03032023-CT-01.qxd 3/3/2023 12:45 AM Page 1 c m y b Chandigarh tribune POLICE TOP BRASS DWELLS ON WAYS TO CURB DRUG MENACE BALBIR SIDHU SEEKS ‘SMART CITY’ TAG FOR MOHALI I LEAGUE: PUNJAB FC ONE STEP AWAY FROM TITLE Drug menace in the region and formulation of strategies to control it dwelt on at interstate meet. P2 Punjab BJP vice-president Balbir Sidhu meets Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri. P2 RoundGlass Punjab FC defeat Churchill Brothers 3-1, just one win away from securing I League title. P3 » » AIR QUALITY INDEX CHANDIGARH 99 PANCHKULA 59 MOHALI 73 401-500 301-400 201-300 101-200 51-100 0-50 SEVERE VERY POOR POOR MODERATE SATISFACTORY GOOD 4 ARRESTED FOR SNATCHING Chandigarh: Four persons have been arrested for snatching a mobile phone and cash. Sajjad Khan (24), who works as mechanic at the Mani Majra motor market, reported that on February 28, he was returning home at Bapu Dham Colony on foot when four persons snatched his phone and ~220 near the Sports Complex, Mani Majra. The IT Park police identified the suspects as Adesh (26), Rahul, alias Papad (24); Amir Khan (27) and Kaku (21), all residents of New Indira Colony and arrested them. TNS SEC 22 RESIDENT HELD WITH HEROIN Chandigarh: Crime Branch of the UT police arrested a Sector 22 resident with six grams of heroin. The police said the suspect, identified as Ashwani, was nabbed near the Circus Ground in Sector 17. A case has been registered at the Sector 17 police station. TNS FACEBOOK/CHANDIGARHTRIBUNE hike in UT says no to monthly bills Now, 5 per cent charges waste collection for power consumption New rates to come into effect in city from April 1 Sandeep Rana Implementation at this stage not feasible, dept tells regulatory panel Dushyant Singh Pundir Chandigarh, March 2 Despite the directions of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), residents of the city will continue to get bimonthly electricity bills. The UT Electricity Department has submitted that the implementation of monthly billing for domestic and commercial category of consumers at this stage is not feasible. The Commission had issued directions to the UT Electricity Department to implement the monthly billing system for domestic and commercial consumers in the city and to expedite the Smart Grid Pilot project, and submit the progress report within one month. In its reply, the department has submitted that the Smart Grid project, which was launched in Subdivision 5, was about to be completed. “So far, 24,213 smart meters on consumers’ premises have been installed and commissioned. Also, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Centre for ~241 CRORE Approved by Centre for smart meter project in May 2021 OVER 24,000 Smart meters installed in Sectors 29, 31, 47 and 48, Faidan, Ram Darbar, Hallo Majra, Raipur Kalan, Makhan Majra and Daria villages, and Phases I and II, Industrial Area. ABOUT SMART METERS With the installation of smart meters, the department does not need manual reading. Also, if someone tampers with a meter, the department immediately gets an alert. CENTRE SHELVED PROJECT After spending nearly ~28 crore on the installation of 24,213 smart meters in Division 5 of the Electricity Department, the Union Ministry of Power had shelved the project for the remaining parts of the city in October last year in view of the privatisation of the department. online operation and monitoring of various activities has been established,” stated the department. However, due to privatisation of the Electricity Department in process, the Smart Grid project for pan city has been dropped by the National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM), Union Ministry of Power. Therefore, the implementation of monthly billing for domestic and commercial category of consumers at this stage is not feasible, submitted the department in a petition filed before the commission. In the absence of employees and infrastructure, the monthly billing would be possible only after the installation of smart meters. At present, the consumers get electricity bills every two months. After spending nearly Rs 28 City Beautiful crore on the installation of 24,213 smart meters in Division 5 of the Electricity Department, the Union Ministry of Power had shelved the project for the remaining parts of the city in October last year in view of the privatisation of the department. The Central Government had approved Rs 241 crore in May, 2021, for the installation of smart meters in the city under the Smart Grid project, but