Monday, July 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mother, two kids die of poisoning
Tribune News Service

(KUMBHRA) SAS NAGAR July 16 — A 28-year-old married woman died of poisoning under mysterious circumstances here last evening and the body was consigned to flames by her family members without informing the police.

The case came to the notice of the police after her last rites had been performed. The two children of the deceased, Ranjit (6) alias Jaiti and Harjit Kaur (4) who were also allegedly given poison, died at the PGI, Chandigarh, in the wee hours this morning.

The husband of the deceased, Mr Balwant Singh, was not at home when the tragedy happened. He had left for Dubai in search of employment two months ago. According to the police, the deceased consumed the poison at around 12.30 pm and died immediately, but the children were taken to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) by the sister of the deceased, Ms Kulwinder Kaur. The children were referred to the PGI after their condition deteriorated.

It could, however, not be ascertained how the children consumed the poison. What raised many a eyebrow is the manner in which the body of the woman was consigned to flames by her family members. The father of the deceased, Mr Amarjit Singh, a resident of Seona village in Patiala district, said, “She was married to Balwant eight years ago. She was getting treatment for her heart ailment from Rajendra Hospital, Patiala”. He said she appeared to be under stress due to her ailment, but never complained.

On being asked if her last rites were performed in a hurry, he said, “We do not have any suspicion on anybody, so we disposed of the body”. Though the police claimed they had no doubt on anybody, as per the practice, any such incident had to be reported to the police by the village sarpanch or the chowkidar. The family members were called to the Phase 8 Police Station by the investigating officer, ASI Satnam Singh. On the basis of its findings, a case under Sections 307, 309 and 302 of the IPC has been registered against the deceased.

Investigations by TNS revealed that the sister of the deceased, Ms Kulwinder Kaur, was also married in the same village. The cause of the woman ending her life and of her children could not be ascertained. The police claimed that her ailment was the reason. Meanwhile, the bodies of the children were handed over to the husband of the woman, who reached today.


CMC ‘moves’ patient made paralytic by PGI
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH July 16 — Mr Parmod Kumar, who had virtually reconciled himself to the life of a paralytic after his discharge from the prestigious PGI here in April, has everything to cheer about now following a successful operation conducted at the Sector 17 Chandigarh Medical Centre.

Parmod (23) was being examined at the PGI since September last year with complaints of cervical vertebral dislocation (slip of the vertebrae). According to his father, he was admitted to the institute on December 31 when he collapsed at his native village Gidderbal in Una district of Himachal.

The father said even as they continued to make rounds of the PGI, he was reportedly put on heavy traction through the skull while on treatment. The disease was reportedly not properly diagnosed, with the result that he developed quadriplegia (total loss of the power of both arms and legs) while on traction.

Mr Sohan Lal, his relative, alleged that the PGI authorities discharged Parmod, advising him that either he would be cured on his own or he should be taken to the Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Postgraduate Sciences, Lucknow, for treatment.

In the meantime, the condition of the patient went from bad to worse and he developed back sores and there was not a flicker of movement in any of his limbs. The dejected relatives then brought him to the CMC on July 5. The operation was performed on July 7 and within 12 to 16 hours, movements of all limbs were noticed.

Dr Vikas Mehra, Consultant, Orthopaedics and Spinal Surgery, who performed the over three-hour successful operation, told The Tribune today that in about one month, the patient would be on his feet and lead a normal life. Had the operation been delayed, the life of the patient would have been in danger, he added.

Explaining the reason for the almost nil movement of the limbs, Dr Mehra informed that this was the case of tuberculosis of the cervical spine. It was not properly diagnosed at the PGI. The surgery called for operative decompression and stabilisation of the cervical vertebrae, Dr Mehra said.

Meanwhile, speaking from his bed at the CMC, an elated Parmod said his condition was much better and now he could move his limbs.


Another fraud case against Punwire officials
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR July 16 — Yet another case of financial irregularities in Punwire has been registered by the police. According to information available, Mr R.K. Gupta, Manager (Accounts), Mr A.P. Singh, DGM (F and A), Mr Ashok Jerath, AGM (Accounts), and late P.C. Sharma, a cashier, allegedly embezzled Rs 25 lakh from the company's account.

A case under Sections 406, 408, 409, 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr P.S. Mundra, Associate Vice-President, with the company.

