Tuesday, September 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Post of Chief Engineer: three in race
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — The Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) is scheduled to meet on October 13 to select the Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration. In the race for the post are three candidates — Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation; Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, Superintending Engineer (SE) Construction Circle; and Mr Jagdish Mitter, SE, presently posted as OSD, Rules.

The DPC shall comprise the Chairman of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the UT Home Secretary and the UT Finance Secretary.

Among the three candidates Mr Puranjit Singh is the senior most, followed by Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Mitter. Mr Puranjit Singh is Chief Engineer, MC, since January, 1997, but in his cadre he has been holding the post of SE since 1988. He has also served as Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). Mr Bhardwaj was working in the PGI as Superintending Hospital Engineer (SHE) and was promoted to SE in December 1995. Mr Jagdish Mitter got promoted to SE almost a month later in January, 1996.

One of the parameters for eligibility is three years of service as SE. It may be recalled that the previous Chief Engineer, Mr K.K. Jerath, was suspended in November 1997 and was dismissed from service in February 1999. Since his suspension the post has been lying vacant. The present SE, Planning, Mr Kuldeep Singh, was handed over charge for a few days only. Followed by this the present incumbent, Mr R.K. Jain, then an SE, was handed over charge. Later, he was elevated as a full fledged Chief Engineer.

Mr Jain’s extended deputation tenure from Haryana ends on September 30, while he is also scheduled to retire on March 31 next year. All three candidates in the race are UT cadre engineers. While Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Mitter joined the UT cadre directly, Mr Puranjit Singh, was SDO, PWD, Punjab, from where he was absorbed in for the UT cadre in 1972, according to records in the personnel department of the Chandigarh Administration.

Once the selection is made it will be pertinent to note if the charge of Secretary, Engineering, is handed back to the Chief Engineer, as was the case earlier. Presently the charge of Secretary, Engineering, is held by the Finance Secretary. 


Jacob flags off PU cycling expedition
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — ‘‘I too am a student as I am still learning,’’ said Lt Gen (retd.) JFR Jacob, Governor, Punjab and UT Administration, while interacting with students on his first official visit to the Panjab University today. The Governor was at the Panjab University to flag off a cycling expedition of university students, cycling from Chandigarh to Kargil.

General Jacob reached the Student Centre accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. K.N. Pathak, and Dean, University Instruction, Mr Ashok Sahni and was welcomed by the Dean Students Welfare, Mr V.K. Bansal. General Jacob spoke about his own experiences of the Jammu & Kashmir terrain during this time of the year and how adventurous a cycle ride to Kargil could be. ‘‘I was there last year when the fighting was going on and am well aware of the way our brave soldiers operated under the most difficult conditions to throw the Pakistanis out. This gesture of showing solidarity to our brave soldiers would be highly appreciated.’’

General Jacob also commented upon the not-so-robust condition of the bikes of the cyclists and wished them good luck and asked them to take care of themselves as ‘‘the road is rough and traffic heavy.’’ He also granted them an amount of Rs 20000 for the trip. General Jacob also said, ‘‘the spirit of adventure, today, is missing among students, what is required is to strike balance between studies and sports.’’

After flagging off the cyclists the UT Administrator visited the Indian Coffee House on top of the Students Centre building and spoke to students there. He enquired about the food, its quality and sat with the Vice-Chancellor, University officials, members of the press and had coffee. He said that he would be looking forward to coming to the Students Centre again some evening and spending some time there.

General Jacob then visited the university library accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor and the Chief Librarian, Mr A.R. Sethi. He interacted with some students outside the library about the future prospects of the courses they were doing and if they considered computers important for education in the future. He went to the reading hall on the library’s first floor and checked out what the students were reading. He then wanted to see the rare books section of the library, which was immediately opened and lit up for him. The UT Administrator spent considerable amount of time here and went through many books. Accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor at all times, he commented on the conditions of the books, their availability and preservation. He also promised to gift some original Pali manuscripts to the library from his own collection. General Jacob was also made an honorary member of the library and was presented with a pass book before he left. He was seen off by the Vice-Chancellor and other university officials.

