Saturday, June 24, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Orders to deduct salaries of 650 striking employees
Board gets court order to ban protests
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 23 — The confrontation between the management of the Punjab School Education Board and the Punjab School Education Board (non-teaching) Employees Union today intensified further with the management issuing orders to deduct the salaries of 650 employees who were participating in the strike. Defending its move the management said it had been done as per the ''no-work-no-pay'' formula.

The union, on the other hand, said the management instead of holding talks with its leaders had transferred them to district depots. Charging the management with being responsible for the situation, the union leaders in an application to the Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) alleged that the board officials were planning to break the locks of the almirahs in which record of the results — currently being prepared — had been kept. The employees of the different branches related with the preparation of results of classes X and XII are on strike.

Sources in the board said the management was planning to put its locks on the almirahs if the strike continued so that there was no hindrance in the preparation of results.

The sources further said a meeting of the management was held at the residence of the Chairman here this evening in which the future course of action in the wake of the gravity of the situation was discussed. The management is reported to have drawn a strategy if the impasse between it and the union continued.

In another development the management of the board got an order from a Kharar court banning demonstration, dharnas and rallies by the employees' union within a radius of 50 metres from the head office of the board.

A spokesman of the board said the board authorities had already deliberated on all previous demands of the employees. Contradicting the claim of the union, the spokesman said that there was no such assurance — written or verbal — regarding the acceptance of their two demands.

He said there was some vacancies in the textbook sales depots and a circular had been issued inviting eligible employees to give their options and their promotions would be made without delay under the rules. Regarding the promotion of class IV employees to class III, he said against the quota for promotion of employees against 83 posts, the authorities had promoted 98 employees from class IV to Class III.

Earlier the union held a rally in support of its demands. Mr Jarnail Singh Brar, General Secretary of the union, said they had urged the Chief Minister to hold an inquiry into the results being prepared on computers and the payment being made. Citing an example in which names of students against the roll numbers (from 53387 to 53600) were missing in the gazette of the science and commerce streams of class XII released recently by the board.

The sources said a meeting between the management and the union leaders was likely to be held tomorrow.Back


NRI booked for bigamy attempt
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — Acting on the directive of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the local police today registered a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust against a “married” Non-Resident Indian (NRI) for attempting to marry a local girl.

According to the information available, the father of the girl stated that his daughter was engaged to the NRI, Gurinder Singh on May 21 and the marriage was fixed for June 25. The complainant had maintained that Rs 7 lakh in form of gold ornaments, along with clothes, had been spent on the engagement.

The petitioner stated that the Station House Officer of the Phase 1 Police Station had not registered a case. Then he had approached the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, to register the case. Alleging that the family had refused to marry the daughter after taking articles, the complainant said later inquiries revealed that the NRI was already married.

With his grievance, the complainant had approached the High Court, seeking directions that the NRI, an engineer by profession, should not be permitted to leave the country for Chicago in the USA. Pronouncing the orders, against the NRI, Mr Justice KS Garewal observed :” The petitioner’s complaint discloses the commission of a cognizable offence. Therefore, a direction is given to the Ropar SP under Section 154 (3) CrPC to personally investigate the case or direct any police officer subordinate to him to investigate”.

The court had also directed the police to ensure that Gurinder Singh did not leave the country. A case under Sections 420, 489-A and 506 of the IPC has been registered against 11 family members of the NRI.


Couplets twinkle at mushaira
Tribune News Service

PINJORE, June 23 — Decked up, well-lit Yadvindra Gardens, here, provided the perfect ambience for a memorable evening with poets.

They recited couplets, some painful, others flattering and charmed the audience well past midnight.

The melancholic couplets of Arifa Shabnam, initiated the mushaira. The solitude and pain was most effectively conveyed in the couplets:

“Maine koi suraj, koi tara nahin dekha, Kis rang ka hota hai ujala nahin dekha’’ and “Halanke shaukh mujhe sanwarne ka bahut hai, Aur maine kabhie apna hi chehra nahin dekha’’

From her to Nazar Barabankavi, the mood changed to one of romance. He said: “Yeh mana ke jalwa bhi shola hai lekin, Kise hosh itna jo daman bachaye” and “Zamane ke dukh aur deewana tera, kise yaad rakhe, kise bhool jayen” won a lot of applause from the audience.