It may be pertinent to mention that last month the police had registered two separate first information reports (FIRs) against the same persons for allegedly embezzling funds of the company to the tune of Rs 83 lakh. The amount had been embezzled by making fake entries while transferring the money to Punwire Mobile Communications Limited (PMCL), a subsidiary of the company.

The case had come to light when the newly appointed General Manager (Finance and Accounts), Mr Devinder Singh, and the Chief Executive Officer, Mr N.P. Singh, sought confirmation from the PMCL whether the amount shown to have been transferred to it had actually been done.

In the other case bungling in the accounts of the company had been made by producing fake bills of freight allegedly issued by the Mohali LCV Transport Union. At least Rs 6.41 lakh had been drawn against four fake bills.


Labourer dies, doctor booked
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR July 16 — A migrant labourer Ganesh Kumar allegedly died because of negligence on the part of a doctor practising in Manakpur Sharif village of Kharar tehsil. The Kurali police has registered a case against the doctor.

According to an FIR lodged with the Kurali police one migrant labourer Ganesh Kumar had some stomach problem and he was taken to a siana in the village. After that, he was taken to the doctor, Gurmakh Singh. According to the FIR, the doctor administered two injections and gave him some medicines, but the patient died on the spot within 15 minutes at about 8.30 am yesterday. According to the FIR, they were forced by the accused to cremate the body immediately and the body was taken to Palanpur village and was cremated.

Someone from the village informed the police about this and Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP Kharar, rushed to the spot to hold preliminary enquiry. He ordered that the ashes should be taken into possession, which would be sent for chemical examination. The Kurali police has registered a case under Sections 304-A and 201 of the IPC against Dr Gurmakh Singh, also the sarpanch of the village.


Should driving licence age be lowered to 16 ?

SIMRIT JAGDEV: Driving is all about one’s skill, efficiency and caution in handling a vehicle and not something that has to be groomed and tested on the basis of one’s age? For that matter, how many senior citizens in Chandigarh are aware of the traffic rules? If a driving license is issued to any individual it should be of no concern whether it is for a 50cc or a 100cc vehicle. Why are we getting into the engineering of the vehicle when we drive on the basis of our skills and not on the basis of the weight of the vehicle.

At the age of 16 if Sachin Tendulkar can qualify to enter in Indian cricket team where he faces a ball coming at a speed of 200km/hr, can’t our students drive a two wheeler. We are talking not of the VIP brats who come to school in their CHOI-G numbered cars, advertising their father’s money, but about the common youth who has to go to school, attend coaching classes and other activities. Rather than wasting two hours in travelling every student would prefer to utilise his time in studying. And any parent would compromise on breaking the laws where the comfort and success of their child’s academics and careers are concerned.

80% of the mishaps and accidents in town involve the middle and the older generation, the young being more alert, careful and efficient in driving. The government is also fully aware that it is the govt. employees who issue fake licenses. So why not issue legal licenses at the age of 16 where the students are benefited and can drive legally. No matter what age limit is set the students will continue to drive. So why not issue legal licenses at the age of 16 where the students are benefited and can drive legally. No matter what age limit is set the students will continue to drive. So why not privilege the ones why actually are in need of this liberalisation.

Dr (Mrs) RAVI SHARMA: Eligibility for a driving licence at the tender age of 16-18 years should be done away with completely. The thrill of overspeeding is bound to be there in an independent, overconfident and immature 16-18 year old. Hence, accidental injuries are also on the rise. Bad roads, no traffic, sense, peer pressure and rejection of helmets add to the problem.

Unfortunately, parents have little patience, and not time, thus giving in to the demand for a vehicle by their youngsters, but at what cost? As a physician and a parent, I feel concerned for the precious lives of these children. Above all, I strictly feel that a driver’s license should be issued only at 18 years or above. A helpful attitude from the family and teachers can surely bring around our children to reasoning.

Shvetta Goyal: By the time a child becomes 16, he has many responsibilities on him. He is not able to deal with all these responsibilities as there are numerous problems in his life. As time is the essence we need to do our work quickly for which a driving licence is a necessity. Public transportation like buses, taxis or rickshaws waste a lot of time. Driving makes one independent and confident. They are all well aware of the road sense or the rules and regulations. Boys and girls going to school or tuition or in the evening are found between 16 and 18 years. We walk on the foreign tracks in every field then why we are lacking in this matter. Is it that the children in the USA are more careful than in India. Moreover, accidents here occur not because of the drivers but the reason is stray animals and pedestrians. Why can’t this law be changed when others are changed many a time. The illegal can be made legal by just changing few words. So keeping in view all these suggest that the driving licence age must be lowered to 16 years.

