Friday, January 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


114 naka points earmarked
Chandigarh Police tests ‘City Sealing Plan’
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
To eliminate the chances of criminals escaping from the city after a strike, the Chandigarh Police today put to test a ‘City Sealing Plan’. At least 114 points have been earmarked in the city where nakas will be set up by mobile police parties within a short period of an incident being reported to the Police Control Room (PCR).

The plan is also being implemented in wake of security threat during the Republic Day celebrations. Instructions have been issued to policemen to focus their attention on the vehicles moving out of the city.

The time for the PCR staff to reach the nakas has been fixed at five seconds. An element of surprise would be the main aim behind the entire exercise. In withdrawal from the common practice of searching vehicles, the vehicles leaving the city would be checked.

Sources in the police department said it had been observed in the past that car lifters and perpetrators of heinous crimes escaped from the city within seconds. By the time the police parties — located at static locations — reached the points of escape routes, the criminals were out of the city limits.

Sources said during a recent meeting, the Inspector General of Police, Chandigarh, had reportedly sought a plan to seal the escape routes from the city. All Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) concerned, SHOs, In charge of the police posts and staff on the PCR vehicles would work as a team in receiving calls. All officials have been given pre-determined spots under the action plan. On receiving a distress call, the Police Control Room (PCR) would swing into action and seek directions from these senior officials.

The DSP (PCR) would coordinate and monitor the communication between the officials in the field. The reaction time for the police patrol parties has been fixed at 10 seconds.

The DSPs and the SHOs have been asked to put up temporary barricades on receiving a call.

The focus of the sealing plan would also be enforced by the police with the assistance of the CRPF personnel at the 12 border nakas.



Chd-Ludhiana rail link by year-end
Booking of tickets through Internet opened
Tribune News Service

  • Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link to become operational by December.
  • Chandigarh put on the railway map for booking of tickets through Internet.
  • Log on to and avail of the facility of booking tickets through Internet.
  • Demand to have three South-bound trains extended up to Chandigarh under consideration.
  • Infrastructure facilities at Chandigarh railway station to be upgraded. 

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway link would be made operational by the end of December, this year. Besides this, the proposal to extend three trains from South India to Chandigarh is also under consideration.

In a press conference addressed by the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ambala Division, Mr Keshav Chandra, the Deputy Chief Engineer (construction), Mr P.K. Gupta, claimed that the construction work on 45 km-long Chandigarh-Morinda track was going on in full swing.

By December end, the much awaited railway line under construction would get connected to Ludhiana. He brushed aside any questions of delay by mediapersons who pointed out that 14 of the 17 bridges were yet to be completed.

It is worth mentioning that the construction work on only three bridges — Jagatpura, Kambala and Chilla Manauli — has been completed, while the rest are under construction.

The project was delayed for many years following a dispute over acquisition of land by the Railways in Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab.

In his reply to a question, Mr Keshav Chandra, said the proposal to extend three trains from South India to Chandigarh was under consideration. The trains were Delhi-Mangalore Express, Delhi-Trivendrum Kerala Express and Delhi-Bangalore Express.

Earlier, after inaugurating the facility to book railway ticket through Internet in Chandigarh, the DRM said the facility had been initiated in collaboration with the IRCTC. Initially, only Master Card holders would be able to avail of the facility, which would be simplified in the days to come, said the DRM.

He said the tickets would be delivered at the doorstep through courier. Tickets for any train and for any class can be booked through the facility. Service charges would be levied (Rs 30 per ticket for sleeper class/ordinary chair car and Rs 50 per ticket for upper class). Facilities of concessional fare for senior citizens and children would be applicable as per the existing provisions.

With this facility, Chandigarh has become the 11th city in the country to have the facility of booking railway tickets through Internet. He said Chandigarh was the only city beyond New Delhi in the North India to have the facility. The facility would also be available to the residents of the satellite towns of SAS Nagar in Punjab and Panchkula in Haryana.

