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Tribune Special
Driver in soup over faking entries
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Can anyone drive two vehicles at the same time on the same day and still cover hundreds of kilometers with each?
If you thought it’s impossible, here’s some news for you. A driver with SC, BC Corporation (Schedule Caste Backward Class Corporation), Chandigarh was doing just this for several months between April 2003 and February 2005. At least so say the details of official entries made with respect to the two vehicles in question — a Qualis, belonging to Director, Social Welfare Office UT and an Ambassador, meant for the Corporation.

Between the said period, the driver was faking bills and entries in log books allegedly to favour a senior officer — the then MD Corporation in this case. He even made fake advance entries of many litres of petrol in the Ambassador car without indicating the bill number and date. Besides, he procured car servicing quotations from such parties in the market as have no service facilities. Enquiries reveal that these parties actually deal in car accessories alone.

The main charge against the driver, however, is gross misuse of official vehicles. While checking log books of both the vehicles, the present Corporation MD found that both vehicles were being used simultaneously with only one driver available for the two. She told The Tribune, “Qualis was bought in 2002 because Social Welfare Office had no vehicle. Although the post of a driver was advertised, the vacancy was never filled. Now that we have checked the entries we have found the driver guilty. He has been changing his statements to mislead the authorities, but he must prove how he was driving two vehicles simultaneously. Obviously he is lying to save someone.”

Entries also reveal that a substantial mileage has been covered on several days for months together. And surprisingly, the said mileage has been covered with both the vehicles being driven at identical times. In July 2003, both the vehicles, records show, were driven simultaneously on 21 occasions and major distances were covered with both — 1174 km with the Ambassador and 1409 km with the Qualis.

In November 2004 both the vehicles were on city roads at the same time on 26 occasions. While the Ambassador covered 1567 km, the Qualis traveled a whopping 2683 km! Entries for both the vehicles are by the same driver, who now faces serious charges. He is also accused of making a fake advance entry for 30 litres of petrol in the Ambassador without indicating the bill date and number.

Significantly, during official enquiry held on March 16 this year, the driver admitted that both the vehicles were under his charge and the Qualis was being parked at House no 142, Sector 19 A — residential address of the then MD, Corporation.

Meanwhile, wife of the driver has petitioned before National Human Rights Commission alleging harassment at the hands of authorities. The petition mentions that the driver is being harassed even when he has desired a VRS.



Contempt notice to UT Adviser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today issued a contempt notice to the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma and the Director, Health Services, Chandigarh, C.P. Bansal in connection with a contempt case filed by a Medical Officer (Homoeopathy), Ms Rama Sharma.

The applicant, Ms Sharma, posted at the Government Dispensary, Sector 27, stated that despite an order of the tribunal through which her appointment had been found to be correct, the Adviser charge-sheeted her for getting the job allegedly on a false ground after a gap of 20 years.

After hearing the applicant and the respondents, Mr L.M.Goyal and Mr Jasbir, S.Dhaliwal, Vice-chairman and member, respectively, of the tribunal issued the contempt notice for June 3. The operation of the charge sheet proceedings has also been stayed till the next date the of hearing.

Ms Sharma stated that on the basis of experience and qualification she was ranked first after the selection for the post of Assistant Medical Officer (Homoeopathy) in 1985. In connection with the selections, names of 31 candidates had been forwarded by the Employment Exchange. Another candidate, Mr Rajeshwar Rana had been ranked second in the selection list.

The selection was challenged by Mr Rajeshwar in the tribunal in 1990. During the hearing of the case the Chandigarh Administration had stated the selection criteria were right. The case was disposed of in favour of Ms Rama Sharma in 1997. Then Mr Sharma approached the High Court but it was dismissed.

Later, when the applicant was to be promoted against the post of Assistant Director, Mr Rajeshwar allegedly got a vigilance inquiry marked against her and on April 4, 2005, she was charge sheeted for taking the job on the basis of wrong pretext. 



Govt wakes up to ecological concerns
Quarrying in Ghaggar banned
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
Protecting fragile ecology of the lower Shivalik region here finally seems to have found favour with the state government. The Department of Mines and Geology, has for the first time, ensured that quarrying for minor minerals in Ghaggar river bed and other rivulets, is banned till the contractors submit and abide by an Environment Management Plan (EMP).

