Friday, May 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CBI forcing me to name seniors: Gupta
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
The suspended Jalandhar District and Sessions Judge, R.M. Gupta, today filed an application in the lower court to seek the curtailing of his police remand. He also alleged that the CBI had been forcing him to name senior judicial officers as party to the issue.

Mr Gupta also requested the court to allow him to meet his counsel in privacy where the CBI would not be able to hear them.

A case against R.M. Gupta and the suspended UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), S.S. Bhardwaj, was registered by the CBI on May 9 under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of a written complaint by Gurvinder Singh Samra. Gupta was remanded in police custody till May 16, while Bhardwaj absconded.

Gupta’s counsel stated in the application moved before the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, that, as per the court orders, he had met his client in the CBI office in Sector 30 on May 14 and 15.

The counsel alleged that the CBI was harassing Gupta in various ways to force him to make confessions that were not voluntary. “The CBI is pressing Mr Gupta to name some senior members of the judiciary,” he said.

He alleged that his client was being threatened and humiliated and his family members were also being driven to put pressure on him. He said his client looked scared on the morning of May 15.

It was also alleged that a request made to the CBI to allow R.M. Gupta to meet his counsel for two minutes in privacy had been turned down by the CBI. The counsel said the CBI was making false grounds for seeking to extend the police remand of Gupta. The acts of the CBI had made Gupta lose health, the counsel said.

Meanwhile, some of the CBI officials today visited the District Courts to know the whereabouts of S.S. Bhardwaj, according to highly placed sources. The sources also said the CBI officials had met a number of lawyers and told them to inform the CBI if they came in contact with Bhardwaj. They also inspected files of some of cases pending in the court of Bhardwaj.

Meanwhile, pleading that he was falsely implicated in a corruption case registered against him by the CBI, the suspended UT Judicial Magistrate, Mr S.S. Bhardwaj, today filed an anticipatory bail application in a local court.

Counsel for Mr Bhardwaj said the latter was not absconding and was present in the city. Denying the allegation levelled against Mr Bhardwaj by the CBI, it was pleaded that Mr Bhardwaj was on leave on May 8 and May 9 and the CBI had falsely implicated him in the case by planting false evidence on him in his house on May 10. The bail application moved by Mr Bhardwaj will came up for hearing in a local court tomorrow.



City hospitals put on alert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May, 15
Following a red alert by UT Administration, the city hospitals, including the PGI, today kept all standby arrangements ready for receiving patients of the train mishap at Ladowal near Ludhiana.

Even though no victim of the fire tragedy in Frontier Mail was referred to any city hospital till late in the evening, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, directed the General Hospital, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and Red Cross authorities to make all arrangements in case some of the victims were brought here.

The PGI Medical Superintendent, Dr A.K. Gupta, visited the Emergency to check the arrangements. “We have already made arrangement for extra trolleys, ward servants, nurses and dressing material for at least 200 patients, so that in case patients are referred to us, we can swing into action immediately,” said one of the doctors on duty.

The PGI has also made arrangements to get the waiting room in the Emergency vacated to make place for the fire victims from Ludhiana. They said the stable patients from the burns ward would be shifted to the surgical wards if required.

Even at the General Hospital the entire staff was on alert and three ambulances were ready for any emergency call from Ludhiana.

Similar arrangements had been made at the GMCH as well.



Xen’s murder: police told to file challan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
In less than three months after an Executive Engineer with the Chandigarh Administration was murdered in SAS Nagar, Mr Justice K.C. Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the police to submit the challan before the expiry of the 90-day period. The failure to submit the challan within the specified period enables an accused to avail the concession of bail.

Pronouncing the orders, Mr Justice Gupta directed the respondents to take prompt action and file the challan within the stipulated period after the completion of investigation in the case.

Seeking directions to the state of Punjab, Ropar’s SSP and three other respondents to file the challan, the victim’s wife Neeru Chopra had earlier contended that efforts were being made to delay the filing of the same. She had expressed the apprehension that the police would not file the challan against the accused before the expiry of the deadline, enabling the accused to get bail automatically.

