cycle rickshaw concept that won him India's National Award of Excellence in 2011 - as an expert to study the ongoing works, as well as implementation of the Integrated Mobility Plan by various departments. In his report, which he submitted to the court on October 17, he has pointed out various anomalies in the implementation.

According to Asija's report, submitted last month, of the 200 km of footpaths to be built, 93 km was to be in HUDA areas - of which 58 km has already been completed with work in progress on another 27 km - work on the remaining 8 km not having begun yet.

The report claims that neither the length, nor the width of the footpaths being made, is as per prescribed standards.

Similarly, of the 156 km of new roads to be built by HUDA, the report claims that although work on 75 km has been completed, the widths of these new roads do not match the upgraded width specified in the chief administrator's directives.

MCG sources revealed that so far as it is concerned, building plans of neither new roads nor footpaths have been implemented, with MCG so far only having managed to appoint a consultant to build cycle tracks and cycle parking in its areas.

If true, this would be a cause for concern for the administration busy projecting Gurgaon as a global city, and an undermining of citizens' aspirations for a cyclist-friendly city, especially in the wake of Raahgiri Day's phenomenal success.

The court, meanwhile, has directed all three authorities - MCG, HUDA and HSIIDC - to submit a response to Asija's claims in his report.

Without elaborating on their responses, officials in both HUDA and MCG claimed they have submitted affidavits in the high court on the issues raised, but haven't yet received any further directives.

MCG commissioner Vikas Yadav said, "We have submitted our status report and response to Asija's complaints, and are awaiting further directions. If any alteration in implementing the mobility plan is needed, we will definitely consider it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla Fazilka (Punjab) get heritage status

Long pending demand of residents of Fazilka to give heritage status to Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla (DC residence)of Fazilka got a nod from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums, Punjab Government through its notification with the sincere efforts of Manjit Singh Brar, Deputy Commissioner.

With the heritage status to Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla (DC residence) of Fazilka, these buildings would now be looked after by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums and its inheritance look will be retained by its proper caretaking.
In Focus
It may be mentioned that local residents have launched a drive to save a 113-year-old building, Raghuvar Bhawan, and seek heritage status for it. Led by social activist Lachhman Dost, the residents daily gather before the dilapidated building. They have also tied an iron chain around the building, flashing a message "Save it from total ruin".
The building was constructed in 1901 by late Seth Munshi Ram Aggarwal, a philanthropist, in the memory of one of his relatives. He raised a garden spread over 16.36 acres of prime land on the Freedom Fighter Road around the building for cultural activities. He later constituted Lala Munshi Ram Aggarwal Public Trust and dedicated the property for promotion of educational activities.
The notifications have been issued on 21, 29 and 30 October, 2014 for Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla (DC residence) Fazilka and under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1964 for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
In view of the interest of the local residents and initiative by the district administration by taking personal interest, the Punjab Government has issued the notification for declaring the heritage status to these buildings.
The action of the government for this historical decision has been welcomed by NGOs, religious institutions, youth clubs, educationists and intellectuals. Deputy Commissioner, Manjit Singh Brar also thanked the Punjab Government for this effort.
Expressing his pleasures on the issue of notification by the Punjab Government, Brar, Deputy Commissioner said, "Efforts would be made to get the heritage status also to other more than 100 years old buildings in the district so that coming generations could be put wiser about their heritage history."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why blame only cops? System needs overhaul

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh HT, 2nd October 2014

- Navdeep Asija

There is tendency to blame the traffic police for road crashes. That instant reaction is based on the fact that the police are the only department that interacts with the common people every day on roads. But, in our system, there are over 20 departments responsible for overall road safety.

We must note that our eight decade-old legal system for road safety is designed to find faults with humans, not with authorities. Besides the driver, the vehicle and surrounding environment are also responsible for road safety. Research shows that responsibility in 54-62% cases is of road infrastructure and environment, 28-34% is of faulty vehicle and design; and 8-12% human error.

Ideally, a safe road is like a mother who informs, warns, controls, guides and even forgives errant behavior. At present, our road infrastructure punishes us.

