Thursday, February 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Zirakpur takes up beautification projects
From Bipin Bhardwaj

ZIRAKPUR, Feb 2 — Under its development programme, the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat has taken up various projects such as beautification of the town, installation of lights along the highways and link roads, carpeting of link roads, digging of tubewells and handing over on contract the sanitation of different colonies and villages falling within the Nagar Panchayat limits.

As many as 415 electricity poles would be installed along the highways and link roads and streets of the Nagar Panchayat at a cost of Rs 72 lakh. Of these 147 electricity poles will be installed along the Chandigarh-Ambala and the Kalka-Patiala highways, branching from the traffic lights point, besides the poles on the link roads and streets in the villages and colonies falling in Nagar Panchayats’ jurisdiction.

Sodium vapour lamps of 250 watt will be installed on the poles along the highways while the electricity poles flanking the link roads would be fitted with bulbs of 70 to 150 watt. To provide 24-hour power, 11 transformers will be installed at various parts of the Nagar Panchayat. The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has sanctioned the required electricity load to meet the power shortage in the panchayat area.

According to Mr Amrit Lal Bansal, Executive Officer, the Nagar Panchayat has installed electricity poles along the 2.5 km stretch of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and 3 km stretch of the Zirakpur-Panchkula road. Electricity poles are also being installed along the Zirakpur-Patiala road. Sodium bulbs of 250 watt will be fitted on the poles installed in Zirakpur town, while electricity poles along Panchkula, Bartana, Patiala, Ambala and Lohgarh village roads will be fitted with 150 watt sodium bulbs. The link road leading to Dhakauli will have 70 watt sodium bulbs on the poles. The link road leading to Zirakpur village will be taken next for the installation of electricity poles with electricity bulbs, said Mr Bansal.

Mr Surjit Singh, Administrator of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, said that the Nagar Panchayat has floated tenders for the recarpeting of kutcha roads leading to Bartana and Zirakpur villages. Other link roads and the streets will be taken after the completion of the works on main roads.

To assess the water consumption by the residents of the panchayat, the Chief Town Planner, Punjab, Mr MS Aujla, has conducted a population growth survey. This report will enable the Nagar Panchayat to frame proper estimates to provide water supply and sewerage scheme to meet the future requirements accurately.

“To beautify the town, Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, also held a meeting of the officials concerned on January 27. In the meeting it was decided that a triangular land plot adjoining Chandigarh-Zirakpur-Panchkula road should be transferred to the Nagar Panchayat to enable it to develop into a park having fountains, sea-saws, beds of flowers and footpaths in it. The Chief Architect, Punjab, has been directed to prepare and design the said park. The Chief Conservative of Forests, Punjab, has also asked to remove the trees haphazardly grown up on the site”, said Mr Singh.Back


Azhar, Yuvraj main stars at Ranji tie
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — Former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin and at least four members of the World Youth Cup champion Indian cricket team will be the star attractions of the Punjab-Hyderabad Ranji Trophy cricket encounter starting at the PCA Stadium at SAS Nagar on February 5. The match will mark the beginning of a special cricket bonanza for the lovers of the game as two more Ranji matches, featuring Baroda and Bihar teams, are also scheduled to be played at the same PCA Stadium later this month and early next month.

The young Punjab Ranji team, led by international Vikram Rathod, will feature in its playing XI at least three members of the World Youth champion Indian team — allrounders Yuvraj Singh and Reetinder Sodhi and opener Ravneet Singh Ricky. The fourth member of the champion team, Manish Sharma, though included in the home squad, is a standby. He is yet to make his Ranji debut.

All the four young heroes — Yuvraj, Reetinder, Ravneet and Manish — were at the nets at the PCA Stadium this evening, rearing to go against fancied Hyderabad team. Playing under watchful eyes of coach Manjit Singh and manager Bhupinder Singh Senior, these youngsters would be joined from tomorrow by four senior players who are back here after doing duty for North Zone in Deodhar Trophy. They are skipper Vikram Rathod, spinner Sarandeep Singh, wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Mongia and batsman Pankaj Dharmani.