The visit of General Jacob did cause some amount of inconvenience to the students who had parked their vehicles outside the library. They had not been stopped or warned against parking the vehicles in the place and later some of these vehicles were towed away to clear certain sections of the parking. The cops on duty when contacted said that they had made an announcement in the library but most students who missed the announcement had to locate their vehicles in other parking lots of the university.

Interestingly, the students in the library commented upon the library’s air conditioning system working unlike most of the other days when they sit there studying during summers with just the table fans to keep the heat at bay. Some students also thought that the way the security had been frisking them was rather annoying.

But most students with whom the Administrator interacted today felt that he exuded spontaneity, steadiness of purpose and friendliness which was something to learn from him. Back


Chandigarh remains costly city
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Sept 18 — Chandigarh remains one of the most expensive cities in the country with the consumer price index for urban non-manual employees in August hovering at 444, which is more than the all-India index of 370.

In fact, the index, which measures the average change in consumer prices over a period of time, has not changed much in Chandigarh since March and has been constantly above the 435 mark.

In March the index was 435, April 439, May 438, June 443, and July 442.

The situation in two other cities — Rohtak in Haryana and Amritsar in Punjab — was however, better. In Amritsar the index was 315 for August while in Rohtak it was 417.

Shimla was relatively comfortable with the index hovering at 378. Srinagar index was 383.

According to the Central Statistical Organisation, the all India CPI (UNME) for August was the same as the index for July, 2000. With the corresponding all India index for August, 1999, being 352, the index for August this year has shown a rise of 5.1 per cent over a year.

The average index for the period April to August, 2000 works out to 366, which is higher by 5.5 per cent over the average index of 347 for the corresponding period of the previous year.

The CPI (UNME) for Calcutta for August was 343, Chennai 419, Delhi 381 and Mumbai 371. The indices measure the average change in consumer prices over a period of time at each centre and as such these cannot be used for comparison of costliness among different centres, the CSO said.


Speaking out
Crime against elderly: is city going the Delhi way?
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — Panchkula, September 17. A 65-year-old Colonel bludgeoned to death by unidentified assailants. Two days earlier, in Chandigarh, a 60-year-old woman was done to death by slitting her throat in the broad daylight. It is therefore, no wonder that the elderly, especially those living alone, are fearing that the city is slowly going the Delhi way, where crime against the elderly is increasing day by day.

Whereas most of the senior citizens feel that crime has co-existed with society ever since the beginning of civilisation. “ However, yesterday’s murder, which is the second in less than a week is a cause of worry for all of us,” says 67-year-old Bharat Bhushan, former Additional Commissioner Excise and Taxation, Punjab.

As per the last census carried out in 1991, out of 6,42,015 population of Chandigarh, about 28,815 were above 60 years of age. Out of these, 615 couples or persons were living alone. Since then, the population in the city has increased many fold and so has the number of senior citizens, especially those living alone.

Mr Bhushan says that worsening law and order situation is a cause for worry amongst the elderly.” I live with my wife Sheila Bhardwaj in our Sector 32 house . Our three daughters are married and settled outside the city. As far as police is concerned, I am fairly satisfied. I am a member of the Help the Aged Police Scheme (HAPS) started by the Chandigarh police in 1998. One of the constables or officers visit us regularly.However, I feel there is a need for more vigilance.”

He recommends improving overall security. “ The law enforcing agencies have to be so powerful that the criminals think many times before breaking them. The problem is our judicial system too is lax. As a result criminals rarely get punished in time.”

Mr Baldev Madhok and his wife Raj Madhok too live alone in their Sector 9 house. However, as far as the HAPS is concerned, he feels otherwise .”The scheme has been a flop. The HAPS was supposed to provide a forum for the welfare of senior citizens with regular visits from representatives of the Police Department. But it has been more than six months that we have received one,” he adds . Mr Madhok retired as Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer in the Railways.

