Kapurthala, Apr 2: The Pushpa Gujral Science City here has been selected to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS by the Punjab State AIDS Control Society.
The society would financially support the science city in this programme. The proposal includes a mobile van fitted with exhibits and information panels on HIV/AIDS.
The mobile van will carry the message far and wide in the state and the vans will also be used for creating awareness about the science city among the people. This programme is likely to cost Rs one crore.
Giving details of the future projects in the streamline at this prestigious Science City located on 72 acres of land on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala road, Its Director General Dr R S Khandpur said that the Ministry of Railways has agreed to set up a railway gallery in the science city. Suitable provisions for the funds required for setting up the gallery has been made in the railway budget for the year 2006-07. The highlights of the gallery would be a steam engine, a children toy train and engine simulators.
Besides he said that the Indian Meteorological department is installing an automatic weather station linked to the satellite Kalpana. This will be followed by setting up a satellite receiving station and weather forecasting information system. The systems are likely to be operational this month.
Dr Khandpur said that information has been received from the Air Headquarters that one decommissioned MIG-23 aircraft has been approved for the science city.' We have been assured of supply of other defence related items by the army headquarters'',he added.
A project proposal for setting up a biotechnology gallery has been submitted to the department of biotechnology,of the Union Government. The total cost of the project is Rs 56.25 lakhs. The project has received favourable response from the department and it is likely to be approved shortly.
Regarding demands from the schools and colleges to strengthen the botany related exhibits the Director General said that the science city has taken a number of steps. A herbal garden which will have over 90 medicinal and aromatic plants has been set up.
The planning for the cactus and succulent garden has been finalised. One part of the science city will also have the trees of Punjab, which have cultural and heritage value.
As a responsible organisation, the science city has set up a retention pond for rain harvesting, so that water conservation can be ensured,he added.
Dr Khandpur said that during the last one year the science city received over 3.5 lakhs visitors from various walks of life against a target of 2.5 lakh visitors. There was an overall appreciation from the visitors, specially the students, about the exhibits and facilities which have been set up in the science city in the first phase which was inaugurated in March last year.
He said that the science city has a very ambitious plan for the next phase of its development. The buildings for the energy education and awareness park are almost ready. This park which will demonstrate uses of various forms of non-conventional energy sources, has been set up with the financial support from the ministry of non-conventional energy sources and technical assistance from Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). The exhibits are under installation and the energy park would be inaugurated in the coming few months. The energy park is being set up with an investment of Rs 1.75 crores.
He further said that buildings for the four new exhibit galleries are under also construction. These buildings will house four new galleries namely the science of sports, ecology and environment, health and biotechnology, and emerging technologies. Along with the construction activity, the work on the design and fabrication of the exhibits is in hand. These galleries are estimated to cost of Rs 12 crores.
Mr Khandpur said that the gallery on science and sports will include virtual reality sport shows to play cricket, tennis, football etc, where visitors would enjoy the excitement and challenge of their favourite sports without ever having to set foot on a playing surface and investigate the mechanics of sport around an indoor field. Rock climbing facility is also planned to be set up in this gallery.
He said that the ecology and environment gallery which is also being set up would attempt to highlight issues such as global warming and environmental pollution to bring about public awareness about them, identifying ways and means to mitigate their adverse effects with the help of models/dioramas/ information panels and interactive computer based programmes with touch screen facilities and plasma display panels.