Salil Aggarwal: We the youngsters should not be issued driving licences unless we are 18 years of age as we are not grown up enough to handle or control scooters, motor cycles or cars. Most of us drive fast which sometimes results in fatal accidents. The licences given to teenagers above 16 years of age for driving mopeds up to 50 cc is fine and should continue. The teenagers do not have the full knowledge about the technicalities of the machines and the traffic rules which could also lead to accidents.

The parents should also not encourage their children to take their vehicles to schools and colleges before 18 years of age. They do not want to wear helmets which is the main reason for head injuries in accidents. So, I would say that the driving licence age should not be lowered to 16 years.


250 NCC cadets to visit Kargil
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH July 16 — The first special National Integration Camp of National Cadet Corps (NCC) got underway here today, in which, more than 250 cadets of all states and union territories are taking part.

The camp is the first of the four such events and the other three are to be held at Leh, Srinagar, Bomdi La and Aizawl. It is the brainchild of the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes. The clearance for it was given at the recent NCC Directors General Conference in New Delhi. The DM had said such camps would not only foster the spirit of national integration, but also improve the awareness of cadets about Operation Vijay and the role of the armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Col Deepak Sharma, local Group Commander, said in the 12-day camp, the cadets would tour places around Leh, besides visiting Kargil and the other scenes of battle in Operation Vijay. The cadets will be flown to Leh tomorrow.

Senior Under Officer Amdani Afzal of Maharashtra said he was looking forward to see the peaks where Pakistanis were pushed back by our soldiers. He is a petrochemical engineering student who wants to join the Army.

Cadet J. Rajesh of Tamil Nadu said he was happy to be a part of this camp and had learnt Hindi especially to interact with the other cadets and people of this region. "Although I miss home food, but I will cope with everything to be a part of this group," he said. His friend Shree Vaikunth also has the same opinion.

Cadet Badreshwar Baro of Assam wants to join the Army and is working towards getting the 'C' certificate of the NCC. "The people here are kind and there is no difference between the climate here and back home. I look forward to see the peaks which I have only witnessed on television."

Cadet Lambert Godinho of Goa said, "I love travelling and this is like a dream come true. I have attended many camps, but this is the first time when I will be on a service aircraft and get to see the conditions in which our soldiers perform their duty."

Lieut-Col Praveen Kumar, CO of the Second Chandigarh Battalion, said the cadets would be back in city on July 28.


VIPs encroach on govt land
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH July 16 — Throwing layout plans to the winds, certain VIPs in Sector 7-B have encroached upon government land and constructed car sheds and huts for their servants.

A car shed/hut has been constructed in the parking area between house nos 912 and 913 much to the inconvenience of the general public.

One of the residents highlighted that as per the layout plan of the Town Planning Department, there was a back space of 10 feet between the house nos 904 and 905. The total length of the backlane was about 120 feet.

The backlane had been encroached upon by certain allottees, thus blocking the 10 feet wide backlane.



450 Nirankaris donate blood
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA July 16 — Nearly 450 Nirankari devotees donated blood at a special camp organised by the local unit of the Sant Nirankari Mandal at the bhavan in Sector 9, here today.

A 24-member medical team headed by Dr Sudershan Kumar, Associate Professor, Department of Transfusion Medicine, provided the blood-collection services.

The camp was inaugurated by the Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Punjab, Mr Naranjan Singh. Describing blood donation as a natural material for cementing human unity, he appealed to the devotees and volunteers to offer blood for emergency cases at government hospitals.

The President of the mandal, Mr Kuldip Singh, said blood donation and the welfare of weaker sections of the people formed the priority of all social activities of the branch.

The head of the Women's Section of the Panchkula branch of the mandal, Ms Surinder Kaur, said a large came forward to donate blood at the annual camp. They were medically examined and anaemic patients were given free medicines and health education.

Earlier, a pamphlet titled, "Engineering the Strength of Weaker Sections'' was released by the chief guest. This contains the goal of the mandal and various camps organised by the devotees on previous occasions.


Computer centre opened
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA July 16 — A computer centre offering e-commerce, web applications, intranet and extranet besides developing projects on wireless application protocol to train software professionals, was inaugurated in Sector 10, here today.