The couple has two daughters and a son. His wife adds, “My son is a Colonel posted at Guwahati and our daughters are in Delhi . Living alone, I do feel scared. This is despite the fact that our two close relatives live in different portions of the same house.”

Sixtythree-year-old Promila Kapur and her husband Panna Lal Kapur live in one of the southern sectors. “ The city is certainly going the Delhi way with the crime against the elderly increasing in the city,” says Mrs Kapur. The couple has two daughters, both of whom live in Delhi. However, she has good words for the police officials who comes to visit them almost twice a month. However, she does add that there is a need for intensified day and night duty. “ I think the problem has increased with the influx of migrant labourers from UP and Bihar.”

Mrs Manjit Kaur Sethi, a resident of Sector 10 agrees. Their numbers are increasing and so are their guts.” However, Mrs Sethi adds that security cannot be considered problem of the police alone. “The Administration and the Municipal Corporation are to be equally blamed. Most of the backlanes in sectors are dirty and infested with wild grass. These back lanes have become favourite spots for unwanted elements. Moreover, rag-pickers add to the menace.”

She asserts that as many as 80 per cent of the crimes against the elderly take place with the connivance of insiders and the servants. “The police has to be more vigilant.They ask us to get information about our servants but the fact is they can extract information in a much better and efficient way than we can.”

However, the elderly living alone also face problems from their tenants and neighbours. Seventyfive-year-old H.S. Bawa is living apart from his two sons who also live in the city. “I feel scared I do take care to lock doors and windows at night. There are many reasons why crimes against elderly are increasing. People look for easy money and what better way to earn it than killing and robbing a helpless old man.”

Mr Krishna Kumar Chadha, 72-year-old former Deputy Post Master agrees. “I am alone and helpless which is why my tenants have refused to vacate my house. Besides, despite being a member of the HAPS, the police also doesn’t help me.” .

Mr S.D. Khurana, though, is all praise for the police and the HAPS and says that tenants and neighbours do tend to take advantage of the senior citizens who live alone. “ My wife and I live alone so to feel safe, we keep the verandah lights on, throughout the night.”.

Mrs Chandra Lekha, 67-year-old retired officer, asserts that it pays to be more careful. “ I live alone so I take certain precautions. After all you can’t depend upon the police for every small little thing. I live next to the market so comparatively I am quite safe. It all depends upon the situation of the person,” she adds.


Insecurity prevails among elderly persons of the city after the murder of Col H.D. Kahol (retd), a resident of Sector 4.

Mr B.K. Nayyar, a local resident, says that the social set up of the families has been disturbed as joint families have been diversified. The servants play the role of informers to their circle outside. This results into such drastic incidents.

Mr K.D. Grover, another resident, says that the crime rate has increased during the past couple of years and majority of labourers, who work as servants, were responsible for such criminal activities.

Lack of intimacy and trust in the police further proves to be the cause of such incidents, feels Mr K.K. Sharda. Mr C.L. Malhotra observes that the one should report the nearest police station about his lonely presence or absence in the house so that the police could keep a regular watch on their house.

More and more labourers from other states are settling in the city and the administration has no check on their migration. Moreover, the administration has not got the records of these migrants. Majority of these migrants are found involved in criminal cases. To strengthen their vote bank the political leaders are giving them shelter without taking the law and order situation into consideration, reveals Mr J.G. Aggarwal.


Are senior citizens secure in this town ? This question has gained significance after recent incidents of violence against senior citizens in Chandigarh and Panchkula. Though no such incident has taken place in the town in the recent past yet old persons seek more measures by the police to make them feel secure.

Mr J.S. Bawa , a resident of Phase 7 who lives along with his wife, believed that senior citizens, especially those living alone, are at the mercy of servants or other type of domestic help employed by them. He says security systems shall be must at the house of the aged.

Mr Ramji Dass, a resident of Phase 1, says there shall be regular interaction between the police and the senior citizens. Deputing sector wise cops, who should regularly meet the aged in their respective area, is also required, he asserts.

