C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Aspiring teachers counselled
Candidates have harrowing time
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 29
Aspirants for B. Ed who are seeking counselling at Panjab University had to face a tough time on the second day of the counselling yesterday. The counselling which yesterday continued till 3.30 am today. Candidates kept waiting for their turn for long hours and parents who were accompanying them had a harrowing time. Nearly, 1,200 candidates received counselling yesterday.

The Chairperson, of the Shivalik Education and Research Institute, Mohali, H.S. Bedi, said, “Because of the mismanagement of time, I sent my bus for members and accommodated around 80 of them at my boarding school last night.”

Vice-Chancellor K.N. Pathak said, “It was not in my notice and I will look into the matter”.

Nearly, 1,300 candidates turned up today.

Fifteen B.Ed colleges have not received 95 per cent grant-in-aid scheme from the DPI (Colleges) office for the past three quarters.

Prof Nanak Singh, Ramgarhia College of Education, Phagwara, today submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in this regard.

The PCCTU urged that the counselling should be stopped. Mr R.S. Brar, president, and Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary of the union have raised questions about B.Ed colleges. According to them, nearly 80 B.Ed Colleges in the state have been granted affiliation during the current year. There were several institutes which did not even possess the required infrastructure to start the course. Some colleges did not even have a single permanent teacher, which violated the guidelines of the UGC.

The norms of the NCTE were also not being observed in some colleges, they said.

On the third day of the joint counselling of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Panjab University, Chandigarh, 700 students have been admitted to 97 B.Ed colleges of UT and Punjab so far. 



SI Sunita Bakshi surrenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
After dodging the police and the CBI for about two-and-a-half-month, Sunita Bakshi, a Sub-Inspector (SI) with the Chandigarh police, today surrendered before a local court.

Sunita, accused of demanding Rs 2,000 from constable Husan Lal at the Mani Majra police station on May 12, gave up in the court of the CJM, Ms Neerja Kulwant Kalson, who sent her to CBI custody for a day.

On May 12, Husan Lal was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from Sonu. The money was allegedly taken from Sonu to help him in a matrimonial dispute.

During interrogation, Husan Lal alleged that he had taken money from Sonu on behalf of Sunita though there was no direct evidence of the police official taking or demanding money.

Subsequently, Sunita went underground and was placed under suspension by the Chandigarh police. Since then the police and the CBI were on her trail but could not locate her.

The CBI sought a five-day remand while her counsel said there was no need for the remand as custodial interrogation was not required. There was no direct involvement of the police official in accepting the bribe.



Police backtracks again 
Drops murder charge against Dr Deepak Kaura
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
It is nothing but complete failure on part of the Chandigarh police to properly investigate criminal cases.
Nearly two months after booking Dr Deepak Kaura on the allegations of being involved in the murder of his wife Dr Babita Kaura, the police today backtracked from its stand and said she had ended her life.

It also announced the dropping of murder charge against Dr Deepak and said he would now be charge-sheeted for abetment to suicide. It also declared that Dr Deepak’s sister, Deepali Kohli, had nothing to do with the offence. As such, it would seek her discharge in the case.

Giving reasons for the change in stand, a senior officer said they were relying on two reports from the CFSL which pointed towards the fact that Dr Babita Kaura had not been murdered.

As far as the offence of abetment to suicide was concerned, the officer said Dr Deepak’s own conduct made the police take the decision. He added that Dr Deepak had relations with a nurse.

Elaborating upon the sequence of events on the fateful day, he said the two came back from Sector 15 after having drinks. Following an argument, Dr Deepak left the house. At about 11.17 pm, Dr Babita talked to him. She found the phone switched off when she tried the second time.

In an attempt to trace him, she called up the clinic in Sector 15, and talked to her father before calling upon her father-in-law at about 11.40 pm. A talk with him revealed that Dr Deepak was in the house. Dr Babita though that her husband was complaining against her and this probably led to the extreme step.

Dr Babita had died under mysterious circumstances on January 18 following severe head and chest injuries. Her sister-in-law was at home at that time. Initially, the police had claimed that she had jumped from the third floor of her house in Sector 24. Later, it changed its stand and booked Dr Deepak for the murder only to backtrack again.

