Tuesday, November 29, 2016

No place to walk in car capital: Activist files case on behalf of pedestrians, cyclists

LUDHIANA: Ludhiana has the most four-wheelers in Punjab. The city has precisely two and a half times more cars than the national average, says Navdeep Asija, a Mohali-based traffic advisor, who was so concerned by the figures he filed a case of 'Right to walk' in Punjab and Haryana High Court. According to data compiled by Asija, a copy of which is with The Times of India, there are four cars for 100 persons in Ludhiana and Jalandhar. But Ludhiana has a higher percentage of four-wheelers at 16% with Jalandhar following closely at 15%. The number of four-wheelers per 100 persons for the state is two, or half the value for Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

As per the figures, which were compiled a few years ago, the projected estimated vehicle population for 2016 from the year 2000 is 10,29,199 for Ludhiana followed by Jalandhar at 6,46,980. But the total vehicle count per 100 people in Jalandhar is 28, followed by Ludhiana at 27.

"We compiled the data of four-wheelers because most of the public money is going to facilitate 4% of the population and nothing is left for the poor who walk or cycle. Crores are being spent on that but there's not a kilometer long footpath where people can walk. I have been fighting for the right to walk since 2010 and have filed a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. I think no citizen should be deprived of walking. Pedestrians and cyclists are a minority community on roads and my fight is for them. The one who has less in life should have more in law", said Navdeep. After studying the MC budget, he said spending on footpaths for pedestrians and cyclists is negligible

This is corroborated by cyclists and walkers who are hardpressed for space. "Though it is good that the government is spending money on roads, they should not ignore the fact that a sizeable percentage of people in Ludhiana also walk and cycle. They should be given better facilities on roads, including footpaths and cycling tracks", said Davinder Nagi, President, Ludhiana Peddlers Club.

The traffic advisor says he wants walking to be included as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which would guarantee a healthy life to every citizen as walking is good for health. MC officials said this year's budget for repair and construction of roads in the city was Rs 280 crore. Of this, they said, around Rs 2 to Rs 3 crore was for repair of footpaths.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

JK Rifles honours families of Kargil war martyrs

TNN | Updated: Oct 15, 2016, 07:40 IST
Fazilka: Kin of soldiers martyred during the Kargil war of 1999 were honoured by the JK Rifles Regiment at Fazilka on Friday. Among those felicitated on the occasion included Kamla Devi, mother of Sepoy Ashok Kumar, who sacrificed his life in Operation Vijay during the Kargil conflict 17 years ago. Sepoy was the only son of Kamla, who had come from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh for the felicitation ceremony held to mark the Golden Jubilee of JK Rifles. Speaking on the occasion, she said: "The mere sight of a soldier reminds me of my son in olive green who died young fighting for the nation. This honour brought back memories of the day he died."
While recollecting her memories, Neena Singh, wife of Sepoy Sandhur Singh, said their elder daughter Dipika was just two years old, while the other daughter Yashika was just one month old when her husband sacrificed his life for the nation. "It was a very tough time, but at the same time, I feel proud to be the wife of a martyr. The government supported us at that critical time, and now both my daughters are pursuing higher studies," said Neena, who had come to attend the celebration with her two daughters.
Another Veer Naari (war widow), Lata Bhardwaj, wife of Sepoy Gian Chand from Bilaspur in HP, said though she lost her man, such honour ceremonies reminded her of the supreme sacrifice made by her husband. "My world had come crashing down the day we received the news of my husband's martyrdom. But I have decided to send my only son Vivek to the army. It has to be a family legacy, and my son will carry it forward," she added. Like Lata, there were many other war widows who expressed their desire to send their children to the army, as second generation soldiers. Anju Lata, widow of Sepoy Veer Singh from Kangra in Himachal, also expressed her wish to send her daughter Mansi to serve the Indian Army.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/JK-Rifles-honours-families-of-Kargil-war-martyrs/articleshow/54861623.cms

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Focus and celebrate your commitment & results will come: Isha Kalia DC Fazilka

DC Isha Kalia proves it again

Focus and celebrate your commitment & results will come: Isha Kalia DC Fazilka

Dedication to work is her first and foremost priority

By : Amrit Pal Singh Brar
First Published : Tuesday, Oct 04, 2016 08:25 PM
Updated : Tuesday, Oct 04, 2016 09:12 PM
  • Fazilika: 4 October, 2016: Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough. This is what a young lady IAS officer, Isha Kalia is made off. Dedication to work is her first and foremost priority. Her smiling face, her hope to do things and devotion works as a magic wand.