Ms Pushpa, says there shall be a separate cell in the police stations where old residents can lodge their grievances. Interaction programmes between the cops and the senior citizens is also required she believes.

The vice-president of the Senior Citizens Federation, Mr A.S. Shyan, says the association is planning to hold a programme in this regard. 


12 hurt in mishap
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Sept, 18 — As many as 12 passengers were injured when a Haryana Roadways bus, which was on its route to Morni, turned turtle, about 5 km from here, on Monday.

According to sources, the bus  was carrying nearly 30 passengers to Badyal village, 10 km ahead Morni. The bus also hit a Tata Sumo.

Among the injured, Sanju (10) was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, while Mr Vinod Chopra, a resident of Yamunanagar, was admitted to Government Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula.The rest were discharged after the first aid.

Police officials along with the tehsildar of the area visited the spot. Driver of the Sumo reportedly fled from the spot.

In another accident, two persons were injured in a collision between a truck and a car in the Industrial Area Phase I here today.


City-Delhi STD link snapped
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — STD links between and Chandigarh and Delhi snapped for more than four hours this evening. Due to this, all international call traffic originating from the city was also affected as the international calls are routed through Delhi.

According to sources a call routing medium at Delhi was affected creating a problem for callers in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar. Subscribers faced problem in reaching mobile phones that are routed through the digital trunk exchange (DTAX) in Sector 17.

Though the link between Chandigarh and Delhi was down , the link between Chandigarh and cities like Jammu, Jalandhar, Ludhiana , Amritsar and Ambala was functional. 


Stag killing case: cop moves CAT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — The police officer accused of killing a stag in the Morni Hills has petitioned the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to seek redressal in the case.

According to sources, Inspector Om Parkash, who was placed under suspension by the UT IGP, has pleaded that he has been wrongly punished. The action was reportedly taken at the behest of certain officers who are inimical to him.

In his petition he said that so far the department had been unable to find any merit in the case. Even after two months and examining several witnesses, the charges framed against him had not been substantiated by the department.

He claimed that no DDR was registered, no FIR recorded and no efforts were made to check the registers manned by Haryana Forest Department officers at the entry point to Morni Hills on the Chandigarh-Nalagarh highway.

The registration numbers of all vehicles were noted down and in any case no weapons could be carried on this route, so the question of hunting the stag does not arise. In this context the Haryana Chief Wildlife Warden also wrote to the Panchkula SP to enquire into the matter, who is said to have ruled out hunting in this area.

Similarly, the police officers, who came to the spot, could not find hide of the hunted animal. This has also been corroborated by the meat shop owners who had reportedly skinned the animal. They have given in writing to the enquiry officer that no one brought the stag to them for skinning.

He further claims that he was away with his family to his native village in Hoshiarpur on July 6 when the incident took place. This can be attested by the panch and sarpanch of the village.

It may be recalled that the Inspector was charged with killing the stag from the Morni Hills and had been suspended and posted to the police lines by the IGP.

The case will be taken up by the CAT tomorrow.


Indigenous anti-jam radio for tanks
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — In the backdrop of electronic warfare and its counter measures becoming indispensable part of today’s battlefield, the Army will soon be equipped with an indigenously designed and developed radio, resistant to jamming by the enemy besides being capable of secure voice and data transmission.

Developed by the Panchkula unit of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the radio, which was displayed at the Army industry partnership here last week, has been supplied to the Army for user trials a few weeks ago. As per available information, the Army is not yet equipped with such anti-jam tactical radios.

BEL sources say that so far four units of the radio, christened VHF (FH) - AFV Radio, have been developed. While they refuse to disclose the development costs, they added that the per unit cost for production will be worked out at a later stage.

Though the trial models have been specially designed to be fitted on T - 72 tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, these can also be used in vehicles or from static positions.

Claimed to be totally indigenous, it uses a software controlled frequency hopping mode to prevent enemy jamming. Constantly hopping from one frequency to another according to a pre-programmed pattern while transmitting prevents jamming as it becomes virtually impossible for the enemy to monitor or track the frequencies being used.