She had asserted that the challan had been “okayed” by a public prosecutor, District Attorney and the Deputy Commissioner, but the file had been summoned by Additional Director-General of Police K.K. Attri and Deputy Inspector-General B.S. Bawa. “The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the respondents were making every effort not to file the challan within the stipulated period of 90 days,” she had added.

Going into the background of the case, the petitioner had submitted that as per the FIR accused Ravinder Sharma and P.S. Matharu had jointly hired professional assassins to kill her husband. The two were arrested soon after the offence, while two others were still absconding.



Talks fail, sweepers to continue stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The standoff over the issue of privatisation of sanitation work continued today with the agitating Sweepers Union declined to end its 24-day-long relay fast after an all-party nine-member committee of councillors refused to give a written assurance to do away with the contract system.

The appeal for withdrawal of the relay fast was made by Mr Pardeep Chhabra and other councillors to a delegation of 11 members of the union when they met today.

Unsatisfied with the response of the committee — which said it was not empowered to give any assurance regarding the matter — the president of the union Mr Shyamlal Ghavri, indicated that the union would hold a protest demonstration on May 22 and follow it up with a fast unto death.

The committee councillors, led by former Mayor Lalit Joshi, made the offer of halting the agitation saying that when negotiations had started on the issue, there was no rationale behind the agitation. The next meeting was fixed for Monday after the committee failed to evolve a consensus when it was told by officials that the corporation did not have the option of employing sweepers on daily wages.

In the beginning of the meeting, councillors refused to talk to the adviser of the sweepers’ union, saying that he was not a representative of the union. Following this, union threatened to boycott the proceedings of the committee.

However, after consultations, the union decided to take an 11-member delegation minus the adviser to present its case.

Surprisingly, except for the lone Congress Scheduled Caste member Balraj Singh other Congress councillors did not oppose privatisation at this stage despite a reported direction from the party to oppose the move..

When the Union handed over its charter of demands asking for employment of daily wagers till permanent posts were filled up, the chairman of the committee, Ms Lalit Joshi, asked the sweepers why they had not gone on a strike despite sanitation having been privatised in a part of the city in 1996. Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) member Harpreet Kaur Babla and a nominated councillor, Dr B.R. Verma, openly supported the privatisation of sanitation but another CVM councillor, Mr Jatinder Bhatia, opposed it. BJP Councillor Rajesh Gupta remained non-committal.



Evening OPD to bid adieu next month
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Failing to keep the show running, the evening OPD facility started at the PGI with much fanfare five months ago, will be discontinued from next month as per the latest directions of the Union Health Ministry.

Eversince the new Health Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, took charge of the ministry, there had been speculation that the evening OPD, the brainchild of her predecessor, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, would be scrapped. In fact Ms Swaraj, during her recent visit to the PGI had hinted that the facility could be reviewed in case it was found that it was not serving the purpose.

An official spokesperson at the PGI, while confirming the decision of the ministry said the facility would be discontinued from June 1. It was on December 2, last year that the PGI was virtually forced to start the facility in a haste, without being given additional staff and infrastructure. Started only in six faculties and laboratory and other facilities for various tests were not provided at the evening OPD. As such the patients had to come back the next morning, defeating the very purpose behind adding the facility.

“Contrary to expectations that the number of patients availing the evening OPD facility would increase during summer months, it failed to pick up as a result of which it is being finally scrapped,” said a senior official, justifying the decision of the ministry. He added that the number of patients coming to the evening OPD had continuously dropped and at times, the total registration at all six faculties would not even be 50.

The facility which failed to attract patients in large numbers, was temporarily closed down within five day of its inauguration as the faculty members, responsible for running the additional facility were to proceed on one-month winter break. It was finally on January 9 that the facility was restarted. As the PGI administration failed to convince the resident doctors to take on the additional burden of the evening OPD, it was the faculty which was left with no option but to do the job.