The sources in the police, meanwhile, said this was not the first time that the police had backtracked. Less than a week after claiming that Babbar Khalsa International’s alleged chief, Jagtar Singh Hawara, had named a senior jail officer as his sympathiser, senior police officers had categorically denied making any statement in this regard.

Before that, the Chandigarh police had taken a U-turn in Chandani-suicide case. Here also, the police had dropped charges against Samidha Bansal after booking her as a co-accused.

The orders were issued by the police after “causing harassment and mental torture” to Samidha for over a month. For her, the ordeal had started soon after Panjab University student Chandni Bansal ended her life by jumping in the Sukhna Lake on June 11.

Even though the Chandigarh police relied upon Dr Deepaks diary to give a twist to the case, police sources said the document did not inspire much confidence.

They said some pages were missing and others had been added. Some entries were added after Dr Babita’s death. Dr Kaura could have used it to create evidence for absolving himself in the murder case, they said.



Dadu Majra to get garbage processing unit 
Tribune News Service

MC decisions

  • Garbage processing unit for city.
  • Multiple parking pass for entire city.
  • No parking fee for bicycles.
  • Agenda on electric crematorium put off.

Chandigarh, July 29
A walkout by the Opposition BJP and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch and protests by certain Congress councillors notwithstanding, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) today approved the setting up of a garbage processing unit at Dadu Majra here.

However, the award of the Rs 15 crore project to M/s Jai Parkash Associate Limited (JPAL) by the Congress-dominated MCC kicked up a storm with two of its own councillors expressing doubts about transparency in the selection.

In fact, the monthly meeting of the corporation, chaired by the Mayor, Ms Anu Chatrath, saw a clear division in the ruling Congress with the councillor, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, demanding a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in the awarding of the project.

Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma’s party colleague, Ms Shyama Negi, who is the area councillor from Dadu Majra, joined the Opposition members in walking out of the House and threatened to launch an agitation if the unit was set up at Dadu Majra.

The Mayor and the Commissioner, Mr P.S. Aujla, had a tough time in defending the project, which Leader of the Opposition Kamla Sharma alleged had been awarded after bypassing the rules. No global tenders had been invited and the JPAL had been hand-picked by the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, Ms Kamla Sharma alleged.

However, the reference to Mr Bansal was opposed by Congress councillor, Pradeep Chhabra, who said no allegations should be levelled against a member who was not present in the House. The setting of the project was passed by a voice vote.

Through another important decision, the meeting approved the issuance of multiple parking pass for the city. While Rs 300 per month will be charged for cars, for two-wheelers it will be Rs 150 per month.

The proposal to levy parking fee on bicycles in Sector 17 was shot down by the House. Terming the proposal as “anti-people”, Mr Chhabra said cycling should be encouraged in the city which had the highest density of vehicles in the country. Mr H.S. Lucky (Congress) suggested that the corporate sector could be tapped for the maintenance of the areas earmarked for bicycles.

Earlier, the provision of Rs 50 lakh for one more electric furnace at the existing electric crematorium in Sector 25 raised a lot of dust. Mr Subhash Chawla (Congress) questioned the very rationale of spending a huge amount on the second furnace at the electric crematorium when very few bodies came for cremation there.

Mr K.S. Raju and Mr B.R. Verma, both nominated councillors, wanted that the electric crematorium should be popularised as its was environment-friendly. Members felt that the existing electric crematorium should be repaired. However, the agenda was deferred till the next meeting.



Passing Thru

Pradeep Ganeriwal
Pradeep Ganeriwal, President of Roller Skating Federation of India.

How can Chandigarh be made into a hub of roller skating?

Till now Punjab and Chandigarh region was mainly concentrating on roller hockey events. Since there are no speed event tracks anyhere in this region, we want to promote this event by asking various institutions to build these special tracks.

Are you planning to allot any national or international event to the city?

Yes, in December this year, we are going to have national roller skating meet. Roller Skating Federation is also thinking of having Chandigarh as one of the venues for the World Roller Hockey meet in 2007.

What do you think about the potential of artistic event in this region?

At present Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have the dominance in this event, but we will try to provide artistic skating coach for the skaters here to boost this event.