Next in line was Sagar Khayyami whose satire had everybody in peels of laughter. Most of his couplets mocked at fanatics of communal variety and population explosion.

He recited: “Hindu yeh sochten hai ke baikunth jayenge, Musalman yeh sochte hai ke firdaus payenge, Isayon ko naaz ke Esa bachayenge, Mera yeh khayal ke sab seeti bajaynge. Hindu hi jayega na musalman jayega Jannat mein gaya to insaan jayega”

Nisam Nikhat commenting on the restive section of the audience said:``Yeh roohen kahin betth jayen to aage chalen’’. After her saying had the desired effect she said: “Main aisee shaakh thi jo lachakti na thi kabhi, Phoolon ka bojh daal kar moraa gaya mujhe”.

Wasim Barielvi taking a sweep on the present selfish scenario said: “Is zamane ka badda kaise banno, Itna chhotapan mere bas ka nahin”.

Others who recited couplets included Krishan Bihari Noor, Nida Faizli and Kaifi Azmi.

Kaifi Azmi recited: “Haath aakar laga gaya koi, Mera chhappar utha gaya koi. Mein khada tha tapet par, Mere ishtehar laga gaya koi.”

The mushaira, organised by the Haryana Urdu Akademi for the Haryana Olympic Association, was inaugurated by the Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand.

A special participant at the mushaira was the Minister of Press, Pakistan High Commission, Mr Jamil-ud-din Ahmed, He recited couplets on the need for friendship between India and Pakistan.

Among those present were the Chief Minister of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Parkash singh Badal and Mr Om Prakash Chautala, respectively, Mr Abhay Chautala, Chairman of the HOA, and Mr MS Malik, Secretary General of the HOA, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S K Monga.


AIDS claims 6 lives in 5 months
51 new cases detected
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — The deadly HIV virus is stalking the city and its surrounding states more than ever before as the number of AIDS and HIV positive cases continue to be on the rise. Six persons, who were on the local watchlist, have died due to full-blown AIDS in the past five months, while 51 new cases of AIDS have been detected.

And this is the figure of people reporting at the listed hospitals like the PGI, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and General Hospital, Sector 16. The number of patients dying or suffering from the disease without a proper diagnosis is yet unclear.

Meanwhile, on the HIV positive front, the highest number of cases has been reported during May this year at the PGI. The number stood at 52, the highest-ever for a single month since testing began a few years ago. Till date the PGI has found 1,728 persons carrying the HIV virus.

As compared to the previous years, the data available with the local AIDS control cell show a constant rise in the AIDS cases being reported every year. According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), HIV positive cases reported in 1995 were 106 in Chandigarh, while the steady rise continued with 179, 226, 279 and 326 HIV positive cases in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, respectively.

And within the first five months of this year 158 HIV positive cases have been reported. The transmission categories of AIDS mainly are sexual route, pre-natal, through blood and blood products and other non-specific causes.

Screening reports reveal that the majority of cases coming to the PGI are from Punjab, Himachal, Haryana and neighbouring states, besides Chandigarh. Last year's data reveal that 132 full-blown cases were admitted to the three hospitals in 1999 and this year 51 cases have been admitted till May.

AIDS is more common in males than females and it affects all sections of society. The affluent prefer to get tests carried out in anonymity in the metros. Last year in the count of AIDS cases 119 were males, whereas only 18 female AIDS cases were reported in UT. Till May 31 the number of AIDS cases was 45 and female cases were only eight in Chandigarh and neighbouring states. The majority of the patients are in the age group of 30-39 years.

The most prevalent symptoms coming up from different Chandigarh hospitals as per information by the NACO are fever (low grade) weight loss, diarrhoea, fatigue and malaise.

The diseases coming up with the infection are multi-drug resistant, tuberculosis, candidiasis and others. With a high prevalence of tuberculosis among the labour class the problem of HIV/TB co-infection is arousing.

The disease is mainly effecting the people in sexually active and productive age group. The main cause for the spread of HIV infection in the city is migration of the population from one part to another in search of job.