The evening OPD facility was started in the six faculties of Ophthalmology, ENT, General Surgery, Paediatrics, Gynaecology and Internal Medicine. Barring Saturdays, Sundays and all gazetted holidays, the facility was kept open from 5 to 7 p.m. “ Even though a handful of patients would trickle in, but since the timings were till 7 p.m, we had to sit there even after a long-day work,” said a senior doctor.

The PGI faculty, which had very reluctantly taken on the responsibility of running the evening OPD, heaved a sigh of relief at the much-awaited decision by the Health Ministry. Apart from requesting the ministry to recruit doctors, specially for running the evening OPD, the faculty members had time and again raised the issue with the PGI Director.



Petrol, diesel prices slashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The oil companies today announced a cut of about Rs 1 per litre in the prices of petrol and diesel, to be effective from midnight tonight. Interestingly, the petrol pumps in city, Panchkula, SAS Nagar and surrounding towns had few customers during the day since the customers were expecting cut in prices.

Petrol prices

  Current price  Revised price
Chandigarh  Rs 31.87 Rs 30.76
SAS Nagar  Rs 32.89  Rs 31.78
Panchkula  Rs 31.54  Rs 30.45

Diesel prices

  Current price  Revised price
Chandigarh  Rs 19.84 Rs 18.96
SAS Nagar  Rs 19.76  Rs 18.82
Panchkula  Rs 19.96  Rs 19.02



GSI surrenders land, loses Rs 23.7 lakh
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Inadequate assessment of priorities by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) while purchasing land for a residential complex has resulted in the GSI’s regional office here incurring a loss of about Rs 24 lakh on account of ground rent, extension fees and penalties on land which was finally surrendered.

The action of the GSI in purchasing land without ensuring the availability of funds for construction coupled with the delay in deciding to surrender the land has led to an “avoidable expenditure” of Rs 23.7 lakh, a government report released earlier this month has noted.

The audit of GSI records had revealed that the expenditure included about Rs 6 lakh on account of ground rent and about Rs 13 lakh paid by the GSI as extension fees for non-construction. In addition, about Rs 5 lakh was forfeited by the Chandigarh Administration while refunding the cost of the land when it was surrendered.

As per details made available, the GSI’s regional office had, with the approval of the Ministry of Steel and Mines, purchased 4 acres in Sector 44 here from the Chandigarh Administration on lease basis in March, 1990. The possession of the land was taken in 1992.

The terms and conditions of allotment required that the construction works of the complex be completed within three years from the date of allotment, failing which an extension fee would be levied. In addition, ground rent at the rate of Rs 85,000 per annum was also to be paid by the GSI.

In November, 1992, the GSI requested the Central Public Works Department to provide the layout plan and estimates for construction. In 1994, the regional office here forwarded the plan and estimates to the Deputy Director-General, GSI, based at Lucknow, for approval.

Following no response from the Deputy Director-General, the plan was forwarded to the GSI, Headquarters, Kolkata, in May, 1996. In September, the GSI headquarters conveyed to the regional office that due to constraint of funds, construction of a residential complex was not to be given any priority.

In October, 1998, the regional office here again wrote to the headquarters, requesting a decision on whether the proposed residential complex be constructed or the land be surrendered.

In July, 1999, the Ministry of Steel and Mines accorded its approval for surrendering the land. The GSI approached the Chandigarh Administration to surrender the land and the lease deed was cancelled in October, 2000.

The Chandigarh Administration also ordered forfeiture of 10 per cent of the price of the land along with the payment of ground rent and extension fees covering the period the land was in possession of the GSI. The administration refunded Rs 29 lakh.



Delay in IT park deliberate?
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Despite having a full-fledged information technology (IT ) policy and separate MoUs with top IT companies like Infosys and Microsoft, the Chandigarh Administration is struggling to get the much-awaited IT park started off.

