C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Farmers’ day out at Agrotech
250 Sangrur farmers among thousands of visitors
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The most heartening aspect of Agrotech today was the presence of over 250 agriculturists from the Sangrur belt where a number of farmers had committed suicide due to debts. Though poverty-stricken, many farmers from the area made it to the fair.

The Punjab Agriculture Department had arranged four buses to transport 250 farmers from Sangrur to Parade Ground. Dr A.S. Virk of the department walked through the stalls with the farmers guiding them on what’s good for them. Admitting that international stalls were most impressive, Dr Virk told The Tribune of how most farmers were excited to test Canadian soybeans that tasted and looked better than Indian varieties.

“International stalls are very attractive. The tool kits they offer for tractors are also better than what our farmers use. Wish we could procure everything for our farms,” he said, as Darshan Singh, a farmer interrupted him, “Our hybrid seeds are also fine, but they are costly and out of our reach.”

With farmers dominating the scene, there was something very earthy about the ambience. As busloads of farmers thronged the venue it was indeed a farmers’ day out at Agrotech. Most farmers were interested in procuring seeds which were not available in packing of 1kg and 500 gms. Meanwhile, the organisers were happy to record 45,000 visitors against 20,000 yesterday.

While progressive farmers like Gurkirpal Singh from Ludhiana were busy testing and trying international agricultural technologies and placing orders with firms, smaller farmers evinced interest in subsidy awareness counters put up by Punjab and Haryana agriculture departments.

For once, the farmers were seen making beelines for stuff other than hybrid seeds and Escorts tractors. The newest place of attraction for Haryana farmers was the counter of Director, Agriculture, Panchkula, where they were informed about the advantages of underground pipelines for irrigation. The stall offered a subsidy of 25 per cent on each order. Small wonder the stall received several queries.

First to place orders were Gurmail Singh of Ambala and Ranbir Singh of Yamunanagar. Accompanied by Mr Deshpal Singh, Agriculture Development Officer, Ambala, Gurmail Singh and Ranbir Singh placed orders for irrigation pipelines for 10 acres and five acres respectively. Their friends followed suit, as they reasoned, “This pipeline saves water. Where else would we get such a service at such a low rate? This fair is good because it offers information on what we can get at low rates.”

For its part, the Punjab Agriculture Department did its bit by taking around the farmers from Sangrur and helping them make some humble purchases. Elsewhere, farmers from Panipat were busy discovering the advantages of rapeseed mustard direct seeder developed by the Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation. Displayed outside the ground, the machine attracted many Haryanavi farmers who even posed for pictures beside it.

Suresh Kumar and Fakir Chand from Panipat were genuinely excited to see the machine though they could hardly purchase it. When asked what help was the fair when they could not buy anything from it, they said, “We now know what is available. We can work hard, save money and come back to buy this Rotavator next year.”



NECC steals the show with eggs
Tribune News Service

Visitors to the NECC stall at Agrotech 2004 going on at Parade Ground, Chandigarh, rush to get their share in an egg-eating contest on Saturday
Visitors to the NECC stall at Agrotech 2004 going on at Parade Ground, Chandigarh, rush to get their share in an egg-eating contest on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

NECC doles out egg recipes

The NECC handed out special pamphlets featuring several egg recipes. Called “Egg Citing Recipes”, this egg-promotion booklet contains 14 easy ways to make eggs. These include eggs and bell paper salad, tandoori bharwan eggs, anda shammi kabab and fluffy Spanish omelette and many more.

Chandigarh, December 4
The National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) did all it could to hog the attention of farmers and other visitors today. To begin with, any visitor interested in consuming an egg at the NECC counter was offered a discount of Re 1 per egg. So where a normal boiled egg would cost Rs 2, one could have it for Re 1 at Parade Ground, courtesy the NECC and its egg-promotion strategy.

The next interesting event in line was egg-eating contest which will conclude on December 6 with the distribution of cash prizes to the winners of all three days. The contest had also been organised at the Indian Science Congress, New Delhi.

Fired by an outstanding response, the organisers started the contest a little before the scheduled timing.

As a helper walked into the counter with a basketful of boiled eggs, all visitors turned towards the NECC counter to see what was cooking. The show then started, with everyone rushing to eat as many eggs as possible in two minutes. The record was set by a farmer, Kulwant Singh, who consumed 10 eggs in two minutes. There farmers consumed eight eggs.

While the contest was open to all categories of age today, it will be held in two sections tomorrow and day after. Those in the age group 12 to 18 years can compete tomorrow between 2 and 3 pm, whereas those between the age group 5 to 12 can have their share of eggs between 2 and 3 pm day after. The venue will be the same.



Pinjore HMT may soon regain financial health
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
HMT Limited, Pinjore, hopes to get back on rails as it diversifies into manufacturing Trantors — India's first transport oriented 25 HP tractor, and jeeps, from next year. With debts down to Rs 60 crore (from Rs 80 crore last year); an economic revival plan of Rs 50 crore from the Government of India on the cards; increase in tractor production;and, prompt cash collection from the dealers of the company, are set to finally revive HMT, Pinjore, by pulling it from financial straits.

Mr M.S. Zahed, Chairman and Managing Director of HMT Limited, said that the commercial production of trantors would begin by February, 2005.

"We found that almost 80 percent of tractor usage is for transportation in rural areas. Thus, we have tied up with Trantors Vehicles Limited, UK, to develop trantors here. With the trantors, we hope to capture 10 to 12 per cent of the market share, from our present market share of 8 per cent in the tractor market," he said.

Other than this, HMT is also likely to begin manufacturing jeeps by the end of 2005. It is learnt that the design of the jeeps to be manufactured here is being examined by the Research and Development Cell of HMT unit at Pinjore.

With a working capital of Rs 100 crore in circulation, the company has already started the manufacture of trantors. The HMT authorities here have also submitted a plan to the Union Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, asking for a working capital of Rs 50 crore.

This plan is under consideration, and authorities hope that once approved, they will have a total working capital of Rs 150 crore. Then, HMT, Pinjore, will not only be out of the red, but also start making profits with its diversification plans.

Officials at HMT inform that the unit at Pinjore had introduced a policy to ensure better and prompt recovery from its dealer network. As against Rs 200 crore that the company had to recover from its dealers last year, the company now has to recover about Rs 100 crore from its dealers. Other than this, the company owes over Rs 60 crore to its suppliers and ancillary units. The money that the company owes to its ancillary units has come down by Rs 20 crore since last year. Officials say that they have also reduced the time for paying back to the ancillary units, and payments are released within six months now. The tractor production is also up from about 200 tractors a month during the year 2003, to 700 tractors a month now.

HMT Limited, Pinjore, once dominated the industrial scene in the region and spawned hundreds of ancillary units in the neighbouring areas of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, including Panchkula, till it fell in dire financial straits.

The overall drop in the domestic sale of tractors due to successive drought years; stiff competition from private players; and, salaries eating up almost 70 per cent of the budget of this unit, had its toll. Once regarded as the second most profitable unit of HMT Limited last year, HMT, Pinjore, had no money to pay either to its suppliers, or salaries to its 3200 employees.

Though the unit registered losses of Rs 10. 70 crore in the last financial year, the authorities say that beginning September, 2004, they have been able to make some profits. In September, 2005, HMT earned a profit of Rs 11 lakh.



Helpline takes car owners for a ride
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Scores of car owners in the city have allegedly been taken for a ride by the management of High Speed Solutions, a 24-hour car helpline.
With the company closing its operations in the city, the car owners, who enrolled as members of the helpline by depositing Rs 450 each, have been left to fend for themselves. What has irked the members is the fact that they had not been informed about the closure of the company.

“This amounts to an unfair practice and cheating on the part of the company, which had lured us by giving colourful advertisements in the local media,” rued Mr Upkar Singh, chartered accountant and resident of Sector 46.

Mr Upkar Singh alleged that he paid an amount of Rs 450 on February 8, 2004, for a one-year membership of the company. Even as the hapless members dialled the helpline numbers in distress, the helpline allegedly went out of business after about three months leaving the members in lurch.

He said earlier he was member of a Cross Roads, another car helpline, which functioned smoothly for several years. “However, after its closure, it was replaced by High Speed Solutions”.

The helpline had promised “on-the-spot” repair of the minor faults and doorstep services to the car owners. It had launched an aggressive campaign to enroll members tempting them with attractive terms in case of a breakdown.

Meanwhile, the landlord of the company’s local premises said it left the premises about six months ago. In fact, an executive of the company, when contacted in Delhi (mobile number 09811055548), confirmed that the local office had been closed. However, he did not specify any reason for the closure.



Chandigarh-Ambala highway to open partially today
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, December 4
The busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway that had been closed since Tuesday night following repair of the Ghaggar river bridge at Bhankharpur village, will be opened for heavy vehicular traffic on Monday evening.

Mr Ashok Sood, Chief Engineer of the Punjab Public Works Department, claimed that the highway would be opened for only light vehicular traffic tomorrow at 8 am.

He also added that light vehicles were permitted to cross the bridge this evening on a trial basis.

Over 50 workers of the Building and Roads wing of the Punjab Public Works Department and a construction company have been pressed into service round the clock. Though bearings under two spans of the bridge were replaced late last night, the authorities today constructed rumble strips on alternative roads to the bridge.

The repair work is proceeding on a war-footing under the supervision of senior officials, including the Chief Engineer, the Superintending Engineer, four subdivisional engineers, and other employees of the department since Friday morning.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr P.K. Kalia, subdivisional engineer, said four warning boards, listing speed limits (20 km per hour) for vehicles crossing the bridge, would be displayed along the highway on either sides of the bridge by tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, commuters from nearby areas heaved a sigh of relief as two-wheelers and light vehicles were allowed to cross the bridge from 4 pm onwards.

Passengers travelling by long-route buses, vehicles heading from Chandigarh to Ambala and in the reverse directions continued to face difficulties on the fourth consecutive day today.



Woman survives fall from 4th floor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
A woman labourer had a miraculous escape today, after she fell from the fourth floor in the Deputy Commissioner’s office.
Kamlesh (25) of Shastri Nagar in Mani Majra accidentally fell from the terrace of the building, while dumping debris. The police said, she was throwing the debris in a basket. She probably lost her balance with the weight of the bucket she was carrying in her hand and fell down. Luckily, she fell on a basket lying on the floor and was saved from being seriously hurt, said the police.

She was taken to the hospital, where the doctors declared her out of danger. She had given the statement to the police that she fell accidentally from the rooftop and nobody is responsible for it. The police has not registered any case after her statement.



Boy crushed to death by truck
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 4
A 10-year-old boy was crushed to death by a truck on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road near Yadavindra bridge here, this morning.
According to the police, Amit Maurya, son of a migrant labourer Prem Shankar, was crossing the road when the truck (HR-68-7786) heading towards Mohali crushed him. The boy died on the spot.

The body of the boy has been sent to the Civil Hospital in Rajpura for a postmortem examination. The truck driver reportedly fled leaving the truck.

The police has registered a case of negligent driving under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against the driver at the Lohgarh police post. The police has impounded the truck.

Two youths — Gurwinder Singh and Dalvinder Singh — of Naraingarh Ghungian village have been arrested by the police while carrying six cases of liquor this evening.

The police said that the youths were carrying the liquor in a Maruti car (PB-70-5911) from Chandigarh when they were nabbed. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against them at Lohgarh police post.



GMCH technician attacked outside hospital
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
A group of certain Jeep-borne youth assaulted a senior lab technician of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, while he was coming out of the hospital this afternoon.
He was admitted to the hospital with serious injuries.

Suresh Kumar (37), a resident of Sector 32-C, was attacked with sticks and batons on the road outside the hospital at around 1 pm. The police said Suresh, who was admitted to the hospital’s emergency ward, was suspected to have fractures in his leg and arm.

Suresh told the police that he could not identify the assaulters. Though the exact motive behind the attack is yet to be ascertained, the police believes that the assaulters might have mistaken the victim to be someone else.

A case under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.



City YC executive committee dissolved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
President of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress, H.S. Lucky today, dissolved the state executive committee and all cells of the CTYC. While District office-bearers and ward presidents were removed, three district presidents have been retained.

Directing all office-bearers not to use their identity cards, designations and letter heads till the reconstitution of the body, Mr Lucky said that this would be done shortly in consultation with the All-India president of the Indian Youth Congress, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Mr Lucky said that the idea behind dissolving the executive was to infuse new energy into the local unit of the IYC.

Also, since the local unit was constituted nearly three years back, it was felt that the body needed to be revamped to make it vibrant. With some office-bearers becoming over-age and others not interested, it was felt that the CTYC was becoming a dormant body.



A.V. panel report: 500 additional posts to be created
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The Defence Ministry has accorded sanction for creating 500 additional vacancies at the level of full Colonel in the Army, it is learnt. This follows the government’s decision to implement recommendations of the A. V. Singh Committee on restructuring the Army’s officer cadre.

Following the Finance Ministry according its approval, the Defence Ministry issued orders yesterday for implementing some of the recommendations. According to sources, these will be implemented from December 15.

The creation of additional vacancies will allow greater number of officers making it to the coveted rank of colonel. The committee had recommended that promotion to the rank of colonel be made on a time scale basis. Presently, only selected officers are promoted to this rank and the career of those who do not make the grade ends at the level of lieutenant colonel.

The committee had, according to some reports, initially recommended that 1,400 additional vacancies of colonel be created. Some reports later stated that the government had, in ‘principle’ approved the creation of 750 new posts of colonel. It is not yet known whether further vacancies will be created in accordance with the recommendations or the government will put a full stop at this point.

With additional vacancies being announced, intense lobbying and bickering is reported to be underway amongst the top brass to enable their respective arm or service to grab the maximum possible vacancies.

The recommendations cover all three services. It is now left to the services to decide upon the creation of additional posts as per their respective requirement. The Navy was reluctant to implement the recommendations, with a top Naval officer reportedly stating recently that the committee’s recommendations are being thrust upon the Navy.

The implementation of the recommendations will have serious ramifications on the command and administrative structure, specially at the battalion level. Though the commanding officer of a unit would always be a selection grade colonel, sources said that there was thinking in some sections that a time scale colonel may be posted as the unit’s second-in-command. Two colonels in the same unit, where the officer holding the subordinate post would be senior in service to the commanding officer, could pose problems.

Alternatively, the senior-most lieutenant colonel in a unit would be the second-in-command. Presently, a unit has one lieutenant colonel, except in a case where an officer is awaiting posting orders. Appointments of company commanders in units, presently held by majors, would be held by lieutenant colonels /majors.

Similarly grade-III staff appointments, presently held by captains, would be held by majors/captains. In certain places, staff appointments held by lieutenant colonels would now be held by full colonels.



Pakistan fuels piracy in Indian music industry 
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Stir against piracy

APTECH Mind, the association of prominent music companies of Punjab today joined PPL to seek a cover from piracy. The move will aid in greater revenue generation and will secure copyright of singers, lyricists and composers. Also, it will facilitate PPL's objective of finalising a common national system for collection of royalty, licensing and its appropriate disbursement among member companies.

Chandigarh, December 4
Growing popularity of music and proliferation of MP3 formats has made the Indian music market more vulnerable to piracy than ever before. Presently the level of piracy in India is an astounding 70 per cent.

Not just that, the Indian music industry faces great risk of piracy from Pakistan which has eight CD plants manufacturing about two thousand billion CDs a year. With Pakistan's local demand being 100 billion, rest of the CDs are exported, fuelling piracy particularly in India. This and much more forms the core area of concern for the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), the apex copyright society for sound recordings of the Indian Music Industry (IMI).

Concerned with piracy in Indian states, including Punjab, where the local music market is booming, PPL has developed a four-pronged strategy to arrest the trend that has damaged the music market which has fallen from Rs 1200 crore in 1997-98 to Rs 600 crore now.

Speaking to The Tribune today Mr Vijay Lazarus, President, PPL and IMI, said the critical demand was that of raising a full-fledged anti-piracy cell within the police.

The other proposals which PPL is taking up with the government include enactment of the optical disc law which helps investigators identify the plant where pirated CDs have been manufactured, deterrent action to ensure convictions and a statutory damage law to heavily penalise anyone found in possession of a pirated products (USA imposes penalty of $100,000 ).

Whereas optical disc law will soon be a reality, other proposals are being considered.

PPL is also trying to convince chief ministers of states to have an anti-piracy cell in the state police arm. Tamil Nadu not only has one, it is also on the verge of passing a Bill providing for preventive detention of people charged with piracy.

"We will also meet the Punjab and Haryana CMs," said Mr Lazarus, adding that Punjab had vast potential for revenue collection from sale of music products apart from video and audio cassettes.

"These sales are called non-physical revenue sales. But due to piracy, collection in this segment is low. If the worldwide sale of music is 95 per cent, only 5 per cent is through non-physical revenue sale. We have to explore this market as soon as possible," he said.

As head of the licensing arm of IMI, Mr Lazarus is debating the issues of hike in excise duty on audio cassettes and amendments in VAT structure.

"Currently we fall in the category of electronic and plastic goods which have a high revenue neutral rate. We are trying to be categorised as audio software so that we have a lesser tax liability," he said.



Disparity alleged in promotion policies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Certain discrepancies in promotion policies governing the military cadre vis-a-vis their civilian cadre in the Military Engineer Services (MES) have come to light, with several affected personnel forwarding a representation in this regard to the Defence Ministry.

JCOs and their civilian counterparts with the same qualifications join the MES as junior engineers (JE). Initially, both work at the same level, but after the first two promotions, things change.

The civilian cadre continues to get its promotions and moves on to hold appointments equivalent to those held by commissioned officers.

Those in the military cadre, on the other hand, retired after 15 years of service with just 35-40 per cent pension. This cadre, unlike the civilians who continue to serve up to the age of 60 years, are also required to undergo combatant training and serve in various hard postings, including remote areas and high altitude.

"Basically, JCOs are considered for promotion by rules governing personnel below officer rank, whose entry level qualification is matric. Even defence services regulations do not say much on this," Lieut-Col S S Sohi (retd), president of the Ex-servicemen's Grievance Cell said. 



Police to educate cyclists on safety
Ramanjit Singh Sidu

Chandigarh, December 4
Chandigarh is heading towards becoming the first city of the world for the cyclist to wear helmets.
The city traffic police seems to be catching on with the United States of America where an effort in this direction has begun just this year.

The thought of encouraging cyclist to wear helmets has followed a very high rate of cyclist being involved in reported fatal accidents in the city. It is plagued with the slow and fast traffic-moving on the same roads to the mutual danger to both types of vehicles.

However, the Chandigarh Police is avoiding to make wearing of helmets mandatory in the initial phase and wants to make a beginning with educating the cyclist about having a safety gear on.

According to the Green lobby in the city, it is the best place in the country where a large number of residents could switch over to riding cycles because of a small area of the city and as well as to protect environment. If cycling habit increases, better safety measures will encourage the habit.

The Chandigarh traffic police is planning to begin educating school children about the advantages of wearing helmets while riding cycles. The traffic police had recently displayed few designs of helmets for cyclists in the Chandigarh Carnival.

The police sources say that last year 26 cyclists lost their lives in the accidents while 35 persons were admitted to the hospitals with serious injuries.

The data made available by the Accident Cell of the Chandigarh Police revealed that as many as 20 cyclist were killed in fatal accidents in the various parts of the city till November 30, while 39 persons got seriously injured in the road accidents.

These figures are only based on the cases registered with the police. The numbers of incidents, in which the cyclists escaped with minor injuries and are not reported to the police, are much higher than the picture available through data. The sources say that the helmets would definitely help to reduce the volume of fatal injuries substantially.

When asked about any proposals the traffic police is going to make in the near future to the Chandigarh Administration to make wearing of helmet mandatory for cyclists, Mr Amitabh Dhillon, Superintendent of Traffic Police Chandigarh, said, “We have no such proposals to make helmets mandatory for the cycle riders as there are many factors which are to be taken care of before making any such law.” He added, “The cyclist generally belong to the poor strata, making the helmets mandatory will put an extra burden on these people and the idea seems to be too futuristic at this stage.”

Mr Dhillon said, “Even in the developed western countries, the wearing of helmets on the cycles are not mandatory under their law. It is only in this year that the USA has introduced the concept of making a law to make it mandatory for the cyclist to wear helmet.”

Mr Dhillon said, “The cycles are low speed vehicles that is the reason that there are no strict rules in this regard, but I personally feel that wearing a helmet definitely increases the safety. We are planning to involve the school-going children and introduce the concept of wearing helmet in them.”



Indo-Turkmenistan ties discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Visiting Turkmenistan dignitary Onjik Musaev yesterday spoke about the long history of cultural exchange, which India and Turkmenistan have shared over centuries.
In India on an invitation from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Mr Musaev, who is First Secretary of Political Council of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan addressed a gathering of scholars at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) in Sector 19. His subject was “Turkmenistan-Republic of India Traditional Relations of Friendship and Fraternity, Cultural Ties.”

Going back to the roots of historic ties between the two countries, Mr Musaev repeatedly mentioned “Rukhnama” in which Head of Turkmenistan State Turkmenbashi has repeatedly referred to the long shared traditions between the countries. He has recorded the fact that Dilli Sultanat formed at the end of the 12th century was obliged for its sovereignty to the Turkmen leader Aybeg who came to the throne in Lahore in 1206 in the spiritual rank of a Kutubuddin.

“There are also references to Kutubusha state founded in India by Turkmens,” said Mr Musaev calling for stronger Indo-Turkmen cultural ties. To further his motive, he held discussions with several scholars at Panjab University yesterday. These included professors in philosophy, Director, Centre for central Asian Studies and the Head of Department of Public Administration.

“The discussions have been fruitful and we hope to exchange many more academic programmes,” said Mr Musaev, adding that even political cooperation between the two nations has a permanent character and develops actively.

Although cultural exchange between the two countries has been going on under the aegis of the ICCR, Mr Musaev said the thrust now was on exchange of senior art scholars as well. Among main organisers of the function was Mr P.S. Sahai.



‘There can be no suffering in God’s kingdom’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Ms Jer Master, member, Christian Science Board of Lecturership, Boston, USA, conducted an interactive session on “What decides your future?” for general public at the auditorium of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, Chandigarh today.

During the session, Ms Master emphasised the need to understand God as father-mother who takes care of all our present and future needs. She touched important concerns like health, education, employment, business, competition and social aspects of life.

Ms Master further explained that since God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient and is one infinite supreme being and All, we can live fearlessly in His kingdom of heaven, the perfect and unpolluted environment of divine consciousness.

She said man is the highest expression of God’s perfect being and as the scriptures inform us, God created man in His own image and likeness, totally spiritual. If we put ourselves in the hands of God and lean on Him, we will have a very bright, harmonious and secure future.

The lecture was well received by the audience.

During her visit to the City Beautiful, Ms Master also interacted with the media and All India Radio. On December 2, she had addressed a gathering of 120 students, besides faculty members of the SGGS College of Pharmacy, Sector 26, Chandigarh. Ms Sunita Rani Singla, a member of Christian Science Society, Chandigarh, welcomed the audience and Mr Sushil K. Likhi of the society, proposed a formal vote of thanks.



Robust food supply chain can make India ‘global leader’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The management of production, distribution and marketing processes through which a consumer is supplied with a product was highlighted at a conference on “Building a Robust Food Supply Chain” at the CII here today.

Talking about challenges in quality assurance, Mr V.T. Bhardwaj, Associate, McKinsey and company, said, “An efficient food supply chain is the most important aspect of the food retail chain. At present multiple insufficiencies exist in the Indian system that need to be addressed. The retail industry can boom and India can be a global leader in the trade in the coming years.”

Detailing the key challenges in the supply chain, Mr R. Srinivasan, Director-SCM, Yum Restaurants Pvt Ltd, stated that “customer expectations are very high. They want a wide choice, value for money and speed of service and a supply chain should be able to meet these expectations. At present, there are various trade barriers both in the import and the export sectors which include high tariffs. Lack of proper infrastructure is the other hindrance in the chain. India needs to overcome these challenges and build a robust supply chain.”

Dr Lucia Buglia, Fruit Control Equipments, Italy, said, “Controlled atmosphere is a must for better supply chain for food retailing. Clean technology and a chemical-free environment is necessary to extend the storage life of fruits and so is an ideal humidity level in the cold storage. Cold chains are needed for the long life of fruits and India must focus on establishing these.”

“India has few value-added exports and it must take steps to avoid regulatory failures that companies could take advantage of,” said Dr Amit Kapoor from the Management Development Institute.

The conference also focussed on product development, product integrity and efficacy and product segregation.



MLA to Speaker on martyrs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 4
The names of martyrs from Punjab, both in the Defence and paramilitary forces, should be included in the obituary references as they had sacrificed their lives defending the nation and the House must pay homage to them.

This was stated by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, in a letter addressed to the Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Dr Kewal Krishan. The MLA requested the Speaker to issue instructions to the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat to do the needful in this regard.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said that during his interaction with war veterans, he sensed that they felt that the nation was not giving due recognition to martyrs who laid down their lives fighting insurgency at the borders because they did not hold high ranks. “Sacrifice is sacrifice and it demanded gratitude in equal terms”, he added.



Governor’s wife distributes 300 blankets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
As many as 300 blankets and woollen garments were distributed by UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues’ wife, Jean Rodrigues among the poor people of the Colonies No 4 and 5 and Janta Colony at a function organised by the UT Red Cross Society here today.

Deputy Commissioner and chairman of the Red Cross Society, Chandigarh, Arun Kumar informed that the cloth bank of the society had collected these clothes to provide relief to the poor people during the winter season.

The DC added that the humanitarian work of the Red Cross Society was devoted to the service of mankind and appreciated the humane gesture of those people who had contributed their time and thought for this invaluable service.

He also appealed to the people to donate generously to the cloth bank keeping in view the onset of winter so that enough relief was collected to meet the needs of the poor children, mothers and aged and enable them to fight chill of the winter.

Earlier, Ms Padmini Singla, SDM (East) and also the secretary of the Red Cross Society highlighted the multifarious activities of the local branch of the society.



Burail jail to acquire 3 sniffer dogs
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
The Model Jail Burail is all set to get three sniffer dogs to keep a tab on the supply of drugs and explosives in the jail premises. A dog training centre in Sector 20-A has been given the order to supply the two male and one female pup of Labrador breed, after the Jail Superintendent selected the pups at an inspection recently.