Meanwhile, the DRM told Chandigarh Tribune that the Northern Railways would soon raise infrastructure facilities on Chandigarh railway station. Better facilities for parking, increase in platform area to accommodate trains of longer length, computerised reservation facility with six windows, new coaching complex for upgrading washing facilities and other facilities are on the cards.

The washing line in the yard here, which can handle 18-coach trains, has now been proposed to be expanded to cater to 24-coach trains.

He further said the two newly introduced trains from the city — Janshatabadi to New Delhi and Sadbhavana Express to Lucknow — had received a good response.



Police medal for five cops
Tribune News Service

Sukhdayal Singh, Nanak Chand, Roshan Lal, Taginder Singh
Rajinder Singh, Prem Sagar Gupta, K.R. Sood, N.S. Sodhi

Chandigarh, January 23
As many as five personnel of Chandigarh Police have been awarded the Administrator’s Police Medal and another three have been awarded commendation certificates for meritorious services.

According to an official press note, those awarded with Administrator’s Police Medal are: Inspector Roshan Lal, SI Nanak Chand, SI Rajinder Singh, ASI Taginder Singh and HC Sukhdayal Singh. Those awarded with commendation certificate are: SI Sita Devi, HC Baldev Singh and constable Suresh Kumar.

A social activist and the coach of the Indian hockey team are among those who will be awarded commendation certificates on Republic Day.

Mr Prem Sagar Gupta, an unassuming hardware dealer of Sector 41, who ensures to cremate unclaimed dead bodies, is being awarded for his social service. He is part of the Seva Samiti besides other social organisation.

The coach of the Indian hockey team, Narinder Singh Sodhi, a resident of Mani Majra, will also be honoured. Mr Sodhi, currently posted as Deputy Manager with the State Bank of India at Nanowal village (Fatehgarh Sahib district), was the coach of the Indian men’s hockey team at Busan Asiad-2002. Prior to that he was the assistant coach of the Indian team at Sydney Olympics.

Mr Sodhi, while talking with Chandigarh Tribune, said he represented India in the Asia Cup in 1982 and took part in the World Masters Cup in 1998. In 2001, Sodhi was the member of the Indian junior team for the under-18 Asia Cup held in Malaysia and later coached the Indian junior team that won the World Cup in 2001.

Also on the list is the Principal of the Institute for Blind, Sector 26, Mr K.R. Sood. Mr Sood has been serving the institution for the past 12 years. He will be honoured for meritorious services. Mr Sood belongs to Punjab education cadre and came to Chandigarh on deputation.



Strict UT orders on blood storage, transfusion
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service


  • Frozen blood must never be used for transfusion as haemolysed blood can have fatal reaction.
  • Blood with turbidity, having suspended particles must be discarded.
  • Blood with bacterial overgrowth, caused due to the non-refrigeration of blood for more than four to six hours should not be used.
  • Ideally transfusion should be started within 30 to 60 minutes after being issued from a bank and the procedure be completed within four hours.

Chandigarh, January 23
With serious irregularities in the storage and transfusion of blood by nursing homes and private clinics in the city coming to light, the UT Health authorities have decided to act tough by ordering strict compliance of the guidelines in this regard, to ensure safe blood transfusion.

It was the Transfusion Safety Squad of the UT Health Department which had detected serious violation of the guidelines by some nursing homes and private clinics in storing and transportation of blood and its components. The Health Director, Dr C.P. Bansal, yesterday sent letters to all nursing homes and private clinics to comply with these guidelines and adhere to the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act , strictly.

“We have written to all the nursing homes and private clinics to adhere to the guidelines, a copy of which we have sent to each one of them,” revealed Dr Bansal. The department would conduct raids and in case of failure of these centres in adhering to the guidelines for storage, transportation and transfusion of blood, strict action will be taken, he warned.