Already fingers are being pointed at a powerful lobby in Punjab which is allegedly applying pressure to get the IT park delalyed. If Chandigarh’s IT park takes off, Infosys will close down its present makeshift office in SAS Nagar and shift to Chandigarh. This will be a major blow to the projection of Punjab as a IT destination north of Delhi. Giving competition to Punjab are Chandigarh and Gurgaon which are in the race for the IT pie and also major investments.

Well-placed sources told The Tribune that officially a file relating to a decision on the date of inauguration for the IT park was sent thrice for finalisation of the inauguration schedule during the tenure of the previous UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), however, nothing was done. General Jacob during the last month of his tenure made several inaugurations and laid foundation stones for new projects. The IT park never cropped up despite being so close to his heart, a source said.

General Jacob was not to blame, the source said, adding that Infosys was urging the Chandigarh Administration for the past week to begin work on the 20-acre site. The Administration had already invested a few crore by way of land acquisition and for providing other services.

Officially, in the past few months a court case is being cited as reason for the delay. In this case a few people, who had applied for industrial plots under a scheme floated by CITCO, petitioned before the Supreme Court claiming that the Administration was allotting the land to IT companies while ignoring their claims. The Administration has prepared its reply and will be filing it in July.

In the past, Chandigarh had been showcasing its IT park at all major international conferences. Chandigarh is emerging as the technology destination of North India. Software exports from Chandigarh have crossed the Rs 100-crore mark and the Administration gives out software export awards.



Man dies at hospital, family alleges negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
A resident of Panchkula died at Mukat Hospital in Sector 34, following a heart ailment here late tonight, leading to acrimonious scenes as his family alleged negligence.

The Director of the hospital, Mr Gajinder Singh, and the cardiologist, Dr P. Soni, claimed that the deceased, Mangat Rawat, was a chain smoker and there was 99 per cent blockage in two of his arteries when he arrived here for treatment two days ago.

However, the family of Rawat rang up mediapersons and alleged that he had died due to doctors’ negligence. The hospital authorities denied it, saying that Rawat and his family had been told about the risk factor involved in carrying out angioplasty. They also showed the records to mediapersons and the statement detailing the risks. It had been signed by one of the sons of the deceased.

Meanwhile, Mr G.S. Negi, a brother-in-law of the deceased, claimed that Rawat was “okay” and it was surprising that he had died during angioplasty. Dr Soni said the patient was implanted with two stents and the blockade was severe.

He had been advised angioplasty by the PGI but for some reason he opted to come to Mukat Hospital. The fact that Rawat was advised angioplasty by the PGI was corroborated by Mr Negi.

The family said the hospital was not allowing them to keep the body on its premises. The hospital authorities said they had no permission or facilities to keep the body, but they had tied up with the GMCH , Sector 32, for the purpose.



Follow new audit standards, CAs told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The recent amendments to the Companies Act, have brought the standards of auditing closure to the international standards. It has, however, made it mandatory for chartered accountants (CAs) to make comments in the audit report in clear terms whether the clients’ report complied with certain standards, Mr Amarjit Chopra, member of the Central Council of the Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), said here today.

He was speaking at a seminar on “Accounting standards” organised by the Chandigarh branch of the ICAI. He said until recently, the Companies Act and other statutes required that financial statements of an enterprise should declare “true and fair” view of the financial position and working results. However, what constituted the “true and fair” view was not defined in the Act or any other law. Hence a need was felt to amend the Act.

Scams of Xerox and Enron companies also encouraged the ICAI to introspect the role of CAs. He said the ICAI had issued 28 accounting standards that have been made mandatory for the CAs before signing audit reports.

Mr Chopra said if the companies failed to follow these standards, the auditors would have to qualify the reports. The Indian audit standards still fall short of international standards, another participant, said. He said while the US audit standards had set up about 100 standards for audit reports, until last year, there were only 25 standards for Indian auditors.

Mr Chopra clarified that the use of accounting standards — 17, 18, 21 and 22 — had been made mandatory for banks by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The auditors should make adequate disclosure in the audit report in case a bank did not comply with the requirements. He said the use of these standards had been made compulsory by the Insurance Regulation and Development Authority (IRDA) for the insurance companies as well.