— Arvind Katyal 



Sectors 25, 26 plot holders to pay enhancement fee
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 29
Over 4,600 plot holders in Sector 25 and 26 now face paying an enhancement fee, following a directive by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It is estimated that about Rs 20 crore will be collected from the plot holders as enhancement fee.

This is the fourth enhancement fee being imposed by HUDA in Sectors 25 and 26 in Panchkula Extension. Enhancement fees have earlier been charged from the plot holders in September 2003, May 2002 and November 2000.

Sources in HUDA said that though the exact enhancement fee was being worked out, it was estimated that Sector 25 allotees, having plots up to four marla in size (three marla and four marla) would have to pay Rs 119 per square metre as fee. Allotees of similar size plots in Sector 26 would be charged enhancement fee at the rate of Rs 149 per square metre. For plot holders having plots of over four marla in size (10 marla, eight marla and six marla) would have to pay enhancement charges at the rate of Rs 358 per square metre in Sector 25, and Rs 490 per square metre in Sector 26. Notices would be issued to the 4600 plot holders here next week

These sectors were developed in 1994-95.

The residents of these sectors complained that though they had been asked to pay numerous enhancement fees, but there was no development in these sectors after that. Mr Amar Yadav, a resident of Sector 26 said that authorities had made no efforts to develop these two sectors. “Large tracts of land in the sectors, including the proposed recreation zone for Panchkula Extension, remains an undulating land with wild growth all over. There is no telephone exchange, post office or petrol pump. Though there is a government dispensary in Sector 25, but the staff is inadequate, and we have to rush to Sector 6 General Hospital for minor ailments,” he rues.

Residents also demanded better local bus connectivity in sectors across the Ghaggar. They demanded that a bus queue shelter be set up in the two sectors and parks be developed properly.



Fake affidavit case: RCS backtracks
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Almost three months after the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) directed a cooperative housing society to cancel the flat of Mr Pawan Sharma, president of the District Congress Committee(Rural) and a close confident of the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, the Register seems to have gone soft on the Congress leader.

In a recent communication to the Chandigarh District Courts Lawyers Cooperative House Building Society Limited, the RCS directed the society “to afford Pawan Sharma an opportunity of personal hearing as natural justice.”

The society, on the other hand, had expressed its inability to take any decision on the issue since the matter was sub judice. Mr Pawan Sharma, a practising advocate in the district courts, was facing trial in the false affidavit case.

Surprisingly, on May 4, the RCS had directed the society to “cancel the allotment of Mr Pawan Sharma and also file an FIR for filing of false affidavit.”

The stand-off between the former DC, Mr Arun Kumar, and Mr Bansal had culminated in the arrest of Mr Pawan Sharma allegedly at the behest of the Chandigarh Administration in May this year. Mr Pawan Sharma was accused of filing a false affidavit to secure a flat in the said society while his wife, Ms Veena Sharma, was in the possession of the House No 1449, Sector 22-B (50 per cent share).

Meanwhile, in his reply to the society, Mr Pawan Sharma claimed that he was allotted the flat as per provisions of the Chandigarh Allotment of Land to Cooperative House Building Societies Scheme 1991.

“The allegation levelled against me by the Registrar is wrong. I have never filed any false affidavit. In fact, when I applied for the allotment and at the time of allotment of land to the society, I was not having House No 1449, Sector 22-B (50 per cent share). I was not having the house before 1991 and even at the time of filing affidavit on May 24,2000”, his reply claimed.

The RCS had got the May 4 FIR registered without giving him an opportunity, Mr Pawan Sharma said, adding that the Sector 22 house was transferred to his wife’s name only on October 14, 2004. 



Police moots paid parking
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 29
Often accused of a lackadaisical approach to deal with traffic rule violations and parking blues, the Panchkula police has now come up with a proposal to introduce paid parking.
The police said not only would this system regulate parking, but it would also curb vehicle thefts.

The police has made a detailed plan to introduce paid parking in the main commercial centres. The plan will be forwarded to the municipal council for implementation.

The SP, Mr Balbir Singh, said the answer to curb vehicle theft was to introduce paid parking. “The proposal will be forwarded to the MC for implementation. Residents, too, should not mind paying the parking fee as their vehicles will be safe,” he said.