“Blood being a living tissue and an important part of the body we must ensure that it is stored and transported at the right temperature so that there is no chance of unsafe blood being given to a patient, “ say blood transfusion experts. If the right temperature and other guidelines are not followed, the quality of blood will deteriorate and will not bring about the desires result.

“Though the responsibility of providing carry boxes for transporting blood is the responsibility of the nursing homes or private clinics, in most of the cases it is the attendants who have to arrange all this at their own level," admitted a doctor. Experts say that while blood can be stored in the special blood bank refrigerator for a maximum period of 35 days, a domestic refrigerator can keep it safe only for less than six hours. In case the blood is stored in the freezer, the RBC's will be destroyed.

Appreciating the move of the UT Health authorities to ensure strict compliance of guidelines for storage, transportation and transfusion of blood, medical experts feel that it was a very sensitive issue, on which there was an urgent need to create awareness. With the fear of blood-borne diseases like AIDS and Hepatitis looming large, there was a need to exercise utmost precaution, say doctors.

Despite a National Blood Policy being framed, there have been instances when blood which had not been screened for HIV, Hepatitis, VDRL, HCV and malaria was given to patients, leading to infection.



Jacob visits Botanical Garden
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
During last monsoon over 25,000 saplings, mostly of medicinal plants, after being procured from Dehra Dun and other parts of the country, were planted in the botanical garden here, have started to grow. This includes 62 species of medicinal plants and 35 species of medicinal shrubs.

The UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), was informed by the Deputy Conservator of Forests , Mr Ishwar Singh, as the Governor today went to various sections of the Botanical Garden to see the progress. The garden would be divided into 10 sections, including the Medicinal plants section, Arboretum, sacred grove, minor forest produce, flowering and ornamental plants section, bamboo setum, pinetum, aquatic plant section, palm section, fernerys, orchiadarium and conservatory.

The prominent medicinal plant would be kalpvarksh, bel, kachnar, red silk cotton tree, dhak, camphor, lasura, rudraksha, amla, anjir, phalsa, maulsiri, sandal wood, jal, sal, ritha, jamun, harar and arjun.

Medicinal shrubs, including rasonth, safed musle, hadjor, guggal, mulethi, kapur tulsi, isbagol and satavari have also been planted. The garden would be one of its kind in the world which would have special emphasis on conservation and research on medicinal plants more specially on those found in Shivalik hills.

Later, General Jacob went to Patiala-ki-Rao choe to see the newly-constructed causeway. He was informed that this 114 feet X 16 feet causeway had been constructed at the cost of Rs 27 lakh.

The General also visited the Cheshire Home. He said that this home had set an example of unpretentious but effective work for the relief of the suffering humanity without much fanfare and with complete enthusiasm and earnestness.

Maj Gen Kahlon informed the Administrator about various works done after the inauguration of Cheshire Home recently. He said that it presently housed 12 residents in the Cheshire Home and there were plans to absorb 12 more.



Sunshine brings cheer
Our Correspondent & PTI

Chandigarh, January 23
Bright sunshine at many places in the region for the second day today provided much-needed relief to the people, but mercury in the minimum continued to hover a few degrees below normal, making nights quite cold.

The city residents welcomed a bright sun, but they continued to experience some chill during night as the lowest temperature dropped five degrees below normal at 2.6°C.

The sun also shone brightly at Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala and Kurukshetra. The night temperature at Ambala and Hisar dropped by three degrees each at 3.6°C and 3.3°C, respectively.

Ludhiana was the coldest in Punjab, recording a low of 1.4°C, while Amritsar at 2.2°C and Patiala at 4.3°C, were both down by three degrees.

After witnessing a slight increase in the minimum temperatures yesterday, the lowest at Srinagar in the Kashmir valley today again dropped by a degree and settled at minus 2.5°C. The state’s winter capital, Jammu, was also cold and recorded a low of 2.5°C, down six degrees, the Meteorological Department said here.

