Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh, 31st December, 2008 :The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Gen. (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, PVSM VSM, in a message on New Year – 2009 strongly advocated the need for focused attention on inclusive growth with the special thrust on social engineering .
General Rodrigues said that Chandigarh, today can boast of a dynamic and vibrant City and is a symbol of New Resurgent India with a success story of growth and development, achieved through partnerships and democratic strategies, reflecting the needs & aspirations of the common and disadvantaged people. He said that we have forged ahead in every field, with a special emphasis on ensuring social justice, safe and secure environment, high quality civic life, opportunities to everyone to grow and making the City an abode of peaceful co-existence, thus truly realizing the vision of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India who once said "Let this be a new town, symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past an expression of the nation’s faith in the future".
The Administrator further said that the City has been acclaimed as the best in the Country in many respects in terms of physical infrastructure, business environment, real estate and an emerging growth center, in a study and survey conducted by an Independent Global Research Group . He said that the it is a matter of record that the work on about 325 developmental projects have been launched, with the focus on improving the quality of life of our people and benefiting the major population in the City. Various mega projects, including Education City, Medicity, Museum of Knowledge, Modern Terminal Market, Housing project for Slum Dwellers, Warehousing project, International Airport, Milk Village are in the pipeline. Education have been given top priority by improving infrastructure and adding new academic ventures, besides launching an innovative programme for inculcating moral values and civic duties among the students. With a view to give a boost to the health facilities, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 and Super-specialty Hospital, Sector 16 have upgraded and equipped with latest medical techniques in different disciplines. A special emphasis has been laid on social security empowering the disadvantaged, slum clearance, rehabilitation of the handicapped, women and children, employment opportunities to the youth, environmental protection, removal of encroachments on government land and above all, the safety of the people, through an efficient network of people-friendly community policing.
Recognizing the growing power of IT for development and progress, General Rodrigues said that the Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park has been set up and the Software Export from Chandigarh Region have recorded a massive increase with a major share of Union Territory, Chandigarh crossing Rs. 400 crores in the last financial year. This export from Chandigarh alone is expected to touch Rs. 1000 crores by 2011. Various innovative steps have been taken for promoting industry and entrepreneurship development programmes. To preserve the heritage and legacy of Chandigarh, the Administration has set up the Le Corbusier Centre, at the old Sector 19 house of the founder Architect, which displays and exhibits his life and works. The Beant Singh Memorial Project, which was hanging fire since 1996, has been completed. Two new empowerment projects; one for Street Children and the other for Crippled People have been opened, with all necessary support structure and vocational training facilities. Another home for Mentally Retarded Children is being launched shortly. The Tagore Theatre has been renovated and equipped with ultra modern artistic and theatrical facilities. More lakes, parks, gardens, open spaces and other tourists places, in Kansal and Nepli forests, have been developed for the recreation of tourists and residents. Chandigarh is the only City in Northern India to set up Municipal Solid Waste Plant. Use of polythene/plastic carry bags & smoking at public places has been banned, to check environmental degradation. Special steps have been taken, for improving road and transport infrastructure and traffic management in the City. As part of the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers, the Chandigarh Housing Board is constructing low-cost flats with all basic amenities to be given to these disadvantaged people on rental. There is also a programme for allotting the booths to the handicapped persons, as part of their rehabilitation programme.
With a view to giving a platform to the people to present their grievances, General Rodrigues said that the Public Hearing Session is organized on first and third Monday of every month in UT Secretariat and most of the issues are solved on the spot. The Administrator, Mrs. Jean Rodrigues & all the senior officers of the Administration attend this Session, leaving no scope of any kind of inconvenience to the people in ventilating their problems. With a view to meet the long pending demand of the residents of the City, the Administrator said that the building byelaws have been remodeled and notified, which would virtually affect more than 75% of the area and population of the city. The remodeled byelaws are based on the changing scenario and changing concepts of town planning, building, growing economic activities and aspirations of the people.
General Rodrigues called upon the people to play a meaningful participative and partnership role in the socio-economic development process for building a new India and developing Chandigarh as a Model
of progress and prosperity for the rest of the country.