With the Sector 11 market turning into the most important commercial centre, and the Sector 7 market being the most popular hangout, roads surrounding the two market places and the parking space here remain jam packed through the day.

Even in Sector 8, especially after the post office has shifted here last year, there has been a parking problem in the market place. The district courts and the mini secretariat, where thousands of people visit each day, too, have inadequate parking place.

Though the municipal council has asked HUDA to allot alternative sites for parking near these markets, it has so far washed its hands off a paid parking system.



Stamp vendors operate from homes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Persons visiting the complex behind the Deputy Commissioner office to buy non-judicial stamps have complained that the stationary is not available there. The licensed stamp vendors, who are supposed to put up their tables for the sale of the stationary, are operating from home, they alleged.

As a result needy persons had face inconvenience to buy the non-judicial stamp papers. Enquiries revealed that there were around 32 licensed stamp vendors in the city who were operating from the DC office complex, district courts and the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Following the complaints, this correspondent visited the DC office complex and found that some of the vendors hardly sat there for sale of the stationery. They were either operating from home or were providing stamp papers of higher denominations, at the door- steps of the users.

The people who require stamp papers of lower denominations were the sufferers as such papers were not being delivered at their doorsteps due to less commission.

“Since the licence was issued by the Deputy Commissioner office, the administration should check whether the vendors were sitting for the public, said Mr Mangat Ram, who had gone to buy a stamp paper of Rs 3 denomination.

An official in the branch said any action could be taken on the basis of a complaint. The District Treasury Officer, Mr R.L. Bhatti, said the Treasury could check whether the vendors were sitting at the DC office or not. “Our duty is to issue the non-judicial stamp papers to the licensed vendors”. 



Man who started ‘Chhaya Geet’
Nirupama Dutt
Tribune News Service

Vijay Vashishth
Vijay Vashishth

Chandigarh, July 29
Overcoming the stammering of his childhood and adolescent years, Vijay Vashishth went onto become one of the best-loved announcers for All-India Radio (AIR). Fondly nicknamed ‘Voice of Chandigarh’ because of his long association with the city, Vashishth said in an interview: “I overcame my speech disability by copying the voice of my favourite announcers on Jalandhar AIR.”

Vashishth, whose voice has been music to the ears of millions of listeners, went down memory lane of his 34-year association with AIR on the eve of his retirement on July 31. “Famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, who was two years senior to me, was the first one to encourage me to sing for that he said would help me out of the problem. So, I started participating in group songs with him at youth festivals. Later by copying the style of my favourite announcers like Moti Sood and Prakash Chowdhury, not only did I get rid of the stutter but was also able to culture my voice and evolve a polished style without any formal training,” he said.

A career high came to him when in Bombay in 1974, he started the “Chhaya Geet” programme on Vividh Bharati on the prime time slot of 10 pm. This thematic music programme continues to be as popular as it was when it first started. For Vashishth it brought a visit from Jaya Bachchan who told him that she listened to the programme when she could and liked his voice very much. Recalling this, Vashishth says: “I was amazed and embarrassed and I told her that she had Amitabh’s great voice in her own home. At this, she joked that she had to hear it all too often.” Last year when Amitabh visited the city while shooting for Ab Tumhare Hawale Vatan Sathiyo, Vashishth interviewed him on radio in Chandigarh. The other fond memory is about the request of a woman from Indore to announce her plea for the return of her runaway son in the programme. “She had written that it was her son’s favourite programme and he would be hearing it. I discussed it with my friends and I designed a special programme on the theme with songs such as ‘O’ mere laal aa ja’ and ‘Ai jaane waale ho sake to laut ke aana’. A month later we got a letter full of blessings from her because her son had heard the programme and returned home.”

Vashishth is also the anchor for The Tribune’s ‘Hello Chandigarh Phone-in’ Programme.” Although he will retire from a job that enriched him, Vashishth says his radio days can never be over. He adds that radio has come back with a bang with the FM boom.



Midnight parantha binge
Sakaar Puri

Chandigarh, July 28
If you are one of the “hot and peppery parantha” lovers and a nocturnal person, Bittu the paranthawala will gladly make your favourite paranthas for you between 8 pm and 4 am!

Bittu’s reheri is usually in front of the main gate of the PGI and is a favourite night eating joint for many for the past 20 years.