Four days since the new mining contract (for a period of three years) has come into force, the contractors in most of the 55 quarries have been denied permission to lift any minerals from the river bed. Though illegal mining is still on at some places, thus causing a loss of several lakhs of rupees as royalty to the state government, but the department has refused to allow mining till the contractors get an EMP approved from the environment department.

The lower Shivaliks have been considered an ecologically fragile zone in the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, because the land surface is loose and erodable. Thus mining of minerals from the river bed causes further loss to the ecology. A public interest litigation, too, has been filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard. The Department of Mines had given a statement in the court that only the mineral deposited in the river bed due to the fluvial action of water is allowed to be picked up by the mining contractors.

The department has further stated that’... the extraction of mineral from the river bed is in no way causing any ecological problems as the same is being carried out from midstream after obtaining the consent of land owners. During the course of rainy season, water brings along with it a large quantity of boulders, gravel and sand, which settle in the river bed...”.

However, a visit along the Ghaggar river reveals that it is not just the surface mineral that is being lifted. Pits, some as deep as 20 to 30 feet, have been dug in the river beds. Unchecked mining of Ghaggar river near bridges and culverts has been going on. The rules say that mining of RBM is allowed at upstream distance of 250 meters and downstream distance of 125 meters from a small bridge/ culvert, and at 1 km upstream distance and half-a-kilometer downstream distance from a big bridge.

Also, the mining contractors have never adhered to the rule regarding the area of quarry. In case the width of the river is 400 feet, then mining can be carried out in the middle of the river bed, after leaving 100 feet area on both sides of the river. At most of the quarries, especially on the Burj Kotian-Mandana road, mining activity has been going on right along the embankments — leading to the washing away of these embankments in rainy season.

Officials in the Department of Mines say that in order to save the ecology of the area, they have incorporated the condition of getting an EMP approved from the Environment department.



City buildings flout fire safety norms
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
A majority of the buildings in the city, particularly those located in the Industrial Area, are grossly violating the mandatory requirements of the fire safety norms. Recent fires in the city have once again proved the absence of fire safety gadgets in these places.

The report of the Fire Department on yesterday’s fire in Industrial Area clearly indicated non-existence of fire fighting equipment in the premises of a furniture factory in Industrial Area, Phase II. On April 12, a fire broke out in Sector 44 destroying a pile of over 100 quilts and appliances which were given on rent for public use.

Highly placed sources in the department concede absence of fire safety installations in a majority of commercial establishments in the city. The department regularly issues notices to all the establishments. The rule book of the department has four categories of industrial establishments which are required to maintain separate safety standards. The Category A refers to establishments dealing in wood, rexin and cloth; Category B deals with inflammatory liquids; Category C with gaseous substances; and Category D with metal fires.

Fire department officials said they did not have any reports of regular checks in different establishments or whether they had the required fire safety gadgets installed. Mr M.L. Sharma, the acting Chief Fire Officer, said that under the Act only the Chief Fire Officer had the powers to take an action against the defaulters and “I don’t think the provision has ever been used”.

Another official said “the department should tabulate the data on major fires. A report needs to be prepared on the premises which were found to be violating the fire safety norms and the matter needed to be submitted to the Municipal Corporation to formulate a clear plan of action”.

Mr Sharma said “in the recent fire in Industrial Area, Phase II, I went to the spot to enquire into the reasons and file a report. The concerned party shouted back saying “do you have any sympathy for my loss. You are instead cross-examining me like a CBI officer’. The response is very mild even when the notices are issued to different parties asking them to adhere to safety norms”.

A councillor said “the corporation should take up the matter in the house for a detailed discussion because fires stage a comeback every summer. Fires generally show non-existence of fire safety gadgets in the concerned premises. Some punishment needs to be spelt and given to certain violators which should serve as examples for others and deter them from being careless about safety of their premises”.

Mr Sharma said that “big industrial units had installations of the fire fighting units and so did a number of institutions. Even in these cases the equipment needed a timely overhauling.”