Incidentally, offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who was a member of the Indian team on a tour of Australia, is also back here. He was at the nets today. Though Harbhajan did not play in any of the three-Test matches in which India suffered humiliating defeats or in the Traingular Series, he is all set to return to domestic cricket promising good performances here at the PCA Stadium, which otherwise is known for its fast track.

After the match against Hyderabad, Punjab takes on Baroda on February 24 and after a gap of two days Bihar. The last pool encounter for Punjab this time is against Railways. Punjab are the leaders of North Zone this time.

Though the outfield at the PCA Stadium looks little brown because of prolonged dry winter spell, the Punjab Cricket Association is not taking any chances as the playing strip is covered against overnight dew or drizzle.

In view of good performances by Ravneet in the Youth World Cup, he is likely to be elevated as an opener with skipper Vikram with Reetinder going down in the batting order.

The PCA may also honour the Youth World Cup heroes during one of the coming Ranji Trophy matches by organising a special felicitation function for them. The triumph at Colombo has already generated lot of interest on these four youngsters who are all promising and look potential national stars.Back


PU suspends 250 for copying
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 —Approximately 250 students of Panjab University have been suspended from university education for a period of two years following their conviction in unfair means cases during the previous annual examination.

The conviction rate of the total 294 cases reportedly remained “extremely high” following verifications by a special unfair means committee.The Bachelor of Arts (part-I) students topped the list of guilty students with a total of 144 offenders. Only four cases are pending.

Re-checking with the Vice-Chancellor’s recommendation, following appeals by students, did not alter the results. There were approximately seven complainants in this category. A senior fellow said even the High Court did not favour appeals of the candidates in the end.

Interestingly, during times when girls figure in nearly all toppers’ lists of the university, boys outdo the girls in copying cases. Among the 144 cases of arts and science in Panjab University, 134 happened to be boys, according to a report.

The last Syndicate meeting reconstituted the Unfair Means Committee. After a long time, the university will have two UMC committees instead of the existing one.The new body includes Mr D.L. Anand, Mr V.P. Arora, Mr Mukesh Arora, Mr S.S.Virdi, Mr B.S. Bajwa and Mr Joginder Singh.

The existing committee comprised Mr Kehar Singh, Dr Anirudh Joshi and Mr A.S. Pooni. Mr Kehar Singh remained on the body for three consecutive years. He expresses his difference of opinion with the constitution of the new body. “There was an earlier practice of avoiding teachers on this committee because they stood a chance to be disturbed by the candidates under question.The move requires a re-look”, he said.

Mr Kehar Singh also said that there was hardly any need for two panels in the UMC .There were approximately 300 cases on an average each session over the past years which could be ably managed by a single body. An additional body meant additional financial and staff burden on the university.

The issue of mass copying was also discussed. In a college , UMC members felt too much of repetition in two answer-sheets. Following suspicion, more copies of students appearing at the centre were checked. More than 54 were held guilty.

Reliable sources indicated that certain centres in Ludhiana and Abohar areas topped the list of copying cases. The need to shortlist the centres and official action has been proposed. Timely disposal of cases of the students was also stressed.

Specific areas of punishment in the university calendar include talking to another candidate; showing one’s answer-sheet or asking others to show it; copying or helping others to copy; consulting of books; and smuggling in an answer-book, besides others.Back


Phir bhi dil hai Chandigarhian
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — Phir bhi dil hai Chandigarhian — this adage aptly fits the city's best-known comedian, Jaspal Bhatti, who works in Bollywood but prefers to stay here.

This was proved when he and his wife Savita participated in a mega-entertainment show — Bharat Parv — in Lucknow last night, along with Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Amitabh Bachchan. Other attractions of the show, which was compered by Ruby Bhatia, were Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Raveena Tandon and Kamaal Khan.