The chief guest, Dr K.S. Arya, former Principal of DAV College, Chandigarh, inaugurated the centre, He said the opening of new computer centres adopting the latest in technology was the need of the hour. He said the time was not far when people would shop with the help of the computer and there would no be need to go out at all.

"The satisfaction of the consumer has become prime and the companies are trying to create products to suit everybody's needs. Similarly, the computer centres need to be equipped with the programmes and capsules which cater to all age groups,'' he added.

The spokesperson of the company informed that 15 machines had been installed at the centre where education would be imparted in two batches of 14 students each with the duration of the course being six months. He said that this was the first computer centre of the company. The company would also open two centres in Chandigarh and one each in Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar.


Sai devotees celebrate Guru Purnima
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH July 16 — Devotees of Sri Sai today celebrated Guru Purnima in the Sector 29 Shirdi Sai Temple here with great fervour.

According to Mr Vijay Kumar, President of the Shirdi Sai Samaj Committee, the devotees thronged the temple at 6 am and performed mangal snan on Sai Baba. At 6:30 am, the path of Sri Sai Satcharitra began, which was followed by bhajans and discourse. Some devotees came from Delhi and Saharanpur to sing bhajans. In the evening, langar was distributed among the devotees.


Minister to open computer service
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR July 16 — The State Housing and Urban Development Minister, Punjab, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, will launch a computerised single window service system in the estate office here on July 18. Inauguration of a community centre in Sector 54 and planting of tree saplings are also on the itinerary of the minister.Back



PATIENTS visiting the PGI a few days ago were taken aback on seeing a large number of policemen at the entrance and the reception. Enquiries revealed that they were awaiting the arrival of the Haryana Governor ,who was visiting the hospital for a check-up.

Nothing wrong in that, except that the policemen were making things difficult for the “ordinary” patients and their attendants. Ailing patients disembarking from rickshaws or ambulances on stretchers and their attendants were hustled and shouted at to clear the entrance quickly for the VVIP visitor, unmindful of their condition or age. The fleet of Raj Bhavan cars parked in the porch made it difficult for other vehicles to approach the area.

People wanting to make enquiries were also not being allowed to crowd near the reception. Sensing the importance of the gubernatorial visit, even some of the staff at the reception asked people not to stand in front of the counter as “Governor saab” was about to arrive. One just wishes that such VVIP visits wouldn’t add to the hassles of “lesser mortals”, who already have to rough it out in the hospital, whether it is for a place in the congested parking lots outside or going through long queues inside to see the doctors.

Village ponds

With the development of rural areas around Chandigarh City, village ponds are under threat. Most of the villages don’t use these lagoons. They throw plastics and other wastes resulting in deterioration of the quality of water, mosquito breeding and offensive smell. Keeping these problems in view the Chandigarh administration decided to fill up these small ponds. In four villages — Burail, Darua, Hallomajra and Badheri — these spots have already been levelled. In villages Mauli and Kajheri, the filling work is in progress. The other three villages — Attawa, Baterla, and Kishengarh — had no ponds.

The desilting of ponds was carried out in three villages, namely Khuda Ali Sher, Maloya and Dadu Majra. Other villages i.e. Kaimbwala, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Sarangpur, Dhanas, Behlana, Raipur Kalan and Khuda Ali Sher (second pond) need desilting.

Previously, the village ponds were automatically desilted by villagers themselves. They removed silt or mud for house building, repair, making bricks and using the same as green manure. The water of the ponds was used for fire fighting, drinking and bathing of cattle. The ponds also helped in improving the micro-climate, ground water recharge, and many economic benefits through growing fish, swans and acquatic vegetables. So we must preserve our heritage, says a poster by the ESI.

Cob vendors

Cob (chhalli) vendors can be seen occupying every little pocket available in every sector of the city these days. Prices vary depending upon the place of sale. So while the vendors sitting in Sectors 33, 35 and other Southern sectors are selling a cob for Rs 2 or 3, those sitting in the Sector 17 market area are selling the same one of the same size for Rs 5 and sometimes Rs 7 (if the demand is more, mainly on Saturdays). Ask the vendor why he is selling at a higher price, and the smart reply comes: “Sector bada hai to daam bhi to bada hoga. Sasti khani hai to chote sector jao.”

Computer courses

With the city youth becoming increasingly conscious about the advantages of advanced computer education, the city’s computer coaching institutes are engaged in a war of sorts to woo the potential students. So as the competition is increasing, the institutes are coming up with two-year, three-year courses which train a person in various information technology fields. But as the students also get choosy, they go in for the best bet. It is learnt that as on clothes and shoes, heavy discounts are now also being offered on such courses.