Power pilferage causes loss of Rs 5.6 lakh
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, May 19
The Economic Offences wing of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau conducted a surprise raid at Gulmohar Trends, a housing colony located in Dhakauli village, and detected power pilferage which caused a loss of Rs 5.60 lakh to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) by the builder.

Led by Mr Gurdeep Singh, Executive Engineer of the wing, Mr Johra Singh Brar, DSP of the Bureau, and a team of over 15 employees, raided the colony and found that the builder had been pilfering 132.509 KW power against its sanctioned load of 24.950 KW.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Gurdeep Singh claimed that the builder had been drawing electricity by putting kundi connections to low transmission (LT) lines in the colony complex. He said the sleuths also found 24 street light points, marble cutters (3), welding machines (7), mercury and ordinary lamps, grinders, light plugs and some other machines were also running from kundi connections during the raid.

He also claimed that builders have been directed to submit the penalty amount along with a fresh test report of the sanctioned load from the Punjab State Electricity Board in the next seven days.

The builder has also been asked to shift the transformer outside from the colony premises. Installation of the transformer within the colony premises was a violation of the PSEB guidelines, claimed Mr Gurdeep Singh.

Meanwhile, Mr Vikas Singal, the builder, claimed that he had applied for the sufficient power load from the Punjab State Electricity Board about six months ago. But the PSEB authorities have not sanctioned the required power load till day thus causing him huge losses.

Denying any power pilferage, Mr Singal made it clear 11 power generator sets were installed at the site to meet the required power supply and had been spending huge money on fuel to make these sets operational.



Mohali to face less power cuts
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 19
Mohali residents will face less power cuts this summer. While by this time last summers the city residents and villagers were facing three-hour-daily power cuts, the Punjab State Electricity Board has no plans to start cutting on electricity supply here till the second week of June.

When contacted the senior executive engineer of the board, Mohali circle, Mr H.S. Boparai, said this was due to the fact that the power grids were yet to face full load.

“Paddy sowing has been delayed by a few weeks and that is making all the difference. Normally by mid-May, we are facing full load and power cuts are announced. But this year paddy sowing is expected to reach its peak by the second week of June, when we may have to resort to power cuts,” he pointed out.

Mohali, along with some other townships in the state, is slated to receive a 24- hour power supply but residents have to face cut almost all through summers. The villages too have to bear the brunt during severe summers.

“The villages that fall within the Mohali circle are in the Kandi area and we consider them urban for electricity supply purposes. This year these too will not face any power shortage before June. The industrial belt in Mohali will also continue with the fixed hours of electricity supply,” said Mr Boparai.



Tubewell snag triggers water woes
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 19
The Industrial Area Phase VIII here is facing an acute shortage of water as the tubewell in the area has become non-functional. The shortage of water has been going on for the past four days adversely affecting hundreds of workers in the area.

Employees and others working in the industrial units have to depend on the nearby areas for water which had to be carried in containers.

Ms Tejinder Kaur, working as a manager in an industrial unit, told the Chandigarh Tribune that the motor of the tubewell had developed some problem and the area was facing an acute shortage of water. She said water had to be carried in containers on rehris from the nearby Shahimajra, Matour villages and Sector 71 to meet their daily needs. She said the position was going to remain the same for the next four days as the motor had not been repaired so far.

Mr Yogesh Sagar, vice-president of the Mohali Industries Association, said on an average about 60 workers were employed by each factory and as such water shortage was affecting hundreds of workers. He said if the tubewell motor had developed a problem, it could have been repaired in a day or so had the gravity of the situation been realised by officials of the local Municipal Council. But nobody was bothered, he alleged.

He said the civic body was not bothered because the industrial area did not have a representative in the council to look after their problems. Every industrial unit owner was paying water bills ranging between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 but the quality of water being supplied to the area was poor and the quantity was insufficient.

It is learnt that even Phase VII Industrial Area was facing the shortage of water. The Executive Officer of the council, Mr H.B. Garg, said he was not aware of the problem. Nobody had brought it to his notice. He said he would look into the matter and find an early solution.



Thackarey remains Maratha leader only: Gupta
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
President of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan), Mr Pawan Kumar Gupta, says that Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackarey has failed to evolve as a national leader, this has forced Shiv Sainiks outside Maharashtra to reorganise themselves as Shiv Sena (Hindustan).

Mr Gupta was addressing mediapersons here today. He said that there was a vacuum in leadership within the Hindu community and Mr Thackarey had failed to get out of the shadow of a Maratha leader. “Even the then leader of Opposition and Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, came out in the open to condemn attacks on Raghunath Mandir in Jammu; Akshardham in Gujarat, or on the Amarnath yatris. But Mr Thackarey failed to rise over his Maratha leader status, which has led to the formation of Shiv Sena (Hindustan),” he said.

He said that his party now had a base in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Uttar Pradesh. “But we have not enrolled new recruits. It is only the Shiv Sainiks, dismayed by Mr Thackarey’s leadership, who have joined our ranks,” he said.

Mr Gupta was here to see the formation of the state unit of his party. He appointed Mr Sandeep Kapoor as president and Mr Suresh Chaudhary as general secretary of the Haryana unit. He also authorised them to appoint district unit chiefs all over the state.

Addressing mediapersons later, Mr Sandeep Kapoor criticised the conversion of the ancient Balaji temple at Kalka into a Sarv Dharam Mandir. He said that it was an infringement on the right to worship of Hindus.



No respite from heat wave in sight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The summer sun is not keeping the weathermen guessing too much. Predictable and punishing for about a week now, it continued to scorch the city today as well.
With temperature soaring today the Met office recorded the second highest day temperatures this season. Not just that, today’s temperature also marked a plus three degree departure from normal, spelling a lot of heat and even more discomfort.

The temperature rose 1.2 degree in comparison to yesterday which recorded 39.6°C of maximum temperature. Today’s temperature was 40.8°C — which is not too low when set against the highest temperature of this season — 42°C on May 17.

While the water supply situation continued to be grim, power supply was also affected adversely in many parts of the city today. Mohali was particularly hit, so were certain southern sectors. Last morning’s dust storm added to the mess by disrupting various telephone lines.

A Met official said, “We have forecast light rains and dust storms for the region. The day temperature will remain more or less constant. For a while, there will be little respite from heat.”

Weather changes are being attributed to western disturbances and two cyclonic circulations.



Workshop on e-filing of returns today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The Finance Act (2), 2004, has made it mandatory for all government departments to file their TDS returns electronically. To help government departments to e-file their TDS returns, a workshop on e-filing of TDS returns is being organised at National Technical Teachers Training Institute, Sector-26, tomorrow from 10 am to 1 pm, said an official release.

The seminar is open to drawing and disbursing officers and other officers responsible for deducting tax and filing of TDS returns in state government departments, Central Government departments and various undertakings. Nominations may be sent at the Fax Nos. 2722240 & 2775499 or by e-mail to deitoc_Chandigarh@ Hotmail.com. Detailed information about e-filing of TDS returns and software assistance for filing e-TDS returns will be provided at the seminar, the release added.



Sri Sri Ravi Shankar honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been presented the “Global Humanitarian Award” by Governor of the state of Illinois Rob Blagojevich. The award was conferred on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on May 14, 2005 for exemplifying the highest ideals of humanitarian service for his steadfast devotion to inspiring healthy living and fostering universal harmony, a press release note said.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living Foundation, is working for world peace and for instilling the human values among individuals . He has been working to bring people from different nations, religions and cultures together through his message of universal love. 



Follow road safety concepts: SP
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
“Following an increase in vehicular traffic, especially high speed vehicles, road accidents have also increased. We need to organise ourselves to avoid accidents and everyone has to participate for ensuring road safety”.

These views were expressed by Superintendent of Police, Dr R.C. Misra, during the Traffic Education and Awareness Programme organised by the Panchkula Press Club in association with the Panchkula police and Rotary Club, Panchkula, at Manav Mangal School here today. He said that teaching road safety concepts could alone prevent road mishaps. He said as part of the programme, he was training students from Class VIII to IX, who would be shortly learning who to drive on the roads.