    Isha Kalia have proved it, the way she had handled the relief camps in Fazilka, it's a remarkable work. She has won the hearts of the people.

    It was the afternoon of the 29th September, when she received orders from the state government to set up relief camps for people who are going to be evacuated from the border villages. A decision was taken by the state government to immediately evacuate the villagers from the 10 km deep area near the Indo-Pak border.  

    (Isha Kalia interacting with a woman at relief camp)

    Time has come for action, process and carrying out a duty towards the nation. Following the orders, Isha Kalia convenes an "urgent situation" meeting of her team, ADC Charandev Mann, SDM Subash Khatak and all her district heads. The issue was to set up relief camps and side by side to motivate the villagers for evacuation. Within six hours the entire set up was given a practical shape and by midnight 22 relief camps came into being.  

    Same day, Isha Kalia started her mission to visit each relief camp personally and by late night, she covered all the camps. "Never seen such a bureaucrat filled up with devotion & humane approach. My head bows before her commitment towards duty" said one of her team member, who accompanied her.

    (Food being served in the camp)

    Now more than 4000 (four thousand) people are in the 16 operational relief camps. Day to day requirements of the evacuees are being looked after by the teams set up for this purpose. One officer has been made in charge of four villages. Whattsapp group has been created to monitor the relief work. CCTV cameras have been installed for surveillance. Sanitation teams, medical teams, cleaning teams and cooking teams are working round the clock. Fogging is being done in all camps, mosquito coils, soaps for washing & bathing are being provided for peoples comfort. Isha Kalia herself visits almost all the camps daily to get feedback and improve the things.

    Babushahi.com team visited the camps and met Isha Kalia to know the status of the camps. Isha Kalia said "Initially, we have setup 22 relief centres, at present 16 centres are operational. People did not turn in rest of the centres".

    Isha further disclosed 'We have also arranged schools and anganwadis at the camps. A movie is screened on every evening in the camps for entertainment". From today, I have started holding "Nari Choupal" also from camp at Churiwala Dhanna. I go and speak to kids & ladies regarding general issues added Isha Kalia.

    Isha Kalia further said "We are monitoring the status of the relief camps and the requirements needed there on a whattasapp group, besides holding meetings. I am personally visiting the camps on daily basis. My district officers are working with zeal and taken it as mission". Focus and celebrate your commitment & results will come says Isha Kalia. (amritbrar2012@gmail.com)

    (Medical team on work in the camp)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

"आज का दिन बड़ा महान, आज के दिन दो फूल खिले थे, जिनसे महका हिंदुस्तान"

"आज का दिन बड़ा महान, आज के दिन दो फूल खिले थे, जिनसे महका हिंदुस्तान"

- I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent - Mahatma Gandhi 

- An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - Mahatma Gandhi 

- I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life - Mahatma Gandhi 

- We want freedom for our country, but not at the expense or exploitation of others, not us to degrade other countries…I want the freedom of my country so that other countries may learn something from my free country so that the resources of my country might be utilized for the benefit of mankind - Lal Bahadur Shashtri


Sunday, September 25, 2016

ख़ून अपना हो या पराया हो

ख़ून अपना हो या पराया हो
नस्ले-आदम का ख़ून है आख़िर
जंग मग़रिब में हो कि मशरिक में
अमने आलम का ख़ून है आख़िर

बम घरों पर गिरें कि सरहद पर
रूहे-तामीर ज़ख़्म खाती है
खेत अपने जलें या औरों के
ज़ीस्त फ़ाक़ों से तिलमिलाती है

टैंक आगे बढें कि पीछे हटें
कोख धरती की बाँझ होती है
फ़तह का जश्न हो कि हार का सोग
जिंदगी मय्यतों पे रोती है

इसलिए ऐ शरीफ इंसानो
जंग टलती रहे तो बेहतर है
आप और हम सभी के आँगन में
शमा जलती रहे तो बेहतर है। 