The radio is capable of over 200 frequency hops per second and has a built-in digital capability for secrecy. Having a capacity of 2300 channels, it can be used for both voice and data communication. It also has a facility for automatic rebroadcast as well as direct serial data interface.

The radio, in its ruggedised configuration weighs 15 kgs and can operate from a vehicle’s battery in temperatures from minus 30 degrees celsius to 55 degree celsius.

VHF (FH) - AFV is also compatible in the secure mode with other tactical radios already in service with the Army.


A place where dustbins are rarely used
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — Surgical and household waste has been piling up near dustbin at the entrance of Sector 44-B here. Despite complaints to the authorities concerned, nothing seems to have been done with the result that it had become a serious health hazard.

The foul smell emanating from the area makes it difficult for residents to stay in the unhygienic area. The dustbin in front of the houses is hardly used by the residents, who prefer throwing the garbage outside the bin .

Dr Renu Tayal , who runs a clinic nearby, said the bin had not been put up at a right position. If it has been placed at the entrance then it needs to be cleaned up after every two days.

When inquired about where the nursing home disposed off the waste material, the doctor replied that they had not been provided any kind of facility to dispose off the surgical waste with the result that they were forced to throw away the waste in the dustbin.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune residents complained that the situation had gone from bad to worse. The van of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) used to come after 10 days to collect the garbage, said Ms Pinki.

The environment gets polluted and gives rise to many health related problems, remarked Ms Pammi.


Residents block vehicular traffic
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Sept 18 — To protest against erratic power supply for the past many days, residents of villages of Kharar block staged a dharna and blocked vehicular traffic at Landran and Sante Majra villages on the Kharar-Banur road for about two hours today.

Ms Parmajit Kaur, Sarpanch of Landran village, said that when the residents of these villages meet senior officers of the PSEB they did not give a satisfactory answer. The protesters raised anti-Punjab government slogans.

Another dharna was staged at Sante Majra village, 2 km from here, for about two hours. Mrs Randhir Kaur, a panch of village, alleged that although Rs 10,000 were deposited with the PSEB many years ago for 24-hour supply of electricity but till today it had not been done so. The blockade was lifted when SDM Devinder Singh, assured the protesters to look into their complaint.


Senior citizens meet IT Commissioner
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — With a view to project the difficulties of the senior citizens regarding the income tax returns and refund cases, a delegation of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association, led by its president, P.H. Vaishnav met the Commissioner of Income of Income Tax today.

According to a press note, the Commissioner informed the delegation that the ward officers had been asked to try to finalise the tax assessment and refund cases within one year from the date of filing of returns or claims keeping in view the large number of pensioners and senior citizens settled in the city. He asked the association to bring any pending cases to the notice of the department.

In order to know the ground reality, the pensioners of the age of 60 years and above are advised to furnish the requisite information to the secretary, public relations of the association, Mr V.S. Sodhi, at 183, Sector 19-A.

The association urged the senior citizens to furnish the performa containing the name and address of the pensioner, PAN or GI numbers and the name of the ward and circle where assessed. The assessment year and date of filing the returns and refund claims should also figure in the performa, it added.


Isher Singh Lang’s death mourned
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Sept 18 — Various organisations have mourned the death of Isher Singh Lang, a municipal councillor and president of the Gurdwara Coordination Committee, who died in a road accident.

Mr Mohinder Singh, general secretary of the Gurdwara Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Phase II, said a condolence meeting was held at the gurdwara premises under the presidentship of Mr Joginder Singh. The meeting was attended by, among others, representatives of the welfare bodies of phase I and II. Speakers described Lang as a selfless social worker who even on the day of his death had gone to meet a minister to request her for saving Lambian village from being demolished. They said he contributed a lot to the development of religious institutions.

The local Sarghi Kala Kendar also mourned the death of Lang. The kendar president, Mr Sanjeevan Singh, described him as a non-controversial social worker who was always ready to help other.