Bhuntar (-0.2°C) and Sundernagar (0°C) in Himachal Pradesh also experienced chilly nights. Shimla continued to enjoy comparatively warmer nights, recording a low of 5.6°C, up four degrees.

Rail traffic in the region continued to be affected by fog at some places. The New Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Shatabdi Express was reported running late by 1.30 hours, the Howrah-Kalka Mail got delayed by 8.47 hours, the New Delhi-Kalka Himalayan Queen arrived late by 1.45 hours while the Lucknow-Saharanpur-Chandigarh express and the Jodhpur-Chandigarh were running late by three hours.

KANGRA: Cold wave claimed another life in the town, raising the number of deaths due to cold to three during the past month, the police said here today.

Mr Umapati Jamwal, DSP, said today that a 70-year-old man was found dead at the local municipal stadium this morning.



Notes that carry a premium
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
You may reject them as fake currency notes only to repent later as these are documents of RBI’s rarely failed strict multi-point currency print error checking mechanism and carry a premium in the market.

“These currency notes are not fake and are acceptable but people do not bring them to the RBI as they seem to carry a premium,” an RBI official told The Tribune. Amidst reports of fake currency notes being in circulation or ISI pushing fake notes in the country to destroy its economy, the presence of such notes in the market may shake the confidence of common men.

It is unbelievable how automatic machines printing currency notes in the country allowed them to be released in circulation as the sophisticated machines brought from abroad put such notes aside during the scrutiny.

Apart from a strict checking in the currency note press in the country, such notes are also weeded out by RBI’s Mumbai and regional centres.

The RBI official said during his tenure here he had only come across another case of such freak notes being brought to the RBI’s to be exchanged with proper currency notes.

These notes termed as “freak” by the RBI had reached local banks. Notes of Rs 1000, 100, 50 and 10 denominations have major printing mistakes. Such are the printing mistakes on the notes that a common man, unlike a currency note collector, may consider them as fake and hide for the fear of being caught by the law.

The RBI understands the danger of such currency notes with printing errors being in circulation in the market and that is why destroys them immediately as soon as they come to its notice. But the people are not bringing them to the RBI either for the fear of being booked for carrying supposedly fake notes or lot of them know the premium they carry.

A note with Rs 1000 denomination bears 2 numbers: 2AK 577190 and 2AK 549190, both on the top side of the note.

A Rs 100 note bearing number F 2273 does not have the number on the bottom and has instead on the back side that reads 8CP 57... and is incomplete. Another Rs 100 note carrying number 8 CP 072270 on the top does not have the number on the bottom and instead has on the back. The two numbers, however, match.

The back of a Rs 10 note bearing number 55H 725177 does not have any imprint on almost the entire side. A Rs 50 denomination note bearing number 8UC 479650 has printing pattern on the back in place of the number on the top side.



Physically challenged persons ‘harassed’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Physically challenged persons were put to unwarranted harassment this morning. The employment exchange provided them with a list of interviews being conducted by the Director NCC located on the campus of the Central Polytechnic in Sector 26.

But the list was issued to these persons around 12 noon whereas the interviews had already been conducted by 10 in the morning.

Moreover, none of the post of peons, boatman-cum-chowkidaar and driver, among others, were for physically challenged persons thus none of them could be entertained.

One of the persons who had come for interview, said this was not the first time such an error had led to harassment for physically challenged persons, who came here with great difficulty.



Pb communication staff reject VRS
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, January 23
Rejecting the VRS policy being offered by the government, the Punjab Communications Employees Union has demanded that the disinvestment process be started all over again by maintaining transparency in the system.

The union leaders, while addressing a press conference here today, said the VRS policy was not acceptable as it was meant only for sick units and not for companies like Puncom, which were earning profits. The company had earned a net profit of Rs 8 crore during the year 2001-2002 and had a cash reserve of Rs 130 crore.

They demanded a “better VRS offer” from the government failing which they would not let the government go ahead with the disinvestment process.

