Sunday, December 14, 2014
Thursday, December 11, 2014
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
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.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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
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.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
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
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Thursday, September 4, 2014
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..