the work on the pilot project could not be completed due to the Covid pandemic. Under the project, more than 24,000 smart meters had been installed in Sectors 29, 31, 47 and 48, Faidan, Ram Darbar, Hallo Majra, Raipur Kalan, Makhan Majra and Daria villages, and Phases I and II, Industrial Area. The administration had planned to replace all electricity meters with smart ones in the entire city by March this year. With the installation of smart meters, the department does not need manual reading. Also, if someone tampers with a meter, the continued on page 2 Tribune News Service Chandigarh, March 2 In yet another blow to the residents after the hike in water charges and proposed increase in power rates, they will have to pay 5 per cent more in door-to-door waste collection charges from April 1. It will be mentioned in the water bills. Residents said while rates continued to be increased, there was hardly any improvement in services. “They are only harassing the public by introducing new levies or increasing the charges for various essential services. Do they want the Chandigarh residents to leave the city?” said Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman, Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC), urging the authorities concerned to rethink the decision. Vinod Vashisht, president, City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations (CFORWO), said, “People are already angry and these increasing rates will add to their miseries. By imposing water, electricity, garbage collection or parking charges, they are only minting money. People RESIDENTS’ GRIEVANCES They are increasing rates of one or the other essential service. The waste collection vehicles have no fixed operation timings. These arrive at 9 am, 11 am or sometimes, even at 3 pm. These also skip waste collection in between. ❝ ❞ Kuldeep Singh Gill, PRESIDENT, BRIGHT RWA, SECTOR 21-B. are also fed up with undue challans of non-segregation of garbage. It is all a financial burden on residents.” Residents are also complaining about the present waste-collection system under which two-bin vehicles have replaced traditional carts. They said vehicles were not visiting sectors regularly, nor were there fixed timings for these. “We get bills of Rs 600-Rs 650 for waste collection per month. They are increasing rates of one or the other essential service. The waste collection vehicles have no fixed operation timings. These arrive at 9 am, 11 am or sometimes, even at 3 pm. These also skip waste collection in continued on page 2 Sarpanches continue stir, pitch tents Tribune News Service WOMAN BOOKED FOR THEFT Chandigarh: An unidentified woman has been booked on the charge of stealing clothes from a showroom in Sector 7. The police has registered a case at the Sector 26 police station. TNS MAN ATTACKED AT DADU MAJRA Chandigarh: A resident of Dadu Majra was attacked with bricks and sticks. Rahul reported that Manvir, a resident of the same locality, attacked him. He suffered injuries. The police have registered a case at the Maloya police station. TNS MAX 30°C | MIN 16°C YESTERDAY MAX 29.7°C | MIN 15°C SUNRISE SATURDAY 6.46 AM TWITTER/THETRIBUNECHD Tribune News Service INBRIEF PARTLY CLOUDY SUNSET FRIDAY 6.22 PM » FRIDAY | 3 MARCH 2023 | CHANDIGARH FORECAST Flowers of different varieties in full bloom make for a beautiful sight at the Sector 16 roundabout, Chandigarh. TRIBUNE PHOTO: NITIN MITTAL Panchkula, March 2 Heated arguments between sarpanches and the police were witnessed over the pitching of tents on the road at the ChandigarhPanchkula border as the former continued their protest against e-tendering for the second day today. When Independent MLA Balraj Kundu reached the site around 12 noon, the protesters started pitching tents on the road. When the police tried to stop them, there was an argument between Maham MLA and ACP Adarshdeep Singh. The police did not allow the protesters to pitch the tents then. However, the sarpanches were able to put up tents on the road later. The police tell protesters not to pitch tents near the Housing Board chowk; and (right) Congress leader Kumari Selja addresses sarpanches in Panchkula on Thursday. TRIBUNE PHOTOS: NITIN MITTAL Just as tents were put up at the Tikri border near Delhi during the farmer movement, the same way tents were pitched in the middle of the road here. Meanwhile, commuters continue to have a tough time taking detours to reach their destinations. A heavy traffic jam was witnessed during the morning and evening hours on