The speakers pointed out that the RBI had recently introduced some guidelines for the CAs to check fraudulent transactions. Referring to the Mitra Committee Report, they said, even if the CA smelt foul play during internal or external audit assignments or any act of excess use of authority in the banks, the same had to be reported to the regulator otherwise he/she would be held responsible. They said the prominent circulars of the RBI should be taken care of while carrying out statutory audit.

Among others, Mr Manoj Kohli, Chairman of the Chandigarh branch of ICAI, Mr Dinesh Gupta, secretary, and Mr Madhu Sudan Goyal, Chairman of the Regional Body of Chartered Accountants, respectively, spoke.



Threefold rise in British Library membership
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
In three years of its inception, The British Library in Sector 8 has made a world of difference to book lovers in the city. The library is now all set to enter its fourth year as it gets ready to celebrate its third anniversary that falls tomorrow. The anniversary celebrations will take off in the presence of the All-India Head of British Libraries, Mr P. Jayarajan, who will launch two new sections, Indian writing in English and Classic English movies on DVDs.

While additions continue, statistics show that the library has fared well in the past three years. In 2000, the year of its opening, the library had 1,800 members and a collection of 4,000 books. At present, it has got a collection of 11,000 books and 5,500 members. On the eve of the third anniversary of the library which opened on May 16, 2000, the Chandigarh Tribune spoke to Mr Sushant Banerjee, Manager, who sounded satisfied with the achievements.

“The most important project at hand is the expansion of the library by the year-end. Once we get more space, we will add a children’s section, which has been our long-time commitment. Besides, we will keep updating our collection depending on the inclination of our members.” Crediting the success of the library to an informal approach towards members, Mr Banerjee talked about the various projects that were undertaken during the past three years.

He said: “We have been inviting suggestions by way of organising meetings with members. Today we have 4500 individual members and 200 corporate members, with each corporate member having five membership cards. The membership has primarily increased because we have always revamped our collection on the basis of feedback received.”

The very first demand-oriented addition was the section on fiction. Following this special section, the library catered to the demand of books on information technology by providing a special IT Resources Centre. Many more plans are on the anvil. These relate with guiding young professionals in studying study abroad.


  • Special section on self development, offering tips on everything from personality development to facing an interview board.
  • Collection on humour added on popular demand.
  • A full-fledged section on English Language Teaching targeting trainers and learners of English.
  • Romance and fiction section, offering books on all shades.
  • Information Technology Resource Centre featuring books, journals, and periodicals for young professionals.



Hannah’s murder: BBC scribes visit SAS Nagar
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 15
A team of journalists from the BBC visited the town today in connection with the murder of Hannah Foster, a 17-year-old student, who was killed in the UK allegedly by Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, whose parents live in Phase X here.

It is reported that Maninder Pal Singh had come to India to see his ailing mother on March 19 this year. Family members said he left the town for England on March 29. Maninder Pal Singh is wanted by Scotland Yard.

The BBC team consisting of four journalists, including one woman, visited the Phase I police station and talked to officials about the case.

The team members also visited the house where the parents of Maninder Pal Singh lived. It is reported that they even talked to the neighbours in the area and showed them the photograph of Maninder Pal Singh.



Electrocution: BJP to file for compensation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Legal Cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party will file a case for a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Mohinder Singh and his daughter, who were electrocuted yesterday in Badheri village. This was announced here today by the national chairman of the Legal Cell of the BJP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, after visiting the family.

Mr Jain also demanded a strict action against officials whose negligence had caused the deaths. He said the Legal Cell would file a case in the High Court for the compensation and fixing responsibility for the incident.

Mr Jain was accompanied by the District No 2 president, Mr Kanhaya Lal, and general secretary, Mr Jagdish Rohilla, to the cremation of Mohinder Singh and his daughter.



Governor’s message on Buddha Purnima

Chandigarh, May 15
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, today called upon residents to imbibe and preach the eternal message of peace, non-violence and salvation of Lord Buddha to every nook and corner of the country.