Staff of 4 shops booked
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sep 18 — The police has registered a case against employees of four auto shops for assaulting Municipal Corporation employees, besides pelting stones on them when they had gone on an anti-encroachment drive in Sector 40.

According to police sources, Avtar Singh, a Sub-Inspector, lodged a compliant that he and some employees were assaulted by workers of Punjab Auto, Jelly Auto, Mukesh Auto, Mukesh Autos and Prem Autos when they tried to stop them from encroaching on public land by organising a scooter bazaar. They lifted some scooters but were assaulted and stoned by them. A worker of the corporation, Anil, was injured in the clash.

A case under Sections 147, 149, 332, 353, 356 and 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Chain snatched
Sector 55 resident Navneet Chopra reported that two boys snatched his gold chain while he was waiting at the railway station traffic lights in his car. A case under Sections 356, 379 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Two held
Sector 18 resident Rajesh Batra reported that Vikas Kapoor, V.K. Kapoor and Vishal Kappor, residents of the same house, trespassed on his portion and assaulted him. Vikas and Vishal have been arrested and booked under Sections 147, 149, 323, 452 and 506 of the IPC.

One injured
Sector 8 resident Amritshwar was hit and injured by another vehicle, CHOIR 0039, near Dev Samaj School. In another incident, Jagdish Walia, a resident of Burail was hit and injured by a vehicle, HP 16 1461, near the Sector 17 traffic lights. He was admitted to the Sector 32 general hospital. Cases under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC have been registered.


Pvt telecom firms set to enter market
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — Private companies are now all set to enter the market and provide relief to the customers tired of slow services and complex procedures of the Department of Telecommunication Services (DTS). Apart from enticing the new customers with their promises of quick and efficient services, the private companies may well succeed in weaning away the already existing customers of the DTS.

HFCL Infotel,which is likely to commercially launch it’s services from October, will become the first company to provide private connections in Chandigarh and Punjab. The company, using the brand name “Connect” promises telephone connections within two to seven days and that too at he cost of ordinary connection .

While most areas in Mohali and Sectors 21,22 and 23 have already been covered by the wireline, in other areas, the wireless, local loop services will be provided. A wireless connection would mean installation of a telephone provided by the company itself with a small antenna attached to it. The instrument, however, being costly, the company will charge for the normal connection plus a security of Rs 10,000 from the subscriber, which may be adjusted at later stages when wireline reaches your area.

Wireless connection, a novel thing for the local customer, however, will not be able to handle additional facilities like FAX, EPABX, Internet etc due to which the company intends to provide wireline in the entire Chandigarh and Punjab.

For the wireline, one will have to pay Rs 3,000 for the connection and there will be only one category. Billing will be on the pattern similar to what the DTS has and bills will be sent via courier to the customer. The company promises to rectify all types of malfunctions within 12 hours of being informed and the information regarding the same can be reported on single telephone number throughout Punjab.

Apart from these , there are several other major attractive services which will be provided to the customers. These facilities will include free phone service where business houses can offer their prospective customers free access to information about their products. Virtual Private Network (VPN) service will enable offices at different location (inter and intra city) of the same company to be connected through a network via which abbreviated dialling between offices and cost- effective long distance calling between offices will be possible.Back


Coop bank staff stage dharna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 18 — Members of the Haryana Central Cooperative Bank Employees Federation, affiliated with the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), staged a dharna outside the office of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, here today. The demonstrators had come from 332 branches of 17 banks. They were led by Mr Chhattar Singh Jaglan, president of the federation.

The demands of the bank employees include removal of anomalies in pay scales, restoration of overtime allowance, pension, setting up of the employees welfare fund and a transparent transfer policy.

Among those who addressed the employees were Mr Gangadhar Mittal, president of the All-India Cooperative Bank Workers Organisation, Mr Pawan Kumar, Secretary of the Haryana unit of the BMS and Mr Rama Kant Vashisht, general secretary of the federation.

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