The crowd is at its peak between 11pm and 1 am, among which are mainly students of Panjab University and PEC, workers of PGI and those who after watching late night movie shows, feel hungry.

Saravjit Singh of GCM-11 says that even now when the vacation is on “we don’t study till late night but I can’t resist my self from coming to this place with my friends. The food is really mouth-watering and right now I am having my second dinner!”

Saneesh, a PEC student, says that he and his friends often come here after midnight as this is their favourite hangout spot at the night.

Jaspreet and Navin, both more students, and returning from a night movie, said they were here for the first time and the paranthas were really yummy!

Some staff members of the PGI are also among the regular customers. Other than paranthas, which are just for Rs 3.50 each, one can enjoy an omelette for Rs 10 and dal for Rs 6.

Om Prakash, a cook, said the police, during routine patrol sometimes do interrupt their work.

Next time when you feel hungry during the odd hours, you know where 
to head.



Trust for  ex-personnel of IAF
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The Air Force Association (AFA) has formed a trust, with a corpus of Rs 2 crore, to provide for former IAF personnel or their dependents who are in need of monetary aid. The corpus has been formed out of the donation made by Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh last year.

He had donated about Rs 5 crore to the Air Force for undertaking welfare measures after selling his property. This is the first trust of its kind to be set up for the welfare of ex-IAF personnel.

“The Trust corpus has been invested in secure RBI bonds and they are expected to yield an annual return of about Rs 16 lakh,” Secretary of AFA’s Northern Zone, Wg Cdr Satish Bhatia (retd), said: “Eightyfive per cent of the annual returns will be available for disbursement,” he added.

The trust would make disbursements on a quarterly basis after vetting the applications and financial status of the applicants and the maximum grant offered to one person would be Rs 50,000.

He said the AFA was also celebrating its silver jubilee in September where ex-IAF personnel who had made noticeable achievements after retirement would be honoured.

He added that achievers, who had served in the IAF for a minimum of 10 years and had achieved identifiable recognition in civilian life, could send their details to the AFA Headquarters.



Water tariff hike cleared
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 29
The local municipal council today cleared the proposal to hike water and sewerage rates in the town after keeping it pending for three times earlier.
Some councillors of the Opposition group opposed the move saying that the civic body should not put financial burden on residents. If the government wanted to implement the new rates, it could do it at its own level.

However, the council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, said the executive officer of the civic body had been directed by higher authorities to implement the revised tariff. He said residents of the town could be given better facilities only if the civic body was able to collect adequate funds. As the rates in the town were already on the higher side, the financial pinch would not be much.

Mr Kulwant Singh said the government was given an incentive to civic bodies who implemented the revised rates. 



Power bill payment machine

Mohali, July 29
An electronic bill payment machine, “sewak,” was made functional at the Shakti Sadan complex of the Punjab State Electricity Board here today. The machine was inaugurated by the Chairman of the board, Mr Y.S. Ratra.

The Tata infotech machine is the second of its kind to be installed by the board in Punjab at a cost of Rs 8 lakh, including civil works cost of Rs 2.5 lakh. The first such machine was commissioned in August 2004 in Mohali.

A consumer can deposit his bill in cash or through a cheque/draft payable in Patiala. TNS



Readers write
Ban loud music after 11 pm, please

The celebration started at 10 pm with the full beat of Punjabi and Hindi songs. At 1 am, the beat is still at the same pitch. Instead of requesting the organisers (perhaps, it was a birthday party) as they were dead drunk and asking them to stop the music since it was so late and let the people have rest, I rang up the police station concerned (Sector 34) to come to our rescue. I was assured that two constables on the motor cycle were on their way. But nobody turned up at the venue even till 2.30 am by when the programme had ended to the great relief of all neighbours.

I do not want to lodge a complaint against the organisers of the party nor the policemen for not turning up. I just want to bring it to the notice of the Chandigarh Administration to lay down timings for such function. Programmes where one enjoys loud music should be allowed only up to 11 pm or 11.30 pm. Neighbours do not complain due to good faith and to keep relations harmonious.

It should be made incumbent upon the DJ system owners to stop the music at 11 pm of their own. They can be penalised if they do not do so. Or their license should be cancelled.

