C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Security up for PM’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Just a day before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s scheduled arrival here for delivering a lecture at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), the local police intensified patrolling in the city today.

It also launched an operation to verify the antecedents of recent settlers in the city, virtually converting the city into a police cantonment.

Besides, peaceful protesters were asked to shift from Madhya Marg and other places in view of the VVIP movement.

As part of the security preparations, a rehearsal was carried out by the police today. A convoy of around 20 vehicles moved from the airport to the venue. The exercise lasted over two hours.

Search operations were carried out throughout the day at the inter-state bus terminuses in Sector 17 and 43.

The passengers boarding buses were frisked and their luggage searched. Special checks were also conducted at the railway station, hotels, motels, guest houses and dhabas across the city.

Even late in the evening, heavy presence of traffic police personnel was seen on the city roads. The security was particularly tight on the road leading to the venue from the airport.

The Prime Minister’s cavalcade is expected to reach the CRRID from the airport after crossing the Tribune chowk, before turning towards the transport chowk traffic light point.

Giving details of the arrangements, a senior officer added that snipers of the operations cell of the Chandigarh Police, along with Home Guard personnel and other policemen, had been “heavily deployed”.

As a result of the beefed-up security, a large number of residents had to face inconvenience today. Some even complained of “unnecessary frisking” and harassment.

Sources in the local police said the target areas for verification drive were slums and colonies.

The intention was to rule out the possibility of “anti-social” elements planning and carrying out of subversive activities. Senior police officers have asked landlords to inform the police about the antecedents of their tenants.

The police also warned them of strict action under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code in case they failed to comply with the directions.



PM cancels C-DAC function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The final programme of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, that was told to officials here tonight, does not include the function of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Mohali.

The Prime Minister was scheduled to attend a function at PGI, here tomorrow and release the computer software of Punjabi and Urdu languages. The Director General of C-DAC, Mr J.S. Bhatia, said the function stood postponed and the software would be released later at a separate function.



HUDA allots 97 acres to HSIDC for IT park
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
Not to be left behind its neighbouring Information Technology hotspots- Chandigarh and Mohali, the Information Technology Corridor at Panchkula is beginning to take shape, with Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) today allotting 97 acres of land to Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC).

Officials in HUDA informed that an allotment letter for 97 acres of land in Sector 22 was issued to HSIDC today, for Rs 103. 44 crore. HSIDC had earlier deposited Rs 25. 86 crore with HUDA, as earnest money. With the land having been allotted to HSIDC, the latter will now take up the development of the IT Corridor in the township.

Other than paying the cost of land, HSIDC will also be paying external development charges to HUDA at the rate of Rs 96 lakh per acre. A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of officials of HUDA, HSIDC, and Industries department, held under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr M.L. Tayal. The money collected as EDC will be utilised by HUDA for providing infrastructure like roads.

The land allotted to HSIDC had been earlier reserved by HUDA for setting up the Golf Link houses. However, during a survey of the township by the IT Department a few months ago, the officials had zeroed in on this site for the IT corridor. The IT corridor is expected to come up on 250 acres of land.

While 97 acres has been allotted in Sector 22, the remaining 153 acres will be allotted for the purpose in Sector 32. HUDA has already acquired about 225 acres of land in Sector 32, but some portion of the land is under litigation.

The Haryana Government has already decided to seek a Special Economic Zone status for the Information Technology park to be set up in Panchkula.



Murder victim identified through fingerprints
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 8
Adopting scientific methods of investigations, the Chandigarh Police has identified a blind murder case victim with the help of his fingerprints, two months after the incident.

The victim, 30-year-old Suresh Kumar, had been convicted in at least two cases of theft. His badly mauled body was found in the circus ground, near Fire Station, Sector 17, on September 11.

Sources in the Sector 17 police station said in an attempt to identify the victim, his fingerprints were forwarded to the Fingerprint Bureau at Phillaur.

The authorities were able to match the prints with those of Suresh Kumar, a bachelor putting up in New Durga Colony located in Rajpura town.

The sources added that Suresh Kumar’s identification was facilitated by the fact that he had a criminal record.

After identifying the victim, the police procured records pertaining to cases registered against him at police stations here and in Punjab.

Suresh, they said, was allegedly involved in several criminal activities and had been convicted in two cases of theft and burglary.

He had burgled a shoe shop in Sirhind in 1992 and another house in Dadu Majra here the year after.

Quoting Suresh’s mother, Tulsi Devi, the police sources said Suresh was hooked to drugs and had left his home at the age of 13.

He usually stayed away from house for months. Suresh had last visited his house about two months before he was murdered.

Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 17 police station Satbir Singh confirmed that the victim had been identified on the basis of the fingerprint reports and said: “The identity of the victim was a major obstacle in the investigation. Once the identity of the victim was established, we embarked upon the process of getting details of his co-accused. Currently, we are trying to locate them. They could provide us with vital clues in the case.”

He claimed that the police had managed to identify some his associates and soon would make a headway in the case.



Playing music to cure cattle
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Shiamtu (Panchkula), November 8
Defying science, a rustic system of curing the most prized possessions of farmers- cattle, by treating them to music, still holds the sway in the rural areas of Haryana and Punjab.