Statewise count of the HIV positive/AIDS cases reported to hospitals in Chandigarh.



Government move to feature in Syndicate meeting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — Difference in Punjab Government proposal and Panjab University stand on selection committees for principals and teachers are likely to generate hot discussion in the forthcoming Syndicate meeting on June 29.

The government has moved an idea to have five government representatives on the selection committees for teachers and principals, besides two university representatives. University faculty strongly demands the other way round. “Such a move shows increasing government interference in university affairs ,” a senior faculty member said.

Also likely to feature on the agenda is demand from a large section of the faculty to the UGC to relax the condition of compulsory Ph. D degrees for applicants for principals’ post. The number of available candidates is less and more than a dozen colleges await new appointments.

Academic understandings with leading institutes also features prominently in the meeting. Academic and science faculties of PU and Hiroshima University have tied up for one MoU. The Institute for Microbial Studies, The CMA and University of Manitoba have also tied up for various projects with PU, likely to commence at the earliest.

A Supreme Courts ruling against interest of three teachers who have been promoted also figures on the agenda. These include Suniti Kumar, Dr K.K. Bhasin and Dr B. S. Ghuman.



Solar eclipse on July 1
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — A partial eclipse of the sun will occur on July 1 night (Asadha 10 ,1922 Saka Era). The eclipse will not be visible in India. The eclipse will be visible from the Central southern Pacific Ocean, southern parts of Chile and Argentina.

The eclipse will begin 11.37 p.m (IST) on July 1, when the shadow of the moon will first touch the earth at local sunrise at a point in the South Pacific Ocean at latitude 51°C 30' South and longitude 148°27' West. The eclipse will end at 2.28 a.m (IST on July 2, when the moon's shadow finally leaves the earth at local sunset at a point in Patagonia, extreme southern parts of South America at latitude 49°51' South and longitude 73°45' West. The greatest phase of the eclipse with magnitude 0.477 will occur at 01-02 a.m (IST on July 2) at a point near Antarctica Circle at latitude 66°56' South and longitude 109°28' West.  


French, a language of opportunities
By Amandeep Kaur and Ruchi Bhandari

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — Parlez vous francaise? “Non,” and the chances are that you won’t be hired even if you are otherwise qualified for the job. Learning foreign languages is not only a fad but also a gateway to a good future. While many have began to learn German and Russian, the love for learning “romantic French” remains undiminished.

The knowledge of foreign languages in today’s world is considered an asset which opens the gates to great job and business opportunities, not only in the country but also abroad. French has for generations been considered the language of romance and there were times when the education of the nobility was not considered complete without a couple of years of stay in Paris.

It is widely spoken all over the world and is also one of the five official languages of the UNO. With more French companies setting up shop in the country, the search for French-speaking personnel is on.

The Francophone Club is also planning to expand in new countries and its huge market it is a group of 50 countries like Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, French-speaking Africa etc will ensure that french-speaking persons remain needed, says Mr Daniel Riou, Director of Alliance Francaise, which teaches French in the city.

“French is also called a cultured language. The French inherited Greek and Latin civilisations. Learning French helps in understanding contemporary western thinking and broadens your exposure in art and literature. Not only teaching of the language, but also several other cultural activities like film festivals, art exhibitions, concerts and plays from the part of the course,” he adds.

The city youngsters are increasing being attracted towards French to satisfy their urge to learn the traditions of other countries. “I took it up as a hobby and have learned a lot. Moreover, what could be better than learning a foreign language by sparing two hours from the daily routine,” says Swati, a student of French.

Learning foreign languages helps in communicating with more persons and adds to one’s knowledge,” says Col G.P. Singh, who is doing a certificate course in French from Panjab University.


Commuting in buses a tough job
By Harpreet Kaur

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — Sweltering heat,fatigue of standing and waiting for long hours. Travelling in buses is a big nuisance. But you can not help it either. If you do not have a conveyance of your own or in case it is not at your disposal for one or the reason, there is no choice.

Rickshaws are expensive in the city. A woman at the bus stop near Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, explains, “I want to go to Sector 45. No rickshaw-puller agrees for anything less than Rs 15. The bus fare for the same route is Rs 3. How can a commuter afford rickshaw everyday?”