A bold appeal should be circulated among the residents of Chandigarh through the print media that loud music should not be played in residential areas beyond 11 or 11.30 pm, failing which action would be taken against organiser as also DJ system owner.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Save Sukhna

Ever since its inception the Sukhna lake has been a victim of engineering mistake as it is a silt trap with no outlet. The lake is choking with silt and its existence is threatened. Its doom can be postponed by any of the under mentioned three alternatives.:

By desilting the lake accommodating the future silt after emptying it. It shall have to be repeated again and again. It would be completed in less than three months at a cost of less than Rs 3 crore.

By desilting the lake for accommodating the future silt, without emptying it. It shall be completed in five years at a cost of Rs 80 crore. It shall have to be repeated again and shall make the Sukhna a white elephant.

By adopting Malhotra’s fool-proof scheme for preventing the entry of any silt into the lake and thus doing away with the need for any desilting for accommodating future silt. It shall be completed in less than two months at a cost of less than Rs 1 crore.

It shall not have to be repeated again and again. It has been recommended by the highest body of engineers after holding a public debate over its feasibility.

Not focusing on the above 3 alternatives will be yet another blunder for which the coming generation will not excuse those responsible for it.

(S.P. Molhotra), former Engineer-in-chief, Irrigation Department, Haryana

Sector 25 being neglected

Sector 25, Chandigarh, has been facing insanitary conditions. Heaps of garbage, Congress grass, pits and holes, seepage of water from pipes have remained unattended for months together.

The Municipal Corporation says that this area is not under their jurisdiction. On the other hand the university says they have no money. The Vice-Chancellor has always turned a blind eye towards Sector 25. Thefts are common in this sector. Drug addicts can be seen on vacant plots adjoining the residential complex. People of the nearby colonies use this land for defecation.

Officer-bearers of the Residents Welfare Society, Sector 25, Chandigarh, has met the Vice-Chancellor a number of times and also written letter, but to no avail.

Sanjhi Ram Sharma, Secretary, Resident Welfare Society, Sector 25, Panjab University Residential Complex, Chandigarh



Nayagaon rape case: 3 more held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 29
The Mohali police has arrested three more persons in a rape case registered at Nayagaon in 2003. Six persons, including a former SHO of the Nayagaon police station and a woman, have already been arrested.

The police has arrested Ramesh Handa, a resident of Nayagaon, on charges of helping the alleged rapists while they were holding the victim and her family in illegal confinement. Handa was given one day police remand till today. A Kharar court today remanded Handa in judicial custody till August 5.

Two others, Ram Singh and Shyam Lal, both residents of Nayagaon who were arrested in this case yesterday, were today given a day of police remand by the Kharar court. The three were presented before the Judicial Magistrate Kharar, Ms Poonam Ratti, today.

A special team of the Punjab Police headed by former SSP Ferozepore, Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, is investigating into the case. The entire investigation is being supervised by IG (special operations), Mr Sumedh Singh Saini, on orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Men pose as cops, take away car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
A city resident, Vikas Ahuja, had to part with his Honda City car after he gave lift to two persons in police uniform on July 24 in Sector 26. The police today registered a case under the provisions of the Arms Act and said investigations in the matter were on.
Ahuja of Sector 38 said he was taken by the two to Pehowa on pistolpoint and later his car was taken away by them.



2 juice brands launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Mamta Agro Foods, a sister concern of Mamta Drinks and Industries Ltd , has launched two juice brands `Jooz’ and ‘Madrid’ in Chandigarh . the company also launched ‘safed musli’ based energy drink blended with apple.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Ajay Kumar, general manager, sales and marketing,said “We plan to cater to various parts of Punjab and Haryana, including Amritsar, Patiala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Panchkula and other smaller towns from Chandigarh as the main hub.

With north being one of our main markets, we also plan to set up a manufacturing facility at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. The initial investment will be Rs 50 crore.

The company, he added, was also in an advanced state of talks with the Defence Research and Development Organisation to set up a facility for sourcing wonder berry, Seabuckthorn, which is grown in Ladakh.

Mr Kumar said the company was targeting a turnover of Rs 25 crore in 2005-06 with its brands already available in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Mumbai and Karnataka. 


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