Chandigarh diary


Express News Service

Home secretary’s tenure extended due to Covid  
Chandigarh Home Secretary Arun Gupta and Municipal Commissioner KK Yadav will continue in their respective posts till the Appointment Committee of Cabinet decides on their proposals for extension of tenures, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Chandigarh administration. The administration had sought a three-month extension of tenures for the two officers to ensure continuity in the Covid-19 management efforts. The tenure of Gupta, a Haryana cadre Indian Administrative Service officer on deputation, was to end on May 31, while that of the Punjab cadre IAS officer Yadav was to end on May 23.

Air quality improves, thanks to lockdown  
Chandigarh has seen an improvement in its Air Quality Index (AQI). The city’s AQI has gone up to ‘good’ from ‘satisfactory’ since May 4 after a partial lockdown was imposed. The AQI for the first three days of the month was in the ‘moderate’ range. (May 1: 158; May 2: 111 and May 3: 123). Once the partial lockdown went into effect on May 4, the level of PM10 (particulate matter with diameter lower than 10 micrometres) and PM2.5 in the air came down, improving the air quality. On May 13 and 14, the AQI touched 43 and 48 respectively, according to the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee. An AQI of less than 50 is considered good. The Chandigarh administration has imposed weekend curfew restrictions till May 25. Chandigarh on Sunday registered 360 cases as against 392 on Saturday. 

CSIO develops UV light-based disinfection system 
The Chandigarh-based Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) has developed an ultraviolet light-based disinfection system that can be used to clean air conditioning units and ventilation ducts. The UV light deactivates over 99 per cent of viruses, bacteria, fungus and other bio-aerosols. This system can be used in auditoriums, large conference halls, classrooms, malls and other public places. The use of UV light may also help in ameliorating the fungal infections seen among some Covid patients

Hospitals asked to adopt fire-safety measures
The Director-General of Fire Services in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to Chandigarh Municipal Corporation asking it to assess fire safety measures being taken at Covid Care Centres and hospitals across the city. Thereafter, the corporation has written to the UT’s nodal officer saying it will be the responsibility of the organisations that run these mini Covid-19 Care Centres to ensure that fire safety measures are being followed. The officer has been asked to obtain an undertaking in this regard from the concerned organisations. At present, there are nine such centres in the city. This is being done as there have been instances of Covid patients dying due to fires at treatment centres in various parts of the city.

Harpreet Bajwa
Our correspondent in Chandigarh [email protected]

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