Mr N.S. Bisht, general secretary of the union, said the government was only giving Rs 2 lakh to each employee. Though the VRS offer had been made about a week ago not a single worker had applied for it. The average age of an employee of Puncom was 32 years and how could he survive till the age of 58 with Rs 2 lakh only. Moreover, after accepting the offer he would not be able to work in any government enterprise and as such he saw a dark future ahead.

He said the government at the same time was giving a bumper offer to the officials of Puncom.



Netaji remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The local unit of the Nationalist Congress Party here today remembered Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his birth anniversary.

NCP president Principal Gurbachan Singh and general secretaries Shyam Lal Kanoujia and Vishwa Bandhu Sharma, while addressing party colleagues, at a specially called meeting, demanded construction of a stadium named after Netaji in the second phase of the city.



Woollens given to 45 children

Chandigarh, January 23
As many as 45 children were given sweaters and woollens at “Cares” creche in Bapu Dham colony today. A blanket each was also given to the staff members, helper and the guard. According to President of “Cares” Col (Dr) R.K. Dutta, former president of the creche, Brig Gurindarjit Singh (retd), and his wife distributed the woollens. OC



ULTA PULTA: Jaspal Bhatti’s Friday humour
Amritsar now kidney mandi!

IT seems as if the PR men of the Punjab Government and the Congress are working round the clock to extract maximum political mileage out of the kidney scam in Amritsar. Doctors and the IMA should appreciate Capt Amarinder Singh for he is not out to malign the noble profession of medicine, but to prove Badal Sahib’s hand in the scam. Senior Punjab leaders will soon have to seek cover in the plush farmhouses of their Haryana counterparts if they are even remotely related to any donor, recipient, doctor or even the chowkidar of the famous Kakkar Hospital where most of the operations were conducted.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal has denied that he ever accepted Rs 1 crore as election fund from one of the accused, Dr Sareen. Whether Dr Sareen funded the SAD’s election campaign or not, he has made a great contribution in making Amritsar a famous “kidney mandi”. People from all parts of the country have been flocking to Amritsar for the sale and purchase of kidneys. Advocates also have had good business, making false affidavits that the kidneys were donated only by the patients’ relatives and that too out of love. The Authorisation Committee also needs to be lauded for not verifying the medical histories of the donors and patients in the interest of the kidney business.

If this illegal sale purchase of organs is allowed to go on, the day is not far off when people will be heard saying — “I have sold one of my eyes for this latest model of cellphone,” or “I have purchased this brand new Maruti 800 with my kidney”, or “I tried selling my brain but could not find any buyer!”

The compulsion to sell human organs is a great tragedy but to make a political issue out of it is a matter of even greater shame.



4 held for immoral trafficking
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, January 23
Continuing with its drive against immoral trafficking, the Dera Bassi police arrested four persons, including a teenage girl, from a hotel on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, near Bhabhat village, here last night.

A woman pimp, Darshna Devi, a resident of Panchkula, who was involved in the flesh trade reportedly eluded the police.

The police has impounded a new silver Ford Ikon car being used in the trade. The car bore no registration number.

According to Mr Balwinder Singh Brar, DSP, Paramjit Singh, a resident of Sector 32 Chandigarh, Jaspal Singh of Harikepatan and Raj Kumar of Jalalabad along with a Kaithal-based girl were arrested from Mayur hotel on a tip-off.

The DSP said Darshna Devi had arranged the girl, a dancer by profession, for Rs 10,000 from Kaithal and both were on their way to Zirakpur. They had booked a room in the hotel.

The pimp had earlier been booked by the Dera Bassi and the Panchkula police in similar cases.

A case under Section 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act has been registered. Medical examination of all the arrested was conducted in local Civil Hospital this morning. The four were later remanded in judicial custody by a Rajpura court.