Bhatti was specially called from Chandigarh to accompany Salman and Aishwarya to the USA, Canada and the UK for entertainment shows last year. For the shooting of RK banner's Aa Ab Laut Chalein, he was called from Chandigarh on telephone by Rishi Kapoor.

He will be in Film City in Hyderabad from next week for Boney Kapoor's Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai — an Anil Kapoor-Aishwarya Rai starrer. But it seems that his heart is in the city as whenever the shooting outside Chandigarh ends, he returns to his favourite place, City Beautiful.

Bhatti says, "Chandigarh is an ideal place for creative work, though some additional professional infrastructure will go in a long way to make it a centre of excellence in creative arts." He adds that he may go in for a training institute, keeping in mind the persistent demands of upcoming artists of the city.

All national-level Jaspal Bhatti productions — Flop Show, Ulta Pulta, Full Tension and Mahaul Theek Hai — have been shot in and around Chandigarh. The next major project is also being planned in Chandigarh and its surrounding areasBack


Tribune staff vow to work with zeal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — The 119th anniversary of the Tribune group of newspapers was celebrated here today with all employees making a resolve to take the institution ahead by meeting new challenges with redoubled vigour and enthusiasm.

It was on this day in 1881 that The Tribune started its publication at Lahore, now in Pakistan. It has witnessed the 19th and 20th centuries before entering the third millennium of its publication.

Among those who addressed the employees on the occasion were Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor, The Tribune; Mr S.D. Bhambri, General Manager; Mr Vijay Saihgal, Editor of Dainik Tribune; and Mr Harbhajan Singh Halwarvi, Editor of Punjabi Tribune. Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, President of the Tribune Employees Union, also addressed the staff members.

The speakers talked about the challenges The Tribune had met successfully in the past 119 years of its publication and apprised the employees of challenges ahead. The need for self-discipline, rededication to the ideals of the founder of the publication, Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, and the spirit of doing something for the institution with a commitment to do better than the preceding day were also highlighted by the speakers.Back


Family gets Rs 37.71 lakh relief
By Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — Nearly five years after the General Manager, Marketing, Punjab Wireless System Limited, Rajpal Pal Singh Johal died after an oil tanker rammed into the car he was driving on the last day of his sojourn in Assam, UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr B. S. Bedi, has awarded a compensation of Rs 37,71,000, perhaps the highest so far, to the widow, minor children and parents of the deceased.

Aged 38, Mr Johal, along with wife Ramanjit Kaur Johal and children, were driving to Guwahati to catch the next day's flight to Delhi, on way back home, when at about 1 p.m. on December 29, 1995, an oil tanker coming from the opposite direction dashed against the car near police out-post in Bagari.

Mr Johal sustained serious injuries and his wife got hurt. The kids were left dazed. A jeep passing by was stopped and the injured taken to hospital. Johal died on way to the nearby Jakhlabanda Rural Hospital.

A first information report was registered the same day. After investigations, tanker driver Jagdish Singh was arrested.

Seeking compensation, counsel for the claimants stated that the tanker was being driven rashly and negligently while Mr Johal was cruising cautiously on the correct side of the road. It was added that Mr Johal, availing himself of leave travel concession, was on a sight-seeing trip in Assam, along with the family.

Pronouncing the orders on the claim petition, the Judge, Mr Bedi, directed the payment of Rs 20 lakh to the widow, Rs 7 lakh to son Rattan Amol Singh Johal, Rs 8.71 lakh to daughter Mannat Kaur Johal and Rs 1 lakh each to parents — Ms Surinder Kaur and Mr Gurbax Singh.

In his 33-page order, the Sessions Judge observed: "The shares of the minors shall be deposited in the FDRs initially for a period of five years to be renewed under the orders of this tribunal from time to time till they attain maturity."

The Judge also observed: "These FDRs shall not be eligible for loan or financial accommodation. These shall not be accepted as surety or security for any purpose whatsoever. No withdrawal from the principal amount shall be permissible. However, the mother and next friend of the minor claimants shall be entitled to receive quarterly interest on these FDRs to be spent on the welfare of the minors."

He added: "The insurance company, respondent number three, shall indemnify the owner of the tanker to the extent of the whole of the amount of the award."Back


Uma Bharati, Dixit for Khalsa march
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, former Union Minister Uma Bharati and former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana are some of the dignitaries who will take part in the fourth Khalsa march to be taken out from Gurdwara Gursagar Sahib, near Lake, in Chandigarh to Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib in Abchal Nagar in Nanded (Maharashtra), according to a press note of the Shiromani Sant Khalsa International Foundation, which is organising the march.

About 300 vehicles, which includes buses and trucks, will carry the mass of people from the city beautiful to the city in Maharashtra. The other top politicians likely to join the march are president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Captain Amarinder Singh and former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

A significant feature of the march is that it has the backing of Sikh as well as Hindu organisations besides political adversaries. S. Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, a number of office-bearers of the All-India Sikh Students Federation, Suresh Ketkar, president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, members of the RSS, and Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Abdullah Bukhari constitute the star cast of the Khalsa march which will be held from March 6 to 21. From Chandigarh onwards, the procession will follow the route of Paonta Sahib, Hardwar, Saharanpur, Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Guna, Dhulia, Aurangabad before terminating in Nanded.

Another attraction of the march will be the nine raths. While Sant Baba Pritpal Singhji will lead the march in the gold-gilded rath, specially built at a heavy cost, the Panj Piaras will also follow in raths with 'golden swords' in hands. According to Sant Pritpal Singhji, historic weapons of Guru Gobind Singh along with horses of the same breed which the Guru himself had during his time, will also become part of the Khalsa march when the procession draws near Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib.

Hectic preparations are going on to make the march a grand success. It is being organised to mark the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa Panth.

Incidentally, the fifth Khalsa March will be held from April 11 to 13 from Chandigarh to Anandpur Sahib, according to the press note.Back


Fast planned over reservation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 —The Aarakshan Samapti Abhiyan Sanukta Sansthan Manch will organise a two-day fast in Delhi, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Jaipur and Lucknow on February 26 and 27 in support of its demand for ending the caste-based reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

According to a press note by Mr Y.S. Bhatnagar, organising secretary of the organisation, a delegation, led by Mr M.R. Sharma, Chairman, All-India Brahman Mahasabha, called on the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on February 1 and submitted a memorandum against the caste-based reservation.

The manch consisting of various social employees' organisations, had earlier organised a huge rally and its men courted arrest on the shahidi divas in New Delhi.

The press note claimed that the Prime Minister was apprised of the ill-effects of the caste-based reservation. Members of the delegation told Mr Vajpayee that the manch would fight the caste-based reservation all over the country.

The memorandum said reservation in jobs both at the initial stage and in promotion, reservation in educational institutions, reservation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha, state assemblies and other local bodies must be stopped.

It also demanded that the relief given by the Supreme Court to general category employees should be implemented immediately. No attempt should be made to water down the decision of the apex court.Back


Causeway near Phase XI collapses
From Vishal Joshi

PAPPRI (SAS Nagar), Feb 2 — With the caving in of yet another causeway near Pappri village, problems of the villagers in the area have doubled. The causeway constructed on the sewer nullah, about 4 km from Phase XI, SAS Nagar, collapsed on Saturday evening while a truck was crossing it.

Villagers of more than half a dozen villages, including Manauli, Chilla, Premgarh and other adjoining areas, are facing a lot of hardships with the collapse of the causeway, the only connection between the area and the rest of the district.

The area surrounded by sewer outlets from Chandigarh and SAS Nagar often faces problems. When a Chandigarh Tribune team reached the spot this afternoon, the collapsed causeway was covered by few tree branches and empty drums.

It was observed by The Tribune team that none from the PWD was there on the spot. On asking the villagers said that though the officials of the state PWD (B&R) visited the spot, nothing had been done to improve the situation.

In the absence of any other alternate route from the area, villagers were forced to cross the damaged causeway. A middle aged person, while crossing the causeway, said that in the absence of a safe passage, the way had become dangerous.

The villagers complain that due to improper maintenance and the poor quality of material used, such structures often collapsed.

Mr Lalit Mohan, a resident of Manauli village, said that the villagers had to take a longer detour in the absence of any other alternate road. With this broken causeway the entire area had remained cut off from the three sides.

A causeway near Dairi village, connecting the area with Banur, collapsed about two years back and no work has been started on it. Another bridge near Mauli Baidwan, connecting the area with Sohana, which was submerged in the sewer nullah, is still not open for the villagers as work on it is still in progress.

Residents of more than half a dozen villages face difficulty due to it absence of a pucca road to Premgarh village. Villagers complain that this causeway collapses each year during the rainy season, and demanded that all the damaged causeway should be repaired immediately.

A resident of Chilla village, Mr Gurdeep Singh, said that villagers had to travel via Zirakpur even to the nearby SAS Nagar sectors. According to Mrs Surinder Kaur, sarpanch of Manauli, the students going to schools in Chandigarh and SAS Nagar, are facing great difficulty.

Teachers posted in different schools in the area also complain of inconvenience in reaching their destinations. A primary school teacher complained that she reached school late as no mode of transport was available in the area.Back


Impostors rob house
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 2 — Three persons, posing as salesmen, robbed a house in Sector 4 leading to a loss of nearly Rs 25,000 in cash and jewellery. Sixteen-year-old Gaurav was alone at home when the robbers struck.

Narrating the sequence of events, Adarsh said that she and her husband had left for work as usual while their daughter went to school. However, Gaurav was alone at home since there was a holiday in his school. "He called up his friend who fixed a programme to drop in at our place to take some notes,'' she said.

After some time the door bell rang, and Gaurav, expecting his friend, went to open the door. Instead, he saw three smartly dressed men standing in the doorway. "They told him that they were selling glasses. Gaurav told then that he was not interested since there was nobody at home. As he was about to turn and walk away, one of them asked him to give them water to drink,'' his mother informed.

With a half bolted door, Gaurav proceeded towards the kitchen to get water. Meanwhile, the three pulled open the door and followed Gaurav inside the kitchen. One of the three put a knife to the throat of the boy and threatened him not to utter a word.

While one of them kept a watch on the boy, the other two proceeded to the two bedrooms and ransacked the rooms. They forced open cupboards from which they got a gold chain and earrings. They also took with them Rs 10,000 cash.

However, while they were ransacking the house, Gaurav's friend arrived at the residence and rang the bell. He waited outside for Gaurav to ask him inside. The trio, alerted by the bell, shut Gaurav in the kitchen and left. They crossed Gaurav's friend in the staircase.

Later, the friend unlatched the kitchen door and Gaurav called up his father, Mr Chander Dev, a businessman, and informed him of the incident. The parents returned and found the cash and jewellery missing and informed the police. Back


Man booked in fraud case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — The police has registered a case against a resident of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, for getting a registration deed of a plot done fraudulently.

According to police sources, Mr Harjinder Pal Singh, a resident of Sector 8, reported that he had bought a plot measuring 250 square yards at Nahan (Solan) from Sector 8 residents Kuldip Singh and D.P. Singh on the basis of a general power of attorney in 1991. All this time he was kept in the dark that the land belonged to the two.

Later it came to his notice that the land belonged to someone else and that the general power of attorney had been fraudulently registered in the city.

A case under Sections 467, 468, 471 and 120-B, IPC, has been registered at the Central police station.

Pedestrian hurt: Mrs Sudarshan Kaur, a pedestrian and resident of Sector 33, was hit and injured by a Punjab Roadways bus (PB-12-C-9320) near the Sectors 33 and 35 dividing road. She has been admitted to the PGI.

A case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

Truck driver held: The police has arrested Ajmer Singh, a truck driver, on the charges of hitting another truck on the Sectors 47 and 48 dividing road.

A case under Section 279, IPC, has been registered.

Car stolen: Mr H.S. Shangari, a resident of SAS Nagar, reported that his car (CHO-I-K-3126) has been stolen from Sector 22.

A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.Back


111th Corps Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — The Corps of Military Farms celebrated its 111th Corps Day at Western Command Headquarters, Chandi Mandir near here today. To mark the occasion, a social get-together was organised, where the Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lt Gen B S Malik, was the chief guest.

In his message, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, felicitated the organisation for its silent but laudable achievements and wished it all success in its future endeavours. He appreciated the modernisation drive undertaken by the corps in the command zone for efficient and cost effective milk production, processing and distribution.

The Army Commander further exhorted the corps personnel to keep pace with the changing time and adopt practices and procedures conducive to achieving higher operational efficiency and consumer satisfaction.

The Director of Military Farms, Western Command, Col P K Tikoo, was optimistic about the enhanced role of the corps in the Army. He said that military farms had the required wherewithal to undertake additional tasks like production of poultry, goat-rearing and vegetable cultivation in remote and high altitude areas where the subsistence of Army personnel depends mainly on costly tinned rations.

He added that such a composite activity along with milk production would not only be economically viable, but also provide much needed change in the daily diet of jawans posted in such areas.

Raised on February 1, 1889 with the establishment of the first military farm at Allahabad, the corps today has more than 50 farms all over the country. The department pioneered a cattle-cross breeding programme in the country in 1912. Today it holds 24,000 animals and produces about 612 lakh litres of milk, 3,50,000 kg of butter and 30,000 metric tonnes of hay annually.

The corps has established new milk producing farms in some of the most difficult and inhospitable terrains like Ladakh, Rajouri, Naushera, Tenga, Port Blair, Pooh and Karcham.Back


Illegal structures demolished
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 2 — The enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today demolished 10 illegal structures in the New Indira Colony in Mani Majra.

A team of the staff demolished the structures, including four pig stys and two shops, erected by the Municipal Corporation employees on the complaint of the area residents.

The operation, which started around noon continued till 5 p.m.

Site changed: The kisan mandi, which is being held in Sector 27-C on Sundays, will now be held at the same place on Fridays, according to a press note.

Society’s plea: A deputation of the Residents’ Welfare Society, Sector 46, today met the Mayor, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, and urged her to start various pending development works in the sector.

The delegation urged her to start the development work of the greenbelt, foundation stone of which was laid in 1998, as the residents had no other place to stroll in the mornings and evenings. It also demanded the early completion of the community centre, the foundation stone of which was also laid in 1998.Back


Meeting on Anandgarh project soon
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 2 — A meeting of all political parties of Punjab and the state Governor will be held soon regarding the proposed new city of Anandgarh near here and to discuss the reported opposition to the project by villagers.

This was announced by Prof Balwant Singh, Secretary, Punjab, CPM, while addressing a press conference here today.

He alleged that the plan of the proposed city had been prepared by some politicians and bureaucrats under a calculated scandal to earn crores of rupees by uprooting thousands of villagers. He alleged that it was an organised gang involving some politicians of the present government and the government headed by late Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh.

He demanded that an inquiry should be held into the land purchased by these persons in the past six years. He said if the government was determined to set up this city, maximum compensation should be given to those persons who had ancestral property, but such persons who had purchased land in the past six years should be given compensation as per the rates of registry at which they had purchased them.

He alleged that only those persons who had purchased land at very cheap rates in the past years, in fact, wanted to set up this city.Back

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