Sahir Ludhianvi

Monday, August 22, 2016

Isha Kalia DC of Fazilka :A smiling face with a strong mind

Ushering a new era based on transparency & development

 
Fazilka : The high profile Deputy Commissioner, Isha Kalia has captured many tags in the recent past, such as, Udaan girl, Sanitation champion, due to her hard working frame of in the last two years. After taking over as Deputy Commissioner of Fazilka, Isha Kalia took several steps to provide fair and transparent administration, formulated beautification plan for public places   and also outlined an agenda to accelerate the development works. She is famous for doing things in her own way. Media team tracked her activities and spent a day with her in the district administrative complex on Wednesday. True to her style, after joining at Fazilka, Isha Kalia created history by starting construction of 967 latrines in a single day in the whole district.  This endeavor was named as "Mission 1000". This first of its kind massive action of district administration was designed by Isha Kalia with an aim to give an impetus to the swatch Bharat mission. The action got the positive reception from the state administration. Later on, many other districts followed this model. To mitigate the problems and to solve the grievances of the people, Isha Kalia has decided to dedicate the first day of the each month to redress the grievances in a special open public grievance redress camp, which is held in the DAC. Besides this, she is open to the public meets whole day, without any fixed meeting hours. People flock at her office; she gave an audience to more than 500 people in her office on Wednesday. "It is regular feature," says one of her subordinate officials. It denotes people's reliance on her. To speed up the development works and to keep on regular monitoring of the projects, Isha Kalia introduced a new monitoring mechanism, named as "Field Friday" (FFD). It mandates that every Friday of the week, teams of administration including her (Isha) will fan out in the field to check out the ongoing developments works in the rural & urban areas, besides interacting with people to get feedback. FFD has proved very successful as the unreasonable delay in the works has been cut down. How did you conceive the idea of massive action named "Mission 1000"? Asked media Isha Kalia said "I wanted to send a strong message across that this is an important task and we need to get serious. So to give a mass effect, we wanted to celebrate mission 1000". It breeds a sense of collective responsibility added Isha. Isha Kalia further disclosed "We have formulated a plan to beautify the public places in the city. We are focussing on aesthetics. Fly over and school buildings have been chosen for this purpose".  NGOs have been involved in this task. We are also revamping the anganwadi buildings said Isha. We are organising health camps in the slum areas especially for the women and children disclosed Isha Kalia. Answering a query, Isha said "My top priority is to provide transparent and accountable administration to the people along with maximum monitoring of the development projects". We want to finish all the works in a stipulated period added Isha Kalia.   DC Isha Kalia is ushering a new era based on transparency and driven by a desire to foster real and lasting perfection for the people in the district.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rs 100-cr beverage manufacturing unit to boost economy of Fazilka


Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, Ferozepur

In a major boost for the economy of the border district of Fazilka, Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Private Limited (SDDPL) launched its Rs 100 crore project of a fully-integrated aseptic beverage manufacturing facility with support from Tetra Pak in a plant located at International Mega Food Park, Fazilka.

The facility was inaugurated by the organization's president Francois Salamon, chairman and managing director Amitabha Ray and Kandarp Singh, managing director of Tetra Pak South Asia Markets.

Salamon said, "The market for aseptic beverages in India is growing exponentially and there is a lot of untapped potentials. This, along with Indian government's support in developing food parks has given us the impetus to invest in a second facility."

"With Tetra Pak, we will continue to build strong relationships with beverage manufacturers, to offer consumers safe and high-quality products," he claimed.

Aseptic beverages offer high quality and safe products with long shelf life without the need for refrigeration or preservatives. SDDPL is India's first dedicated contract packer for food in Tetra Pak cartons and uses Tetra Pak's advanced processing and packaging technology to partner leading food and beverage companies like PepsiCo, Nestle, Danone, Britannia and Hector Beverages.

"Currently, brands like Tropicana, Nestle and Paper Boat are processed and packed in SDDPL's plant at Baramati, Maharashtra," said an official.

"With our existing plant at Baramati running at full capacity, this new integrated facility will increase our production capabilities and give us a geographical advantage to cater to consumers in north India, who account for 50% of the country's aseptic beverage consumption," said Ray.

"We have set the benchmark for contract packaging in the country and are committed to assisting them in bringing more beverage manufacturers into the aseptic beverage sector," he added.  