Woman held for snatching money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
A woman Reshma of Bassi Pathana, was today arrested affter she was trying to run away after stealing money from the purse of an NRIwoman, Mrs Prem Hawa. The NRI had gone to a chemist shop in Sector 22 when three women came near her and one of them snatched money from her purse. When the NRI woman raised alarm, some passerby caught the women. The other two women have been booked for loitering.

A constable posted in the Police Lines, Sector 26, Rajbir Singh, was caught while misbehaving with a scooter-borne couple near the roundabout of Sectors 38 and 40. The constbale, in an inebriated state, signalled the couple to stop, who was pushing the vehicle, and forcibly helped them in changing a flat tyre of their scooter. The couple called a PCRvehicle and he was taken for medical examination. He has been booked for creating nuisance on duty.

One caught
A person was caught red handed while trying to steal a car of Dr A. Chakravarty of Microbiology Department in PGI here today. The Security staff of the PGI caught the person and handed him over to the police.

Two vehicles stolen
A Maruti car and a Royal Enfield motor cycle were stolen in two separate incidents in the city during the past 24 hours. Besides this, 288 pouches of smuggled whisky had also been seized.

Maruti stolen
Brig. Narjit Singh, a resident of sector 10, Chandigarh, reported to the police that some one had stolen his Maruti (CH-01-V-9629) on Wednesday, from Apni Mandi of sector-15. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered .

Motor cycle stolen
Sarabhjit Singh, a resident of sector-45 had reported that some one has stolen his Royal Enfield (Bullet) Motor cycle (HR-03-B-3875) on Wednesday last night from his residence. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized
The police has arrested four persons under the Excise Act from various parts of the city and seized smuggled 288 pouches of whisky and 14 bottles of whisky from their possession. Four separate cases under Sections 61, 1, and 14 of the Excise Act have been registered.

The local police has arrested Lali Mattu, a resident of Mauli complex, Mani Majra, on charge of gambling at a public place and recovered a cash of Rs 230/- from his possession. A case under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered .


3 held
The police has arrested three persons under different sections of the Excise Act and seized 40 bottles of illicit liquor. Surjit Singh was arrested by the police from Baghwali and 40 bottles of liquor were seized from him. Two other persons, Naresh Kumar and Gurdev Singh, were arrested on chrage of drinking at a public place.

Six arrested
The police arrested four persons, Hukum Chand, Nirmal Prakash , Shyam Lal and Mamchand, on charge of speculation and Sheesh PaL on charge of gambling at a public place and recovered Rs 2455 from them.

Ranjit Singh has complained to the police that someone has stolen iron shuttering from his godown in Mansa Devi Complex. A Yamaha motor cycle (CH-01J- 3529) was reportedly stolen from near Kisan Mandi in Sector 16 on Tuesday. A case under section 379 of IPC has beeen registered.


Liquor seized
Paramjit Singh, a resident of Bhawaran village, near Rajpura, was arrested by the police for being in possession of 250 pouches and 22 bottles of country-made liquor (seven cases) here last night.

Sources in police said the accused was held by a police party, while he tried to drive away in a car (CH-01V-4718) on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.

While trying to flee, he rammed the car in a vehicle parked along the road, following which the policemen managed to catch him.

The police said the accused used to smuggle liquor from Chandigarh and sell it in Rajpura and nearby areas on retail basis.

The police has impounded the vehicle used in the crime and a case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.



Two arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Police today caught red handed two employees of a Sector 35 gas agency while filling empty LPG cylinder illegally in Sector 44 here. The employees of Vijay Gas Agency were filling the LPG with the help of a nozzle.

A case under the Essential Commodities Act and the Section 420 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

In another case, two employees of Bhatia Gas Agency in Sector 22 were arrested while selling underweight LPG cylinders.