One such institute in Sector 34 is reportedly offering 30 per cent discount on the actual cost of the IBM e-com course. The institute people are naturally having a hard time accommodating the increasing rush — for every student wants discount, instruction apart!

What next?

There are at least four new newspapers in the city, two “angrezi” and two in our “desi” language. And as per reliable sources, there are a couple more, waiting in the wings, readying for the launch.

Now each one of them is offering either a gift or an incentive with the subscription. One particularly big group of newspapers is giving a bag while the other one is offering its vernacular counterpart daily as a free gift. All this is in addition to a host of pullouts for the young, the old, sports, health and fashion.

A wag remarked that with so much of competition in the print media, perhaps the next offer would be buy-back facility: “Read our newspaper for a month. We promise to buy your entire ‘raddi’.”

Baldies beware!

Beware, baldies. This is a note of caution for you. The immediate provocation behind this is an incident that has sent shock waves among the residents of a VIP sector located on Madhya Marg. The residents of this particular locality in the sector are up in arms against the baldies. An atmosphere of terror for baldies has been created. So much so that the suspecting hubbies have started counselling their spouses that sleeping on the rooftops could be perilious as some baldpate might appear at the dead of the night and outrage their modesty.

It so happened recently that one night a couple was fast asleep along with their child in their bedroom. The young lady woke up with a start and found a neighbour trying to overpower her. The intruder made good his escape under the shadow of darkness through the toilet window on discovering that the husband had woken up. Dismayed and petrified, the couple chased the intruder but in vain. The following morning the incident became the talk of the locality and attempts to locate the “prowler” intensified. The man, towards whom the finger of suspicion was pointed by the lady, vehemently denied his involvement in the act. However, the threat to get a case of an attempt to molestation registered with police bore fruit and the “wanted” man gave in. He was reprimanded publicly and was “let off’ after the lady in question chose to forgive him. But because of this man being bald, the entire fraternity of baldies has earned a bad name. The residents of the locality have started suspecting any baldy passing by to be a “prowler”.

Music lover

Having attained superannuation in the last week of June, Mr S.K. Singh, the UT Inspector-General, has left a void, if not as an officer, then definitely as a staunch music and animal lover.

A smiling Mr Singh had a passion for good music, got himself trained in the classical music stream after sudden demise of his wife in 1994 and did his “riaz” regularly. After a suggestion by Dr Promilla Kakkar, a resident, he revived the practice to the playing of the police band on weekends at the Sukhna Lake after a gap of nearly 15 years.

That he was a kind-hearted animal lover was evident from the keen interest he exhibited in Sector 16’s infamous poisoning of six stray but duly registered and sterilised dogs. These poor dogs were allegedly killed by some officials of the Health Department of the local Municipal Corporation in October last. In spite of all pressures from different quarters he went ahead and ordered the registration of a case in this connection even six months after the incident.

Letter of appreciation

All the way from West Bengal, Mr Aloke Kumar Mukherjee, an office-bearer of the State unit of the Youth Hostels association of India, has sent a letter of appreciation for Mr Rajpaul, posted as head constable at the police post in Sector 21 of Panchkula.

Addressed to the Superintendent of Police, the letter says that Mr Rajpaul went out of his way to help them collect their luggage from the locked rooms of the local Youth Hostel branch by getting in touch with the office-bearers since the warden was out of town and helping them catch the same day’s Kalka mail.

Accompanied by eight children, two of them disabled, Mr Mukherjee had visited Panchkula. He said that besides the luggage, the locked room contained the return train tickets and medical certificates of the disabled children. “It is rare to come across such gentle and large-hearted persons, especially in the police force.”

To set an example among the force for coming to the rescue of public persons and appreciating a good turn by a personnel of the police force, the Superintendent of Police, Ms Kala Ramachandran, has recommended a cash award for Mr Rajpaul and a commendation certificate.

Road in bad shape

The road from the CII roundabout to the Sector 46-47, 48-49 crossing is in bad shape. Many trucks pass on this road while going to the Punjab side.

When Mr Lal Krishna Advani, Home Minister, paid a visit to Government Hospital, Sector 32, the portion up to Sector 31 was newly carpeted in no time. Even that stretch has become uneven. The condition of the rest of the road is worse. Back


150 three-wheelers challaned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH July 16—The police launched a special drive in the city today to challan three-wheelers violating traffic rules. As many as 150 three-wheelers were challaned and 35 were impounded during the drive. 