As for Chandigarh, the administration a few years ago widened spaces for rotaries along with creation of wider slip roads for smooth flow of traffic. This made dedicated fast-lane rotaries. Rotaries/traffic circles are traffic-calming devices used to slow down the traffic. So, this technically wrong move made negotiation of traffic at rotaries miserable. Thankfully, remedial steps were taken by installing speed tables and other traffic-calming measures.

As for human errors, let me cite an example. In 2012, of the 12 female accident death victims in Chandigarh, five were on scooter and died because of not wearing a helmet. Rules say helmet is not mandatory for Sikh women; but it is difficult to identify women on scooter on the basis of religion. How do you tell? I would reserve comment on such political laws related to safety. But it is high time communities too woke up against unscientific laws.

From vehicle safety to road design, planning or in execution, police are not involved in any step. In all three conditions of road crash — pre-crash, in-crash and post-crash — police have minimal role to play. The buck has to stop somewhere but certainly not only with the traffic police. Terming road crashes as 'accidents' is also wrong in a sense. The meaning of 'accident' is 'something unavoidable'. But road crash is not an act of God. Even the World Health Organization in 2004 adopted the slogan, 'Road safety is no accident'.

Kids zipping on roads is expensive vehicle is not a matter of pride. It's a shame. Songs like 'Tere liye hi toh signal tod-tad ke' reflect our society. Parents must not feel proud if their son or daughter starts driving at the age of 14-15 with a fake licence. In the case of a crash, your kid might survive but it is possible another poor mother might lose her child! At one level, rather than blaming cops, we could be thankful to them for maintaining a minimum level of road safety in our country despite limited resources.

Writer is technical adviser to Punjab State Transport Society, and founder of Ecocabs-India. Views expressed are his personal.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fazilka entrepreneur's 'debt-free farmer' model discussed in UN forum

Dinesh K Sharma

FAZILKA: A business model enabling small and marginal farmers to hire implements for farm operations -- brainchild of a Fazilka-based entrepreneur -- was showcased in an event of United Nations in Indonesia recently.

Vikram Ahuja, proprietor of Zamindara Farm Solutions, was invited for the conference of UN's Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at Sarpong in Indonesia on September 11, where he discussed the model that helps small peasants to use hi-tech implements without the need to buy them.

On his return from the UN conference, Vikram said his "debt-free farmer" model was discussed by delegates as the event's main thrust was to make agriculture viable for small and marginal farmers.

"Smaller peasants are the worst hit in Punjab, which is the breadbasket of the country. They are forced to spend huge amount of money on buying implements despite having meagre landholdings, which puts a huge financial burden on them. Most of them are unable to pay off the debt as their earnings are not enough due to smaller land holdings. To help such farmers, we formed a company that provides implements like tractors, harrows, JCBs (excavators), rotovators, seed sowers, harvesters, fodder choppers and many more on nominal rent. We hope this model will be emulated across Punjab," said Ahuja.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In Punjab, Muktsar, Fazilka worst hit by rains

BATHINDA/MUKTSAR: With large tracts of cotton and paddy fields submerged under rain water in several districts, farmers and administration fear that crop damage would be very high this year.

Muktsar and Fazilka districts are the worst affected where huge areas of paddy and cotton fields are submerged. According to agriculture department officials, around 40,000 acres of cotton and 15,000 acres of paddy in Muktsar, over 40,000 acres of cotton and paddy in Fazilka and around 15,000 acres in Mansa were under water on Monday. The state drainage department is trying to pump out water from the fields.

Chances of further rain on Monday evening triggered panic among farmers. Efforts to drain out water have not yielded the desired results till now.

It is feared that over 15% cotton crop could be damaged and more rains could aggravate the situation.

Muktsar deputy commissioner Jaskiranjit Singh said efforts are being made to drain out water from fields and minimize the loss.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Smart Cities in India

Hoping Smart Cities would also transform their residents as smart & responsible citizen, who would love to work more towards their duties than their rights like Right to litter, deface or damage...

To me the definition of Smart city would be in which "a Woman alone can come back to her home safely by using public transport, even after finishing her work during midnight hours ".. This one aspect will cover all aspects of "Good n All Inclusive Cities", like crime free, better transport, gender equality, social inclusion and being environment friendly and sustainable..