2017- the year gave many reasons to Chandigarhians to cheer, but it did make us cry in disgust over the increasing crimes in Chandigarh-the city beautiful.
Before we welcome the new year 2018 with new resolves and excitement, let’s revisit the year 2017 that has been for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.
Chandigarh saw a lots of ups and downs. Let’s revisit those moments from 2017.
Yes, Chandigarh finally got its own TEDx. This was the first time the event had taken place in the city. Ravi Singh, Ssumier S Pasricha(Pammi Aunty), Abhinav Bindra – just to name a few eminent speakers at the event had captivated the audience with their intelligent words. TEDx 2018 will be held on 21st Jan.
A Chandigarh-based Institute For Blind has designed special ballot papers in Punjabi braille language on an order by the Punjab election office. All EVMs have Braille impressions so no extra assistance is required from others. The printing of these specially designed ballot papers have been done in the institute.
A 40-year-old man, Ekam Singh Dhillion, a property dealer, was found murdered in Phase 3B1 by the police with his body stuffed in large suitcase in BMW parked outside his house. His wife, Sirat and an accomplice had performed this heinous act and escaped. Later, she herself surrendered before the police and confessed her crime. The police had also booked Sirat’s mother Jaswinder Kaur and brother Vinay Partap Singh.
Three men shot dead a 40-year-old transporter, Satnam Singh, from Hoshiarpur in broad daylight near Sector 38 gurudwara in Chandigarh. The victim was sarpanch of Khurdan in Hoshiarpur’s Garhdiwala tehsil. Preliminary investigation says the murder was done due to personal enmity. A case has been registered against Tirath, Bobby, Arshdeep and another unidentified person, all from Hoshiarpur.
Police and PU students clashed on 11th April, 2017, over tuition fee hike for the 2017-18 session. The hike was necessary to fight the financial crunch the PU is facing. Students were lathi-charged. Water canon and tear gas were also used. The students then resorted to stone pelting on police. 66 students were arrested on charges of sedition. The situation soon became ugly with students and police scuffle. The violence started when students tried to force their way into Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover’s office and were stopped by the police, who were already present in the campus.
There’s going to be another cricket stadium in Mohali district, in Mullanpur also known as New Chandigarh. The construction has already started and a boundary wall has already come up. With increased seating capacity and parking facilities, this stadium will bring relief to residents near PCA stadium, Mohali, who face inconveniences during matches held in the venue.
The Delhi-Chandigarh section now has a high speed of 160 kmph. The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) rolled out its first rake of 19 coaches by the end of May. The Tejas express has awesome new facilities.
Against all expectations, Chandigarh failed to even feature in top 10 cleanest cities of India. Chandigarh was ranked 11th in 2017. In 2016, the city held 2nd position.
Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal and Indian Council of Medical Research submitted reports pointing out the alarming health crisis in the country, with Chandigarh right on top. With diabetes cases rising at an alarming rate in the country, Chandigarh has earned the sickening title of being the ‘Diabetes capital of India’. Get healthy, Chandigarh.
To develop Chandigarh as a Smart City, UT administrator VP Singh Badnore launched as many as nine projects. From building a cycle track, initiating digital pre-booking of parking slots, building a subway connecting Sector-17 and Rose garden, there’s a lot of new and exciting projects in store.
The pride of Chandigarh, the premium shopping and eat-out destination in the UT was sold out to Blackstone, the a US-based equity firm. Blackstone is also the largest holder of office space in India. The deal was made at a whopping 2,200-crore(estimated).
Images of Chandigarh Airport being submerged in water, during the monsoons, surfaced on the web in July. The news spread like wild fire and the post had gone viral. Later on, it was found out that the images belonged to Ahmedabad airport during the 2015 monsoons.
A news which made international headlines, also revealed the dark side of the city. A 10-year-old was found to be 3-months pregnant when tests were conducted for an abdomen pain. On investigation, it was found out that she was raped multiple times by her two uncles. Both the accused were tried in court and were awarded a life sentence until death. Her parents submitted a plea for abortion to the local court, and then the SC, but it was rejected on medical grounds. The victim gave birth to a baby girl in August. The baby girl was adopted by a wealthy couple from Maharashtra in December.
The CBI Court in Panchkula had held Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of charges of raping two ‘sadhvis’ on Aug.25. Following the conviction, there was heavy rioting in Panchkula. Government building and press vehicles were gutted down in fire. The punishment was announced on Aug. 28 awarding the Baba with 20 years of imprisonment. Later his accomplice, Honeypreet was also arrested for inciting riots in Panchkula.
Chandigarh International airport was closed down for repairs, extension of runway and installation of new landing system. As a result, all national and international flights had been stopped from operation on Sundays. The timings had also been altered from 5 am to 4 am. The airport will also be closed from Feb. 12 to 26 in 2018.
Monsoons turned ugly for the Tricity when it constantly poured for three hours. As a result, Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula were submerged in water. Many areas were waterlogged and traffic was stranded for hours. The rains uncovered major flaws in municipal operations of the Tricity. People were even planning to issue a case against the respective MCs.
Varnika Kundu, a DJ and daughter of an IAS officer from Haryana was stalked by the politically affluent son of Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, Vikas Barala. On August 5, 2017, he and his friend, Ashish Kumar, stalked and even tried to abduct the Varnika from her vehicle in the wee hours of the morning. She was shamed publicly by political fraternity. Yet she faced the situation courageously. The accused and his friend’s bail plea had been rejected for the fourth time.
Panchkula residents came up with a unique way to embarrass Panchkula MC for their negligient behaviour towards the maintenance of roads. A week-long protest, मेरा गड्ढा, मेरा गौरव (My Pothole, My Pride) was organised. Starting from September 17, a team of 15-16 people of Swaraj Abhiyaan Panchkula, highlight the potholes with chuna or slaked lime.
Virtuous Retail South Asia (VRSA), bought North Country Mall for a whopping Rs 700 crore. Now, the new owners are have changed the name to VR Punjab.
A 28-year old lady had gone to a coffee shop to meet her friends. When she got to her car and was ready to drive back to her home, she noticed a man fondling herself. As she tried to escape in her vehicle, he barged in and started molesting. Due to her presence of mind, the lady was able to raise an alarm, gather people and save her modesty.
A 21-yr-old girl was returning home when she was gangraped by three men in a secluded jungle in Sector 53. She had boarded a shared auto rickshaw from sector -37 which already had two men in it. The accused auto driver, along with two other accomplices, then took her to jungle are opposite to the filling station and raped her there and leaving her in an unconscious state.
Three innocent children were murdered brutally and their bodies were dumped in Panchkula’s Morni forest. The murder was committed by the uncle at the father’s behest.
The UT’s first ever 3-D crossing was created at the Sector 7-26 dividing road on Sunday. Part of a pilot project by the MC of Chandigarh, this 3-d zebra crossing creates an illusion that the road is either dug up or elevated. This has been done in view of increasing driver safety.
After many delays finally, Chandigarh finally got direct air-connectivity with Bangkok. On this route, Air India operates four times a week.
Season’s greetings from Indian Railways for travelers on Chandigarh-New Delhi route were just awesome. Under much appreciated ‘Swarn’ initiative which aims to bring gold standard service delivery in railways, the Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi 12046 has been upgraded. Major Facilities Revamped Under ‘Swarn’ Initiative in Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi.
Happy New Year! Hope 2018 brings in better news of growth and development for us all.