Confusion over new tariff plan
Slashing of rates by cell operators
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The cellular operators’ decision to increase monthly rental by Rs 49 in the name of providing free incoming calls originating from GSM mobile-to-mobile, while imposing incoming airtime charges up to Rs 2 per minute for incoming calls originating from BSNL, MTNL and Reliance mobile phones and fixed line phones have created a confusion among subscribers about any benefit. Though the Airtel and other cellular operators have announced cut in rates up to 20 per cent in outgoing call rates but the customers are still calculating how they would benefit from the price war and to what extent.

The Airtel and Spice, which are the leading cellular operators today announced cut in tariff rates under different schemes. They have announced free mobile-to-mobile incoming call facility for all calls originating from any GSM mobile phone in the country beginning today. However, according to insiders, the customers would have also to pay Rs 49 per month as an additional rent for this facility. In this way, said an official of the BSNL, the cellular operators would get Rs 49 crore per month as additional rent, with claimed 1 crore subscribers across the country.

The Airtel announced airtime rates as low as 10 paise during night, free incoming calls from any phone during the night and special offer of free activation for new customers and reduction in outgoing rates up to 20 per cent under Smart mover, Simplicity and Friends4 Ever schemes. Announcing the initiatives, Mr Vinod Sawhny, CEO, Bharti Mobile Limited, Northern Region, said, “Along with the new tariff plans and the free mobile-to-mobile call regime, we have moved that much more closer to making mobile phones a way of life in Punjab.” Under Simplicity Plan, the customers would avail of outgoing calls at a rate of Rs 1.99 per minute. However, they would have to pay incoming airtime rate Rs 1.99 (for calls from BSNL, MTNL and Reliance mobile phones and fixed line phones).

Similarly, under the smart mover tariff plan, they will have to pay 98 paise per minute for calls from BSNL, MTNL, and Reliance mobile and all fixed line phones. The cellular operators are claiming that if the TRAI accepts their claim of sharing inter-connectivity charges with the BSNL and WiLL, their call rates would also increase in the near future.

Interestingly, Reliance and BSNL officials are not ready to say anything at present. A senior official disclosed that Reliance was still waiting for the final decision of the TRAI and the moves of TATA in the major markets. Similarly, the BSNL officials do not rule out the possibility of a further cut in tariff. They said, BSNL’s Rs 325 monthly rental package with free incoming calls was still better than that of other operators. It would also announce new packages in the next few days, said an official.



Videocon offers Rs 90 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Taking an initiative to cash the mega event of the Cricket World Cup, the Rs 5,500-crore consumer durables major Videocon International Ltd., has launched a scheme ‘Videocon Khel Ke Dekho’ offer for its customers. It expects to sell 4.5 to 5 lakh TV sets during this period worth Rs 450 to Rs 500 crore and will offer Rs 90 crore prizes to customers.

Addressing a press conference at SAS Nagar last night, Mr Sunil Mehta, general manager (sales), Videocon International Ltd., said: ‘‘ Every customer would get a bat-shaped scratch card, and will be able to score runs which will entitle him to win gifts ranging from plasma TVs to projection TVs and VCD players.’’ Company would also launch a marketing campaign of Rs 20 crore in electronic and print media, he added.

Talking to TNS, he said that the company was now aiming to increase its sales volumes in rural and urban markets. He said the Videocon was the only player, which enjoyed a share of over 33 per cent in the domestic market as a group.The other brands of the group included Sansui, Akai and Toshiba aimed at other segments.

He said the company had also launched a new range of DVDs, microwave ovens and refrigerators. Apart from the marketing campaign, he said, the company was also offering attractive incentives to its dealers as well.

Mr Mehta claimed that despite stiff competition the group was doing well in the domestic market. Though the LG and Samsung had increased their share in the CTV, but the Videocon was hopeful that the group’s sale would increase in the coming months with the launching of new models.

He said that the group’s new news channel in Hindi was also in the offing. It was likely to start in May, this year. This would be a purely a business and rural channel, and focus on the segments of viewers that were ignored by the prevalent channels. He added that the company had also plans to diversify its manufacturing in West Asia, Europe, Indonesia, South Africa and South East Asia.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |