Top Headlines of the Day
1. PGIMER OPDs will reopen from November 2
PGIMER has decided to reopen its departments of general surgery, medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and ophthalmology from November 2.
Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has already opened its OPDs. OPDs at the Sector-32 institute along with other hospitals were closed on March 19, a day after the first case of Covid Bambiha -19 surfaced in Chandigarh.
To ensure adequate social and physical distancing, a fixed number of patients will be seen in each OPD, which will be decided by the respective department heads. Officials said directions for purchasing the necessary safety equipment have also been given.
2. Pvt schools unlikely to reopen on November 2
Private schools in Chandigarh are unlikely to resume physical classes from November 2 as they have not received the consent of the parents of the minimum 50 percent students, the mark set by the Independent Schools Association (ISA).
“To date, the response of parents is not so good. It will be tough for teachers to take both online and physical classes. We will continue with the online mode of teaching,” said HS Mamik, president, ISA.
3. Govt schools can now charge the entire fee
The DSE and the DEO on Thursday announced that the government schools shall collect a monthly fee from classes IX and X students from October. It was clarified that annual funds had been waived for a period from April to September. It meant that schools can collect half of the annual funds along with monthly fees from October onwards.
4. Chandigarh MC House revokes hike in water charges, admin to take the final call
Pending approval of the UT administration, the municipal corporation on Thursday decided to roll back the increase in water charges notified in September.
The resolution passed in the General House meeting asked for a continuation of the rates effective before the new rates, comprising a hike of up to 200%, were notified by the administration on September 11.
“We will send the House decision to the administration. But, till a new notification is issued by UT to this effect, the increased tariff notified in September will remain in force,” said MC commissioner KK Yadav.
Leader of Opposition and Congress councilor Devinder Singh Babla trained guns at mayor Raj Bala Malik over her alleged failure to deliver on any development agendas and demanded her resignation.
Even as most BJP councilors stood up in the mayor’s defense, she responded to the Congress demand, saying, “I will not resign. I was not elected by you (Congress). We are 20 and you only five.”
5. Chandigarh employees move High Court over delay
The UT Employees CHB Housing Welfare Society has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions for the time-bound implementation of the UT Employees Self-Financing Housing Scheme-2008.
In a civil miscellaneous application, petitioners Phool Kumar Saini and others submitted that despite the land having been earmarked for the scheme in 2009, the project has not commenced even as more than 10 years have passed.
Flats were to come up in Sector 52, 56
The scheme was launched in 2008 for the employees of the UT Administration, its boards, corporations, the High Court, etc. Nearly 7,811 applications were received for the allotment of flats and 3,930 of these were accepted after a draw in 2010. Nearly Rs29 crore was deposited by the allottees. The flats were to be constructed in Sectors 52 and 56 by the CHB.
6. Covid casts a shadow on PGI-Sarangpur flyover
The Covid-19 pandemic has cast its shadow on the proposed elevated road from the PGI to Sarangpur village. The project is likely to be delayed due to the shortage of funds.
An official of the Engineering Department said their priority was to complete the ongoing projects in the city. It would not be easy to secure funds from the Centre during a pandemic for a new project, he said, adding that the department could not carry out the work in the absence of the required funds.
7. Chandigarh begins process to procure electric buses
To give a new dimension to the eco-friendly transport system in the city, the UT Administration will soon get a fleet of 80 electric buses.
The Centre had last month sanctioned 80 electric buses for the UT under Phase-II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme.
After getting the green light from the Centre, the UT Administration has started the process for the procurement of the buses. Under the scheme, the Centre will provide an Rs50-lakh subsidy for each bus to the seller.
The procurement of the buses will give a major boost to the plan of the UT Administration to replace its entire fleet of ordinary buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) with electric buses.
At present, the CTU has 514 buses — 361 buses run on local or suburban routes, and 153 buses run on inter-state routes.
8. GMCH-32 to shut 200-bed Covid care center as active cases plunge below 5%
With the active case ratio dropping below 5%, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at Sector 32 will be closing its 200-bed Covid care center set up at Sood Dharamshala in the next two days after the current batch of patients will be discharged after completing the isolation period.
Officials said as the number of cases has seen a major dip and recoveries have also reached around 94% after a surge in September, in the coming days, patients who will not opt for home isolation will be admitted to Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College and Hospital in Sector 46 and the government hospital in Sector 47. Besides the active cases of infections, the number of hospitalized patients from Chandigarh has also dropped below 100, officials said.
9. Overcharging by roadside vendors burning holes in Chandigarh residents’ pockets
Already reeling under exorbitant prices of onions, Chandigarh residents allege roadside vendors are overcharging for other vegetables as well in the absence of a check on their pricelist.
With apni mandis closed, residents say they are forced to rely on roadside vendors and those who have set up temporary stalls. But, their prices are not being monitored.
On Thursday, HT found that capsicum and tomatoes were the most overpriced. Vendors in Sectors 18, 19, 35, 46, and 48 were found selling capsicum for Rs 120 a kg against the market committee’s price of Rs 70 per kg, while tomatoes, priced at Rs 55 per kg, were being sold for Rs 70 per kg.