"This investment of using Tetra Pak technology is the first major investment in the International Mega Food Park. I am glad, SDDPL chose to partner us," said Sukhinder Singh, chairman & managing director of International Mega Food Park Ltd.


http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/rs-100-cr-beverage-manufacturing-unit-to-boost-economy-of-fazilka/story-CZpCzlbp2cLOtBHjTNAj0J.html

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

पेड़ हमसे बड़े क्यूँ होते हैं - एक सामाजिक पहलू

‪#‎ILoveFazilka‬
जब हम इस दुनिया को छोड़ के जाते है, जब सभी रिश्तेदार और मित्र हमें आग के हवाले कर घर की और वापिस चल पड़ते है तो यह पेड़ हमारे सच्चे दोस्त , हमारे साथ ही जल रहे होते है । जब इस दुनिया में आते हैं , पहली साँस लेने से लेकर अंतिम यात्रा तक यह हमारे सच्चे दोस्त हमेशा साथ । धुप, छाओं , बारिश , सर्दी, गर्मी हमेशा साथ, एक सच्चा दोस्त । आईये इस मौसम में हम भी, दोस्ती निभाए, एक पेड़ लगाये । एक जगह ढूंढिए जहां आप अपने इस दोस्त को महफूज़ रख सके, और घुमा दीजिये एक फ़ोन हमें 9915184000, और स्मार्ट फ़ोन हैं तो "Anand Utsav" app डाउनलोड कीजिये हमें लोकेशन बताईये। हाज़िर हो जाएगी टीम आपकी सेवा में । दोस्ती के इस वैलेंटाइन मेँ आइये पेड़ लगाईये ।Anand Utsav

Monday, July 11, 2016

Anand Utsav to kick off in Fazilka today

  • This environment festival, which was started in 2010 by local residents, has seen around 50 per cent survival rates in the saplings that they have planted till date

The annual two-week long Anand Utsav will begin on Sunday in Fazilka district. The fifth edition of the festival celebrates nature and this year, the theme is 'save the house sparrow and increase biodiversity in the district'.
"Under Project Sparrow, the idea is to increase their nesting spots by planting shrubs and plants," said Navdeep Asija of Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka, the main organisation behind the festival. "Over the years the house sparrow numbers have been dwindling. We have sought help from leading horticulturists and nurseries in the effort."
Dial-a-Tree service
Also planned is a unique phone service called Dial-a-Tree. Under this, residents who wish to plant a tree at a spot can call on 99 151 840 00 or e-mail the organisers at contact@lovefazilka.in.
"A green ambulance with saplings, manure, tools and volunteers will help to plant saplings," said Asija. "This is a free service intended to serve the higher cause of making our district, and the planet, a little greener."
One resident can get up to five saplings, which organizers say is to ensure that the caretaker takes good care of saplings instead of going on a planting spree only to see them die later.
"We have a target of planting 5,000 saplings. We do not go by trend of planting lakhs of saplings. The idea here is that an individual who gets one saplings planted takes care of it and see it growing into a tree. To plant saplings in bulk and then seeing them dying is not our motive," said Asija.
The non-planned town Fazilka, close to the Indo-Pak border, has a green cover of less then one percent at present.
This environment festival, which was started in 2010 by local residents, has seen around 50 per cent survival rates in the saplings that they have planted till date.
"The sapling will be planted only if the caller undertakes an oath in front of our 'green warriors' along with a written pledge that he/she will take care of it," said Asija. Additional deputy commissioner Fazilka Isha Kalia will inaugurate the green festival on Sunday.
"The ambulance service will start on Monday and continue till the end of the festival. We may extend it if the response is overwhelming," he said.
Isha Kalia told The Sunday Express, "Due to their busy schedule, people who would love to plant a tree are unable to do so. We try to bridge that gap."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

बॉर्डर पर है मजार, अपनी-अपनी सीमा में ऐसे माथा टेक कर चले जाते हैं श्रद्धालु - Peer Baba Rehmat Shah Mazar at Fazilka Indo-Pak Border

फाजिल्का (पंजाब).भारत-पाक सीमा की जीरो लाइन पर तारबंदी के पास भारतीय क्षेत्र में बनी मजार पीर बाबा रहमत शाह में दोनों देशों के बाशिंदों की आस्था है। हर साल जून महीने में यहां मेला लगता है। इस बार भी मेला लगा है। भारत की ओर से हजारों श्रद्धालु माथा टेकने तो आते ही हैं, हजारों पाकिस्तानी भी यहां सजदा करने आते हैं। ऐसे टेक कर चले जाते हैं माथा...
- शनिवार को पाकिस्तान की ओर से कुछ श्रद्धालु ट्रैक्टर पर पाक रेंजरों के सख्त पहरे के बीच पीर बाबा रहमत शाह की मजार पर माथा टेकने आए।
- लेकिन दो देश की सरहदों की मजबूरी के चलते उन्हें दूर से ही पाक क्षेत्र की जमीन पर खड़े होकर माथा टेकने की इजाजत मिली।
- श्रद्धालु यहां कुछ देर रहे और दूर से ही माथा टेककर अपने क्षेत्र रवाना हो गए।
69 साल से है आस्था का केंद्र
- मजार पर माथा टेकने आए सुखदेव सिंह व गुरविंदर सिंह का कहना है कि उनके पिता व दादा बताते थे कि बंटवारे से पहले सीमा के दोनों ओर बसे लोगों में पीर के प्रति काफी आस्था थी।
- लोगों का यह मानना था कि मजार पर सिर झुकाने वाले हर श्रद्धालु की मुराद पूरी होती है।
- इसीके चलते बंटवारे के 69 साल बाद भी भारत-पाक के श्रद्धालुओं की इस मजार के प्रति आस्था कम नहीं हुई है।
- भले ही दोनों देशों के बीच सरहद के रूप में सीमा हो। पर आज भी बाशिंदों की आस्था सरहद पर भारी है।