In a message on the eve of ‘Buddha Purnima’, Justice Verma said Lord Buddha’s philosophy of compassion, brotherhood and peaceful co-existence was more relevant today than ever before.

“Reaffirming our faith in the ideals of Lord Buddha and practicing them in their true spirit in our day to day life would be the real tribute to him,” the Governor added. OC



Id-ul-Milad greetings
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
Religious heads of the city felicitated residents on the occasion of Id-ul-Milad and urged them to follow the path of truth shown by Prophet Mohammad.

Addressing the congregations, they asserted that the ideals of love, brotherhood and sacrifice, as propagated by Prophet Mohammad, were more relevant today than ever before.



ULTA PULTA: Jaspal Bhatti’s Friday humour
The “CAS” scare

MY wife ran into the room and nervously asked me: ‘‘What is this CAS? Is it a new virus like SARS?’’ I asked her not to worry. But the scare of CAS has hit the metro TV viewer hard like a virus. Every metro TV viewer is wondering what is going to happen after July 14 and what is going to be the size of his cable bill!

I explained that CAS is Conditional Access System. That means to view select channels you have to pay. My wife was so happy that now she could put an end to the access of Fashion TV in our home. She believes very strongly that like every other husband, I watch Fashion TV on the sly.

Continuing with my explanations, I told her that now to get access to pay channels, we will have to instal a set top box costing anything from Rs 3500 to Rs 7500. My wife pounced on me and said: “Don’t you dare think of buying anything cheap. For me only the set top box costing Rs 7000 will do. After all I have to show it off to my friends and ‘padosans’ at my kitty parties!” I reminded her that it wasn’t a jewellery box which had to be exhibited but just a necessary piece of equipment for watching the pay channels.

My wife continued: ‘‘If I want to watch the Saas-Bahu ‘rona dhona’ on Star, Sony and Zee, what will we do?’’

I fumed at her: ‘‘Can’t you watch the channels that are free of cost?’’ Gathering all her intellect, she said: ‘‘Suppose we start enjoying the programmes on these free channels?’’

Showing utmost patience I said: ‘‘Then probably Star, Sony And Zee will also have to air their channels free of cost?’’

‘‘Then what about the set top box?’’

‘‘Not to worry!’’ I summed up, ‘‘It can easily be converted into a jewellery box!’’



CD player, Rs 1,000 stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
Thieves broke into a house in CBI Colony, Sector 29, here this afternoon and decamped with a CD player and Rs 1,000. As per information available, the occupants of the house Mr Sewa Ram and his wife had gone out and when they returned home at around 1pm, they noticed the theft. The thieves had made an attempt to break a locker also. A case has been registered.

Another theft was reported from Sector 22 here. Thieves broke into SCO No. 1004 and decamped with four mobile phone sets and Rs 1,000 yesterday.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested a resident of Mani Majra, Nikhil, allegedly for stealing Rs 4,600 and a mobile phone from the Lake Club. As per police sources, the stolen items have been recovered from his possession. The police had acted on a complaint of the General Manager of the club, Col M. Beri (retd).

The police yesterday arrested five persons in different parts of the city under the Excise Act and claimed to recover 147 pouches of liquor from their possession. 



Sports goods from China are hot favourites
Monica Sharma

Equipment  Chinese  Indian
Badminton racquet  Rs 250  Rs 450
Basketball  Rs 150  Rs 200
Swimming costume  Rs 250 to Rs 700  Rs 500 and above

Chandigarh, May 15
It is confirmed. About 90 per cent of the sports equipment picked up by youngsters from stores all over the city is from China. There is nothing official about it, but shopkeepers reveal nine out of 10 sportsmen in Chandigarh prefer goods imported from China than manufactured at Jalandhar. Cricket bats are an exception, they assert.

If you are having any doubts, just ask the shop owners. They will reveal that Chinese goods have completely flooded the sports market since the beginning of the new millennium.