You are exhausted after having a tiresome day. Still you walk down to the nearest stop to catch a bus. You are loitering and constantly looking at the far end from where the bus comes.And the bus takes its own time. There can be nothing more torturing!

What is worse,some of the bus stops are too bad to be used the one in Sector 36-A is without a shed and benches. Even if you find a proper one, you may not find any place to sit, since there is a thick layer of dust on benches.Floor is littered and one can see all kinds of posters on walls.

The only benefit of such stops is that they provide shelter in rain, not only to commuters, but to many a passerby, if the shed is not leaking. These stands can be found only on one side of the road. Travellers on other side of the road, who are to board on buses running in opposite direction,can be seen waiting in the sun. If they ride a crowded bus, they have to keep standing again.

Frequency of buses is less in the evening." Better I have come before sunset. I am looking for a bus for the last 40 minutes, but to no avail. It is 8 p.m. now and I shall have to make some other arrangement,” grudges Mr Ravi at a Sector 35 stoppage, who wants to go to Sector 44-C. Sometimes bus halts for just a few seconds and one has to run after it. One has to be quick.

It is harder for people who cannot get a direct bus to their destination. Changing buses is not only time-consuming, but tiring as well.

“It is disgusting to linger over stoppage and look at watch every now and then. Especially when you are standing alone. But if there is no solution, one should accept things as they are. I think, travelling in buses has taught me some patience,” quips a college-going girl at the Inter-State Bus Terminus.


Flight rescheduled
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — Indian Airlines has decided to revise the schedule of its flight IC-7485 from June 28. The flight operates on Wednesday and Friday every week.

According to Mr Rajinder Kumar, Station Manager of the airline here, under the revised, schedule the flight would depart from New Delhi at 12.45 p.m. and reach Chandigarh at 1.25 p.m.; leave for Amritsar at 1.50 p.m. and depart from Amritsar for New Delhi at 3.40 p.m.

Mr Rajinder Kumar said that on June 28, the flight would also operate on a slightly modified schedule. On June 28, it would take off from Delhi at 3 p.m., reach here at 3.40 p.m., depart for Amritsar at 4.10 p.m. and reach Delhi at 6 p.m.Back



Equipment destroyed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — Equipment worth over Rs 50,000 were destroyed in a fire which gutted a cabin in the Notified Area Committee (NAC) market of Mani Majra here this afternoon.

According to Fire Department sources, four fire engines were pressed into service to put out the blaze in about one hour. The fire occurred at a telephone sale and service cabin in the market.



Held for harassing husband
Tribune News Service 

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — In probably the first case of its kind, the police has arrested a housewife of Bapu Dham colony for allegedly harassing her husband here today.

According to police sources, Veena, used to allegedly pressurise her husband to do her bidding by threatening to commit suicide. She on numerous occasions, as per the statements of her neighbours, reportedly poured kerosene on herself and "acted" as if she was going to set herself afire.

She was booked under Sections 107 and 151, CrPC. Further investigations are on.

One injured: A Panchkula resident was hit and injured by a truck near the railway traffic lights.

Sources said Vivek Kumar and his mother Shashi were going in their car when they were hit by a truck (PB-23-6448). While Vivek received injuries and was admitted to the Sector 16 general hospital, the accused fled after abandoning the vehicle.

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

Car stolen: Kapurthala resident Harbhajan Singh reported that someone has stolen his car (PB-09-3570) from the PGI parking lot. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

2 accused held: The police has arrested the two remaining accused in the sector 26 sodomy case. Kaku and Raju were held today and were produced in a city court. They have been charged with sodomising a 14-year-old mentally retarded boy of Bapu Dham colony on June 21.

Theft reported: Narinder Singh, a resident of Sector 19, reported that someone has stolen an LPG cylinder with a regulator, besides clothes, from his house. A case under Section 457 and 380, IPC, has been registered.


Kidnap bid: An unidentified persons tried to kidnap Rabia (9), daughter of Capt K.K. Sharma, from a park near the Yavanika Open Air Theatre tonight.

According to Capt Sharma, a resident of Jalandhar, he along with his relatives went for a stroll in the park when the person tried to kidnap the girl by gagging her mouth. When the girl raised the alarm he disappeared.



Police interaction with traders
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — Samvad, an interaction programme with traders, guest house owners, proprietors of eateries, pub owners, besides STD operators, was held at the Central police station here today.

The interaction was held by Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, SDPO, Central, who listened to their grievances, besides putting across the viewpoint of the police in helping them maintain law and order in the city. A majority of the proprietors of such establishments attended the deliberations which carried on through the day.

The traders were told to inform the police about the movement of suspicious elements and report their presence in their establishments. They were also told not to encroach upon the corridors and restrict the movement of the general public.

The pub and dhaba owners were told not to serve liquor in their joints, while the guest house owners were asked not to let out rooms to anti-social elements, besides underage persons. The arrival of such persons should be reported to the police without delay. The cops impressed upon the traders to observe the closing and opening timings of their establishments.

The STD operators were informed that the police received many complaints regarding eavesdropping by operators on private conversations. They were told to inform the police if any persons made any threatening calls or blank calls to anybody. Information of calls made to Pakistan should also be brought to the notice of the police.

More such interactions were on the cards, the sources said.


25 rehri markets to get pucca booths
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — The wait of the rehri market shopkeepers for getting “pucca” booths is finally over.

With the Chandigarh Administration deciding to construct double-storeyed “pucca” booths for the rehabilitation of the shopkeepers of the 25 rehri markets in a phased manner, these shopkeepers have finally something to cheer about. The issue of construction of the pucca booths for the rehabilitation of these shopkeepers had been hanging fire for the past several years. A large number of these shopkeepers had deposited Rs 3,000 with the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in 1991.

According to sources, 2314 eligible shopkeepers would be provided pucca booths in the 25 authorised rehri markets of the city, following a decision of the Administration recently. The rehri markets, which will be converted into the pucca booths, include the markets in Sectors 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 18, 22-D, 24-A, 28, 29, 37-D, 38-D, 39, 40, 41-D, 42-C, 43, 44, 45 and 46, Ram Darbar, Phase II, and Maloya.

Mr Sarbjeet Singh Sandhu, the UT Chief Architect, confirmed that the drawings had been finalised and the CHB entrusted with the responsibility of completing the job. The double-storeyed booths, which would be patterned on the Palika Bazaar in Sector 19, would be completed in a phased manner, the officials highlighted.

The double-storeyed booths, the ground floors and first floors of which would be allotted to different persons, would check the sale of the booths by the allottees since these would be allotted on leasehold basis. The 8’x8’ booths will have a nine-feet corridor.

The markets, the work on which will be taken up in the first phase, include those of Sectors 7, 8, 9, 11, 24 and 46. The work on the Sector 46 market had started following bhoomi pujan by the CHB Chairperson, Ms Neeru Nanda, yesterday.


Videos becoming out of focus

WITH a huge number of satellite channels available and a great variety of programmes to watch, the trend of renting video cassettes has almost vanished. Cable connections have replaced VCRs and VCPs since long. There are hardly any video libraries in the city which deal exclusively in video cassettes.

In the 80s the VCRs and VCPs were an important source of entertainment. There were video libraries everywhere and persons rented videos of old movies which they had missed, besides those of the new ones. The craze of watching a movie at home had reduced the number of movie-goers in cinema halls.

Children rented videos of their favourite cartoons like Tom and Jerry and videos of only songs were rented by many. The introduction of satellite channels put an end to this practice. Whatever you wish to watch is now available on one channel or the other, giving you a long list of programmes to choose from.

“The sale of video cassettes has reduced. There are only a few who buy these. Out of them, many buy old Hindi classics like Mughal-E-Azam, Pakeezah and Umrao Jaan,” says Mr S.N.Bansal, owner of a video parlour. “People prefer to buy compact discs these days which have a number of advantages over the cassettes. Though a CD costs Rs 300 to Rs 400 compared to a cassette which costs Rs 120 to Rs 200, it has a longer life , better quality and is not damaged by fungus,” he says.

The trend of buying video CD players is picking up and people are simply dumping their VCRs and VCPs at throwaway prices. These are placed in a corner by many persons and are rarely used .

Owners of some video parlours, noticing the decline in business, have started dealing in other things. Harinder Singh, who used to own a video-rental shop in Sector 22, has now opened up a garment shop, though he still keeps video cassettes which he says nobody takes.

The VCRs are left with only those persons who do not own a VCD and use these mostly to watch videos of weddings and parties. VCRs seem to be disappearing from cities, but have become great entertainers in villages where labourers, after a day’s grind, rent these to watch movies in the night.

— Avneet Sidhu


Programme on women entrepreneurs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — "The focus of a woman entrepreneur has to be on the selection of right profession as per her personality. For this, try and listen to your heart, the inner core." Ms Neena Singh, Vice-President of the HDFC and the Times Bank, was speaking on the occasion of the valedictory session for the women entrepreneurship development programme (WEDP) at the Technical Teachers Training Institute here today.

Ms Neena Singh said that it was the seed of identity which resulted in making up of a woman entrepreneur. "It is also very important for women to assert and express themselves. This she can achieve without being overtly aggressive."

Addressing the 35 participants at the WEDP, she said that failures were the stepping stones to success. "Don't fear failure. instead learn from them. I myself must have committed mistakes in my banking career of 22 years. But each step became a fruitful learning experience."

This multi-disciplinary programme was sponsored by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). It also included informative guest lectures from successful entrepreneurs and businessmen on various facets, including finance and setting up of a small scale industry.

Dr S. Krishnamurthy, Principal of the TTTI, said that making an entrepreneur was empowering a woman. "No institution can impart training forever. It is also important to get professional knowledge which one can get only through experience and deep study."

Dr Krishnamurthy stressed that future had great hopes for women entrepreneurs. "Food processing, service and other such options have lot of business opportunities. A great business is always started in a small way." Eventually it was the service the business gave which showed the path for future development, he told the women entrepreneurs attending the five-week course.

Mr R.N.Yadav, Deputy General Manager, SIDBI, said that to be effective such programmes needed to be followed up. "The SIDBI will arrange for such programmes to be held in the future also." He said that the SIDBI, in its endeavour to help women entrepreneurs get loans would come out with a separate cell.

Earlier, Dr J.S. Saini gave an introduction about the WEDP. He said that follow-up meetings to discuss the status of projects would be held regularly.

Ms Neena Singh gave away the certificates to the members participating in the programme.


MICR to reduce fraudulent bank withdrawals
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 23 — The risk of frauds through cheques or drafts will be a thing of the past, while city residents will now have the facility to speedily encash cheques or drafts. This will be possible as a new technology, based on a hi-tech computer software-based application called Magnetic Ink Corrector Recognition (MICR), will be launched next month and banks will switch to the new technology.

This will mean that money transferred through cheques and drafts will be reach the bank account of the depositor much faster. The launch of the new system in the local area — including banks in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar area — was originally scheduled for July 1. However, it has been delayed due to minor glitches.

The customer stands to gain as the risk of fraud will be eliminated, while drafts and cheques can be encashed the very next day. The loss of cheques in transit or due to errors will also be minimised. The nationalised banks is the city do not intend to raise the fee of cheque books or other stationery and will absorb the costs as a part of the modernisation drive, according to a source.

Each bank will install a machine to ‘’recognise’’ the MICR cheque or draft and then send it to the clearing house, where the cheques will be sorted out automatically and cleared for members of the public to withdraw their money the next day. At present, a person deposits the cheque and is able to withdraw money on the third day after depositing the cheque.

The Reserve Bank of India has nominated Punjab National Bank (PNB) to be the clearing house for MICR cheques and drafts in Chandigarh. The State Bank of India — at present the clearing house for local cheques — will continue to handle clearing of all outstation or non-MICR cheques, adds a source in the banking sector.

At the moment, all banks are being asked to provide samples of the cheques and colour scheme preference. Each bank will have a colour code and specific number code that will be a security measure recognised by the machine. If the cheque or draft is not original or stolen, the machine will reject it.

On the other hand, the PNB is setting up machinery and software to deal with the new system that aims at speedy encashment of cheques for the customers and reduction in frauds, besides providing for a modern reliable banking tool. In Punjab, MICR technology-based system has been launched in Amritsar, where SBI handles the clearing.Back

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