the MauliJagran road, as the police had diverted the traffic. President of the Sarpanch Association Ranbir Gill said all kinds of e-tendering in Panchayat works should be cancelled with immediate effec. continued on page 2 Main accused held in Collection of traffic violation fine sees steep rise in 2 years IMPACT OF CCTV finger-chopping case SURVEILLANCE Amit Sharma Tribune News Service Mohali, March 2 The police have arrested two more persons, including the main accused, in the case pertaining to the chopping off of Phase 1 resident Hardeep Singh Raju’s fingers on February 8 and recovered the sharp weapon used in the crime besides three pistols with cartridges. The man seen in a viral video chopping off the fingers of the youth with a dagger has been arrested, said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sandeep Garg. The main accused has been identified as Yadwinder Singh, alias Ghoda, alias Vicky, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar, Kharar. His accomplice, Puneet Singh, alias Gola, alias Harry, a resident of New Mathura Colony, under the “kotwali” police station in Patiala, has also Three .32-bore pistols, 12 rounds, two sharp weapons recovered been arrested. They were produced before the court that remanded them in police custody, he said. Garg said the main accused was a member of the Bhupi Rana gang. The police had arrested Gaurav Sharma (24) of Bar Majara village in Mohali and Tarun (22) of Patiala in the case earlier. They were in six-day police remand. During the interrogation of the two accused, the continued on page 2 Chandigarh, March 2 Revenue earned through traffic fines in the city has witnessed a steep rise in the past two years. While traffic violators ended up paying Rs 5.81 crore in fine in 2019, the collection almost doubled in 2021 and 2022 at Rs 12.51 crore and Rs 10.18 crore, respectively. Despite the lockdown and restrictions on vehicular movement imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the traffic fine collection witnessed a jump of nearly Rs 3 crore in comparison to the previous year. The police had collected Rs 8.77 crore in fine amid the pandemic. The police record further reveals that the number of vehicles impounded in the city has come down in the past two years. While a total of 15,723 vehi- In 2021, the police had issued 2.32 lakh challans. When the CCTV cameras went live in 2022, the number rose to 5.87 lakh. However, despite the lesser number of challans in 2021, the revenue earned was more than that collected in 2022. Year 2019 2020 2021 2022 Fine collected ~5.81 cr ~8.77 cr ~12.51 cr ~10.18 cr <<15 cops work 24X7 at Police Command and Control Centre. cles, including 7,387 twowheelers were impounded in 2019, the number rose to 16,870, including 1,3175 twowheelers, the following year. However, it came down to only 2,929, including 2,432 two-wheelers, in 2021 and to 4,424 in 2022. The high number of vehi- c m y b cles impounded in 2020 is attributed to a large number of vehicles confiscated for the lockdown violations, said a traffic cop. The police claimed after the introduction of CCTV cameras, challans were largely issued through this surveillance system, the main reason for a drop in the number of vehicles impounded by the police. Around 15 police personnel work round the clock at the Police Command and Control Centre (PCCC) in Sector 17 to monitor traffic through the CCTV cameras and issue challans. An RTI activist, RK Garg, said he had sought information under the RTI about the number of challans that are yet to be paid by the violators. However, the UT Police Department replied that there was no such provision in the e-challan application software to get the data of pending or outstanding amount pertaining to traffic challans. “The police should have information about pending challans, so that follow-up notices can be sent to the violators for payment of the fine,” Garg added. The number of challans issued to traffic offenders has increased with high-resolution cameras having been set up at 40 traffic junctions that are equipped with the automatic number reading recognition (ANRR) software. In 2021, the police had issued 2.32 lakh challans. When the CCTV cameras went live in 2022, the number rose to 5.87 lakh. However, despite the lesser number of challans in 2021, the revenue earned was more than that collected in 2022. The police claimed it might be because a large number of violators must have not paid the fine yet.
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