The reason behind this phenomena is not hard to comprehend. The goods within the reach of a common sports lover and they look attractive too.

Displayed on the shelves are badminton, squash and tennis racquets nicely protected in leather covers. Remove the covers and you see aluminium frames in red and stunning black colours. You can also buy basketballs and swimming costumes, along with the accessories, including glasses and caps.

"The quality is better, you can be sure of the facts," says Mr Rajesh Bajaj of a Sector 7 sports shop. "The imported racquets are lighter than the ones manufactured in India. Also, they are available in six different sizes for players of all age groups. Swimming costumes, made of Lycra, are hot favourites among the youngsters. This is not all. You do not have to pull out much from your pocket for taking home the stuff".

Giving details, he asserts, "You can buy an imported club-level badminton racquet for Rs 250. If you wish to buy the one manufactured in the country, you will have to take out additional Rs 200. Same is the case with tennis and squash racquets. For basketball, you have to pay just Rs 150 — Rs 50 less than the one manufactured in the country. Inflatable swimming pool is costing just Rs 450. The price was reduced by half because of the competition generated due to the presence of so many shopkeepers dealing in Chinese goods".

Regarding the effect of the imported goods on the local manufacturers, Mr Bajaj asserts, "They are now giving us attractive offers. Some of them have even reduced the price by half".

Explaining the trend, a sociologist-cum-keen sportsman, Dr Ranjay Vardhan, says, "Gone are the days when Chinese pens were all that the residents used to ask for. Or else, get a taste of China through noodles. Now they can buy Chinese toys, including helicopters and aeroplanes, besides cell phones and dolls. They are good and cheap. That's why they became so popular in the country".

The Chinese, he adds, have always been sensitive towards market demands and have been customising their products to meet the requirements. "For instance, they started flooding the Indian markets not just with cute little dolls, but ones that croon hit numbers from Bollywood blockbusters. Realising the demand for sports equipment, they have now flooded the market with racquets and other products".



Honda unveils genset
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Honda Siel Power Products Ltd (HSPP) has unveiled Honda Gen-X, the world’s quietest genset, in India. Honda Gen-X is an aesthetically designed genset, with 1-1.5 KVA capacity, comes with Honda’s 4-stroke technology which ensures fuel efficiency. The company has already launched Honda Gen-X in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Kolkata. Encouraged with this success, the company plans to launch this product all across India.

Usha fans

With the onset of summer, Usha International Ltd., has launched an all-new innovative fan. What differentiates this fan from the others are its wider tip blades. The fan aptly named Optima ZX promises higher air delivery and wider air throw. And what more, the decorative gold flanges and ring on the motor of Optima ZX is sure to liven up your home.

Optima ZX is the result of constant innovation, which is based on market feedback that Usha International conducts from time to time helping them market products according to the consumers needs. Priced at Rs 1395, Optima ZX will be available in two colours.

Bio fresh herbals

Hey folks! Go all out and face the sun this summer with Bio Fresh from Hindustan Herbal.

Mask the sunrays with Sun Care, a non-sticky water proof, moisturising sun block cream from Bio Fresh. Sun Care is hypoallergenic and provides a protective layer that you need from UVA and UVB rays. The cream contains vitamin E and Aleo Vera that delay the signs of premature aging due to long hours of exposure to sun.

With SPF (sun protection formula) of 30 and TPI (tan protection index) of 90, Sun Care is more effective than other sun block creams available in the market. The SPF 30 pack of Sun Care is available at Rs 200 for 120 ml Rs 110 for 60 ml while the SPF 20 packs are available at Rs 130 for 120 ml and Rs 70 for 60 ml pack.



Kay Jay wins award

Chandigarh, May 15
The SSI branch of Canara Bank today presented a cash award of Rs 25,000 to Kay Jay Chill Rolls Pvt Limited for attaining ISO 9001-2000 certification at Panchkula. While presenting the award, Mr K. Ragaraya, GM, emphasised that the tiny and SSI units would have to come forward to acquire ISO certification.TNS


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