The DSP traffic, Mr SS Randhawa, said the drivers of these vehicles were violating rules, the meters were not in order, these were plying with incomplete papers, were overloaded and were without pollution certificates.

Chain-snatchers held

Three chain-snatchers, residents of Duggar village — Shindo, Gejo and Roopo — were arrested from the Mani Majra bus stand. The accused were attempting to snatch the chain of Ms Surjit Kaur, a resident of Sector 38, who cried for help. A head constable, Varinder Singh, and constable Dilbagh Singh, standing nearby, nabbed them and seized the chain.



Capt Sital Singh (retd), a resident of Phase X, has complained to the police that burglars broke into his house on the night of July 14 and decamped with household items worth Rs 7,000.



She is heading a massive banking unit at 35
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH July 16 — When she quit Indian Foreign Services (IFS) to join a field which gave greater vent to her creativity and genius, Uma R. Krishnan did not really know that one day she would be a name to reckon with in the field of banking. But 16 years down the lane, as Country Head, Retail Branch Banking, HDFC Bank, she is proud to have made the right decision.

Uma, who is perhaps the youngest woman banker in the country to have touched great heights in her career, was in town to review the quarterly performance of ten branches of the bank in Punjab and also to preside over quarterly branch heads conference at Timber Trail. She is currently based at Mumbai. The Tribune talked to her about all major aspects of her life — from her stint as an IFS officer, her decision to quit IFS when she could not get into IAS — to her subsequent halt at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore where she took a degree of MBA in Finance and Marketing.

“Life has been very uncertain at my end, but I have always been confident of my strengths. That is the reason when I did not get to take up the IAS due to some technical snag, I quit my services as an IFS and then got into management,” said Uma. After passing out from IIM, Bangalore, she already had about three offers in hand, but she chose to work with ANZ Grindlays where she was put on different assignments. She trained in various fields of banking before she left Grindlays Bank after a long association of 12 years.

“HDFC was fast emerging as the bank of the future. I joined this bank because here the canvass was wider and the challenge graver. I am looking after the entire retail branch banking. My objective in the long run is to make HDFC a one shop stop for the customer.”

During the discussion this morning, Uma was precisely focused on expansion plans of HDFC in Punjab which was being viewed as a potential market for the future. “The bank is steadily making progress and growth here has been very encouraging. We have registered a 20 per cent growth for one quarter. We are due to expand our branches in four more cities of Punjab, including Amritsar, Patiala, Nakodar and Khanna.”

She informed that HDFC had a lot on the anvil for tapping the potential of Punjab. “By the end of this month, integrated response phone banking will be introduced, which would be in addition to the mobile banking which has already been launched.”

On this visit Ms Uma also finalised sites for introduction of debit cards in Punjab. She said, “We want to provide the services where they are needed. Also we are very shortly coming up with consumer loans, both auto and personal, apart from re-looking at our offsite ATM strategy.” Uma also called on the Finance Minister on her first visit to the region which she said would be more frequent in the future. She added that a powerful package was on the way for the customers of this region who would shortly have the best investment and also advisory services.



Slight increase in vegetable rates
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH July 16 — There has been a slight increase in the prices of commonly-used vegetables in the past fortnight.

Perhaps the highest priced was ginger which was being sold at Rs 50 to Rs 55 per kg at Azad Market in Sector 20. While the price of peas varied from Rs 25 to Rs 30, that of onion hovered around Rs 7-8 depending upon the quality, according to a random survey of the retail vegetable markets today.

The price of tomato slightly came down with a kg selling at Rs 18 to Rs 20. Similarly, potato was priced between Rs 3 to Rs 5 (desi variety) and Rs 7 to Rs 8 (pahari variety). The price of cauliflower was quoted at Rs 9 to Rs 12 per kg and that of cabbage from Rs 14 to Rs 16.

The price of brinjal ranged from Rs 18 to Rs 20. On the other hand, cucumber was priced at Rs 12 a kg.

The price of lemon, however, came down. Priced at over Rs 40 per kg last month, it was quoted at Rs 25 to Rs 30 per kg in different markets.

While the prices of capsicum ranged between Rs 30 and Rs 35 a kg, that of bitter gourd was Rs 12-14 per kg.


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