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Punjab upset with traffic adviser Navdeep Asija, to replace him

The Punjab government on Friday told the Punjab and Haryana high court its intent to drop state traffic adviser Navdeep Asija, whose series of reports have put the SAD-BJP government in the dock.
State advocate general Ashok Aggarwal told the high court bench of justice Surya Kant and justice Ajay Tewari that Asija's appointment was not done under the rules for public appointments. Hence, state would advertise the post afresh.
During the hearing, Aggarwal said Asija thought that he was a "tribunal in himself" and would not report to anybody. "Such terms and conditions are not acceptable to me.," Aggarwal told high court bench during the hearing of traffic-related issues of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Asija, who has been assisting the high court on traffic-related issues for over four years now, was appointed traffic adviser by the state government in September 2015. The high court had made suggestion in this regard in 2014. Asija's reports had been embarrassing the government in the court as well as in public.
The big-ticket project of the Samrala-Ladowal elevated road was stayed by high court in April this year on Asija's report. On Friday, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had to field senior advocate of Supreme Court Gopal Subramaniam and Aggarwal represented the state to defend the project.
It was also on Asija's report of that high court had ordered that the SAS Nagar administration should not spend more on foot overbridges as they were not constructed in keeping in view road traffic engineering. The foot overbridges were cleared in a meeting chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. In another embarrassment to state government, Asija had alleged lapses in award of contract for bus shelters in Ludhiana.
"How do you make your appointments in advocate general office? We are aware of it. He is here for a public cause and has been doing so for years. We have not stopped anybody (from assisting court in public interest matters). Let your experts also come here," the high court bench observed clarifying that Asija's name was suggested by the court as he was assisting court in traffic-related issues for four-five years.
Later, the court said that the state should not make a big issue out of it and could amend terms of engagement with Asija, if desired so as it was state that had employed him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CM clears site plan for Nature-cum-Monument at village sitogunno in Fazilka district

  • UNIQUE PROJECT A REAL TRIBUTE TO NATURE LOVER AMRITA DEVI AND BISHNOI COMMUNITY
  • 363 JAND TREES TO BE PLANTED IN NAME OF EACH BISHNOI WHO SACRIFICED HIS LIFE FOR THIS NOBLE CAUSE
  • 363 ft. TALL MINARET TO ALSO BE INSTALLED IN THE NATURE PARK
Chandigarh, May 24: The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today approved the site plan of the nature park-cum-monument to come up over an area of five acres in village Sitogunno (Abohar) in district Fazilka in the fond memory of legendary nature lover Amrita Devi Bishnoi and 363 other residents from Bishnoi community.

Presiding over a meeting to develop the nature park-cum-monument, the Chief Minister asked the Financial Commissioner (Forests) to complete the entire project within four months. The Chief Minister also decided to plant 363 Jand trees also known as Khejri (Prosopis Cineraria) in the upcoming nature park with the inscription of their names on each tree to eulogize the supreme sacrifice of Bishnoi community for saving trees. He also gave a nod to install 363 ft. tall minaret (minar) in memory of these passionate lovers of nature.

It may be recalled that the nature lover Amrita Devi Bishnoi sacrificed her life along with her three daughters' viz. Asu, Ratni and Bhagu in the year 1730 to save green tress being felled by the Maharaja of Jodhpur at a place known as Khejarli in Marwar, Rajasthan, where all the 363 persons laid down their lives in order to protect trees.