On this occasion, a slide show on road safety was presented by the Panchkula Press Club for the students. Mr Sandeep Sardana, Principal of the school, said that children would act as ambassadors for carrying the message of road safety. Earlier, a competition in slogan writing, poster making and cartoon making on road safety was organised and the winners were distributed prizes. 



Ludhiana resident held for rape
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
A 24-year-old Ludhiana resident was arrested by the local police from Ludhiana in the wee hours today on the charges of raping and threatening a 17-year-old girl, an Australian citizen living with her uncle in Sector 12, Panchkula. The girl alleged that the accused had raped her on the pretext of marrying her.

Mani Chadda, a resident of Kalayan Nagar in Ludhiana district, has been booked under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (threatening), 420 (cheating) IPC on a complaint filed by the victim. He was produced before a local court today and remanded in two-day police custody.

According to Mr Jaspal Singh, DSP, Woman and Child Support Unit (WACSU), the victim, a Class 10th student of a local school, in her complaint alleged that she had met Mani at a marriage party about a month back in Ludhiana. The family members of both — the girl and Mani — were present at the marriage functions. After some time they became friends and started meeting each other.

The victim alleged that Mani won her trust by promising to marry her. Once he took her to a guest house in Sector 7, Chandigarh where he raped her. She further alleged that after the rape the accused stated avoiding her and then reportedly backtracked from the promises of marriage.

Mani has a hosiery business in Ludhiana and was a taking coaching from a private coaching centre. The police has sent both, the accused and the victim for medical examination in the General Hospital in Sector 16 and the reports are waited.



18-year-old girl kidnapped, robbed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
Despite the much publicised anti-snatching drive, launched by the police, a 18-year-old girl was forced to sit inside a Maruti van this morning and was dropped minutes later after the two occupants of the car had snatched her gold earrings and gold ring.

In a separate incident, a woman from Mohali reported to the police that an unidentified youth snatched her purse containing Rs 15,000, a passport, a lady wrist watch and a gold idol of lord Ganesha weighing 2.50 gm on Wednesday. She was place in a rickshaw when the incident took since on the Sector 1 and Sector 8 dividing road.

Meanwhile, in today’s incident of kidnapping and snatching, Simrandeep Kaur was kidnapped from near SD College in Sector 32 and later dropped her near the college after snatching her gold earrings and a ring from her.

According to the information, Simrandeep Kaur, is a resident of Sector 71, Mohali, and a student of the SD School was going to her school this morning. She reported to the police that the two clean shaven youths in their mid twenties, came close to her as she was nearing her school after disembarking from an autorickshaw.

One of them opened the door of the van and dragged her inside and drove away. She said one of them kept on driving the van while the other forcibly took her gold ring and earrings. As she tried to resist, the youth slapped her. She said after taking away her jewellery they dropped her on the road next to the SD College.

She reported the matter to the police. She called the police from her mobile phone, which she reportedly kept in her shocks.

A case under Sections 365 abducting with intent to confine somebody and 382 of the IPC (theft after preparation made for causing death) has been registered in the Sector 34 police station. 



Sec 40 resident held for manhandling, locking cops
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
A Sector 40 resident was today arrested for manhandling policemen and also locking one of them in his house for some time when the latter went to his residence for verification.

The police has booked Ajay Singh on the charges of manhandling and obstructing a public servant to discharge his duties.

Ajay Singh allegedly manhandled Head Constable Jung Bhadur and Constable Paramjit Singh. Ajay also reportedly locked Paramjit Singh inside his house. Jung Bhadur called the police, which arrested Ajay Singh, said the SHO of the Sector 39 police station.

Two cases under the NDPS Act have been registered against Ajay Singh in Sector 31, 34 police stations and another one in the Shahbad police station. Ajay was later released on bail.

Car stolen: Mr Ranvijay Singh of the Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, lodged a complaint with the police that his Maruti Zen (HR-03-A-1430) was stolen from the free parking lot of the Sector 9 market on Wednesday. A case of theft has been registered.