Mr Amitabh Dhillon, Inspector-General of Prisons, UT, Chandigarh said the need for sniffer dogs was felt of late for the jail to keep a tab on the smuggling of drugs and explosives in the premises. Till now, we had to request the police to provide us with the sniffer dog and that dog was only trained to detect the explosives. Now, we will send these pups for six months training at the Basic Training Centre of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force, Bhanu (Panchkula).



Foundation stone of tourism office laid
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 3
The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today laid the foundation stone of the Haryana Tourism’s corporate office in Sector 2 here.
The offices of the Tourism Department, Tourism Corporation and the Hospitality Department would be housed in this new building. The building would be constructed at the cost of Rs 2.74 crore and it would be ready within two years.

The Chief Minister also laid the foundation stone of the office of the Municipal Committee in Sector 4, here. The Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Subhash Goyal, and the Municipal Council President, Ms Seema Chaudhary, was also present on the occasion.



Scared of monkeys man jumps, fractures leg
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
Scared of monkeys, a 22-year-old man jumped from the first floor of a building in Sector 26 and fractured his leg this morning.
Mr Ravinder Singh, a resident of Shahpur Colony in Sector 38, went to clean a water tank at the top of the Orion Company office, where he works as a peon.

He got scared after he was attacked by a horde of monkeys and jumped from the first floor to save his life. He fractured his left leg, said the police.

He was rushed to the Government-32 hospital where the doctors say that his condition was stable.



One nabbed in Balongi cheating case
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 4
Did the local police nab one of the suspects in the Balongi cheating case today?
It is learnt that Major Singh, owner of the house where a business by the name of Jai Lakhmi Super Agency was being run, is in police custody, though this has not been confirmed by police officials.

The agency set up is business in Balongi village in November and allegedly duped residents of lakhs of rupees. The agency was offering various goods, right from a small household item to a car, at half the market price. The customer was free to choose the goods from either the venue or the open market. The delivery of goods was to be given in 15 days from the time when the payment was made. A high rate of interest was also offered to lure customers.

The police had booked four persons in this regard including the house owner, Major Singh, who had given the premises on rent to run the business.

It is learnt that some of the duped persons saw Major Singh in the village today. He was getting a bicycle repaired which had got punctured. The affected persons informed the police about his presence. The police went to the village before noon to nab Major Singh but he reportedly fled.

It is reported that later, in the afternoon, Major Singh went to the house of a relative in the village. The police was again informed by some of the residents. The police reached the village and reportedly surrounded the house where Major Singh was present. It is learnt that he was nabbed by the police.

The police was on the hunt to arrest the four suspects ever since a case was registered. The police had raided the house on November 20 where business of Jai Lakshmi Super Agency was being carried out and seized four truckloads of goods apart from cash.



Jewellery, Rs 50000 stolen from house
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
A house was burgled in Sector 26, the local police said here today.
Mr J.R. Dayal of Sector 7-B filed a complaint that some gold and silver ornaments and cash Rs 50000 was stolen from his residence during daytime, yesterday. The SHO of Sector 26 police station said, the thieves broke into the house by breaking the locks.

A case under Sections 411 and 380 of the IPC was registered in the Sector 26 police station.

In another incident, Mr Rakesh Chopra of Sector 16 reported to the police that his scooter (CH-01-K-9843) was stolen from Shivalik View parking in Sector 17, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered in the Sector 17 police station.

Liquor seized: The local police has arrested two persons for carrying liquor illegally from near Fragrance Garden in Sector 36.

The police said, Jai Parkash and Suresh Kumar both of Sector 52 were arrested with one carton of Hero whisky, two cartons of Every Day whisky and one carton of Old Fox whisky.

The police said, they were selling liquor in the Punjab area after buying at low prices from Chandigarh. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act was registered in the Sector 36 police station.


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