The Chief Minister also directed the Technical Advisor Lt. Gen. (retd.) BS Dhaliwal, to visit the site along with the officials of Departments of Architecture and Forests, to chalk out the modalities for execution of this prestigious project within the stipulated time frame.

Briefing the Chief Minister about the project, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests said that the village panchayats of Sitogunno would soon transfer the requisite land for this purpose to the Forest Department to initiate the project forthwith. He also informed Mr. Badal that the department had already obtained the list of the members of bishnoi community, who sacrificed their lives for this noble cause so as to enable us to inscribe their names on the plates to be fixed along with the planting of jand saplings.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Financial Commissioner Forests Mr. Viswajeet Khanna, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Kuldeep Kumar, Joint Additional Principal Secretary to CM Mr. Kumar Amit, Technical Advisor to Punjab Government Lt. Gen (retd.) BS Dhaliwal and Senior Architect (East) Mrs. Abha J Sharma.

Monday, May 23, 2016

400 trees axed for raising PUDA colony in Fazilka

Praful Chander Nagpal
Fazilka, May 22



At least 400 trees planted during the British era in the eco-sensitive zone of Fazilka town adjoining extinct Badha Lake have been axed for constructing the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) colony.

The cutting of trees and the construction of the colony is in progress, even though the National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently ordered that not a single tree would be axed in the state without its permission.

The state government had transferred 5.5 acres in favour of PUDA under the optimum utilisation of vacant government land scheme in 2011 at meagre amount of Rs 2 crore.

The PUDA decided to raise a colony and allotted 56 freehold residential plots. Residents of Fazilka opposed the proposal tooth and nail. They also launched the Chipko movement (embrace the trees campaign) to save the rare varieties of trees planted more than a century ago during the British regime. The trees were providing a natural shelter to the Fazilka wildlife and also home to national bird peacock.

Following the eco-fragile zone, Vans Pat Agnew, the first British Officer stationed in the area selected this place for setting up surveillance station of East India Company in 1844 and built a bungalow on the banks of the horseshoe lake of Badha on the outskirts of Fazilka town due to beautiful flora and fauna. The bungalow still exists and is currently the official residence of the Deputy Commissioner, Fazilka.

The residents alleged that the impact on the ecology of the town had not been redressed while carving out the colony.

"Fazilka already has less than 1 percent area under forestation and cutting of old trees has further worsened the situation. The PUDA should plant new saplings in Fazilka to compensate for the loss," said Navdeep Asija, General Secretary of a leading NGO, Graduates Welfare Association, Fazilka.

On May 19, the NGT had asked the government to produce original records pertaining to permission for felling trees, particularly in Nawanshahr and Jalandhar districts. It directed that a senior officer be present on the next date of hearing on July 8 and an affidavit be filed by the Principal Secretary of the department concerned.

Monday, May 16, 2016

E-rickshaws okayed for city as fleet - Chandigarh E-Rickshaw

Deepak Yadav
Chandigarh: Times of India, Page 1 16th May 2016

The State Transport Authority (STA) has finally prepared the e-rickshaw policy following a detailed study by Navdeep Asija -a national awardee of excellence, and founder of Dial-aCycle Rickshaw. The policy suggests that e-rickshaws should largely provide connectivity from within the sectors to the main roads. The policy -which is going to be submitted to senior UT officials for implementation -also speaks about a proper system for registration of vehicles and distribution of licences.
As connectivity from sectors to main roads is one of the key points in policy , the focus will be to avoid e-rickshaws in large numbers on main roads.Moreover, experts suggest handing out e-rickshaws as a fleet to entrepreneurs and companies, instead of individuals. Availability of proper recharging stations for e-rickshaws is also one of the crucial elements of the policy .

The policy also speaks of providing proper registration cards (RCs) and licences for these e-rickshaws. The e-rickshaws also need to be technically approved as per the guidelines of the central government. Then, there are issues related to their power capacity and certification. Once the policy is notified, the number of e-rickshaws introduced in the first phase will be decided.As introducing e-rickshaws is one of the prime projects to strengthen the city's transport system, the administration has been working on it for several months. Sources confirmed once the policy is notified, people will get better transport for shorter distances. Asija said: "Chandigarh is an ideal place to introduce e-rickshaws, but it should be introduced as a fleet, and not to individuals, keeping financial viability in mind.There is a need for multi-modal integration of transport, proper connectivity , and backup infrastructure. Some people have the wrong impression that e-rickshaws are a replacement for cycle rickshaws, but the fact is they will replace auto-rickshaws."