Charas seized: The police arrested Uttam Sahni of Hallo Majra village from near Poultry Farm Chowk and seized 100 gm Charas from his possession yesterday. A case under Section 18 of the NDPS Act has been registered in this regard.

Dowry complaint: Ms Meenu of Dadu Majra Colony filed a complaint with the police, alleging that her husband Adhil Nasheem and in-laws, residents of Mani Majra, were harassing and maltreating her to bring more dowry. A case has been registered.

Bail granted: Three teenagers, including a girl, were arrested by police for allegedly watching obscene MSM clips on a mobile phone while sitting in a car parked in Sector 19 this evening.

The police has registered a case under Section 294 IPC (Obscene Acts) against them. They were later released on bail.

According to the SHO of Sector 19 police station, Ankush and Aditya Aggarwal of Sector 4, Panchkula, and a girl were watching obscene clips on a mobile phone in their Fiat Palio Car (HR-49-A-5000). The car was parked in front of Oriental Bank, Sector 19.

The SHO further added that they were not indulging in any obscene activity.

The boys are second year students of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.



3 small units get awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Three small-scale industrial units of the city were conferred awards for their performance and contributions in the field of promoting entrepreneurship at the State Award Function-2004, held at the UT Guest House, here today by the UT Department of Industries.

The Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Industries, UT, Mr Krishna Mohan, gave the first, second and third prizes to Mr Suman Jolly of M/s Recorders and Medicare Systems (P) Ltd, Mr Vinod Mittal of M/s Chandigarh Flour Mill (P) Ltd, and Mr Lalit Sharma of M/s Azad Offset Printers (P) Ltd. All three units are located in Industrial Area, Phase-I.

In his presidential address, Mr Krishna Mohan said to oversome a host of problems being faced by the industry, the Chandigarh Administration was in the process of developing Industrial Area, Phase III, into a pollution-free, IT and hi-tech industries. The Administration has already, in principle, approved the conversion of industrial plots in Industrial Area, Phase-I and II on optional basis for commercial use on the payment of conversion charges to ensure free play of trade and commerce activities in the city. A detailed scheme, specifying the architectural controls and conversion charges, will be formulated and notified shortly, he added.

Director of Industries, Preetdev Singh Shergill said these awards were given every year to the outstanding small-scale industry (SSI) units of Chandigarh on the pattern of the national award as a mark of honour for recognising their contribution in the field of promoting entrepreneurship. He also exhorted other industrial units to come forward in greater numbers by applying for this award for 2005. 



NABARD gives Rs 3.45 cr for medicinal plants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) regional office, Chandigarh, organised a state-level workshop today on the development of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) cultivation in Punjab and Haryana.

The objective was to address the concerns of farmers, entrepreneurs, government agencies and financing banks of this region so that the interests of the farmers are protected and to chalk out an action plan for greater credit flow to the MAP sector. NABARD has already refinanced Rs 3.45 crore in this sector during 2004-05.

Addressing the participants Mr A.P. Deo, General Manager, NABARD emphasised the need for contract agreement for assured buy back with the planting material suppliers. Dr D.V. Deshpande, Deputy General Manager, NABARD, indicated that there was a huge global market potential for these plants. “India is well poised to harness this opportunity due to its variety of agro-climatic regions and bio-diversity,” he said.

The participants urged the state government to establish a quality testing laboratory immediately to help the farmers in getting remunerative price for their products. After the discussions NABARD had drawn an action plan taking into account the requests of various stake holders and urged the banks to come forward in financing this sector to give an impetus to crop diversification.

The growers of these medicinal and aromatic plants also highlighted the problems they were facing pertaining to quality planting material, marketing, legal validity of contract agreement, lack of processing facilities and quality testing laboratories in the vicinity.

The meeting was attended by various stakeholders like Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of State Medicinal Plant Boards of Haryana and Chandigarh, Punjab Agricultural University, NHB, state departments of horticulture, financing banks like SBI, PNB, SBOP, cooperative banks, NGOs, farmers, companies supplying planting material like Nandan Biomatrix, Hyderabad; companies involved in processing.

Meanwhile, Dr Parvez Ahmed, Chief Conservator of Forests and CEO of the state.


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