The farmers claim that the music played before these animals — generally devotional music or songs relating to ancient folklore — soothe animals, thus curing them of the dreaded foot and mouth disease (FMD) and haemarragic septicemia (HS). Whether the animals are cured of its disease or not is a matter of debate, but the absence of veterinary doctors in villages aids the tribe of jogi padhe and a section of the Balmiki community, who for centuries, have been curing milch animals with music.

Veterinarians brush aside the claims of these musicians, saying that they have no affect on curing diseases. They say that FMD is self-limiting diseases and animals develop passive immunity, if the disease is wide spread in an area.

A cluster of villages is under each jogi padhe, who goes around his area, along with his sarangi (a stringed instrument) and a damroo (a small percussion instrument). Any household where the milch animal is suffering from disease, thus reducing its milk yield, calls these musicians. The jogi padhe or the Balmiki musician sings either the Heer- Ranjha, or bhajans in praise of Gugga Peer, Mother Goddess; or Lod Shiva and Goddess Parvati , as they stand near the cattle. In return, the villagers either pay them cash or in kind (usually food grains).

As The Tribune team reached this non-descript village, about 25 km from Panchkula, in search of these musician tribesmen, the sounds of music from the courtyard of a house resonated in the air. It was still early in the morning, and as the farmers and farm labourers of this village, located on the Shivalik foothills, were leaving for the fields. Pyara and his grandson, Sohan, are sincerely at work, as they enthrall the cattle with their music. After the 15 minute recital, the duo tells the owner of the cattle, Surinder, that his animals will soon be cured.

Talking to TNS, Pyara and his brother Ram Swaroop, who belongs to the Balmiki community, reveals that he has been at this job for almost 45 years. He explains that the reason behind singing Heer Ranjha is that Ranjha was a herder himself, and is regarded as having been blessed by Lord Indra that the music he played would cure animals of diseases.

At Kishangarh village, Mehar Chand, a jogi padhe, explains how the hymns in praise of Lod Shiva and Goddess Parvati were soothing for the animals.

“While jogis sing bhajans of Lod Shiva and Parvati, the Balmikis sing bhajans of Gugga Peer and Heer- Ranjha. Though we make anything between Rs 50 to Rs 100 from a household for a three day session, or sacks full of grain, youngsters in our community no longer want to take up this vocation,” he says, rather regretfully.

As the villagers get scientifically inclined, they agree that music alone cannot cure the cattle diseases. Ram Saroop Chaudhary, former Sarpanch of Bunga, says that music soothes the animals, but since the practise is going on for centuries, no one minds the jogi padhe coming to their houses.



Admn fish farm gasping for air
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Fifty years after its inception, the fish seed farm of the UT Fisheries Department, near Kishangarh village, has fallen on bad days. Once a favourite destination for ornamental fish lovers, the fish breeding centre is crying for attention.

Located below the regulator on the extreme end of Sukhna Lake, the basic purpose behind setting up the farm, research and breeding of quality fish seed, has suffered because of the shortage of water and staff strength. The building and road leading to the farm also need repair.

The staff strength of the Fisheries Department has been reduced to five as against 20 in a few years. The post of Farm Superintendent has fallen vacant after the last incumbent, Mr V.K Dogra, was transferred to his parent department in Punjab.

During its “golden days” the department used to sell ornamental fish and aquariums. Due to a variety of shortcomings, the sale has since long been discontinued. Around 7 lakh fish seed being produced every year at farm are now being stocked in the Sukhna and a check dam of the Forest Department.

Of the 27 small and big concrete ponds at the farm, a few have the fish stock. The remaining ponds are either lying empty or need repair. Certain officials of the Fisheries Department said a major renovation plan for the farm was under way. A deep bore tubewell had been installed at the farm to produce quality fish seed, especially those of ornamental fish.

This would help the people, who own aquariums, in Chandigarh and surrounding areas to get fish at reasonable rates. Besides, there is a proposal to set up circular hatchery to revive the breeding of ornamental fish and quality fish seed, which would be sold to fish farmers.

The officials disclose that to revive the fisheries activities, the budget allocation for the current financial year was Rs 34 lakh (plan) and Rs 13 lakh (non-plan). The department plans to educate rural people on fish culture, angling and aquarium-keeping.



LHRI wants ‘land-grabbing’ probed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Demanding a judicial probe into the alleged grabbing of prime land in Kansal village of Ropar district bordering Chandigarh, the Lawyers of Human Rights International(LHRI) today alleged that land worth crores of rupees had been grabbed by certain influential persons, including police officials and politicians.

Releasing a fact-finding report of the LHRI about land-grabbing in Kansal village, Mr Amar Singh Chahal, the LHRI president, alleged that besides depriving the poor farmers of their land, these influential persons had evaded the stamp duty worth crores of rupees.

A committee headed by a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, with representation from credible persons from the bureaucracy, NGOs, politicians and the media, should be constituted to probe the land grabbing cases,which had assumed alarming proportions, Mr Chahal added.

Talking about the modus operandi of these persons, Mr Arvind Thakur, LHRI general secretary, alleged that while in revenue records they were not owners of land but they had been shown as the cultivators in revenue records. It is for them to show as to how and for what purpose they had acquired the said land, he added.

They alleged that large-scale construction activity was going on in these lands, flouting rules. In one instance, the team found a senior Punjab police official supervising the construction a huge bungalow.

The NGO would approach the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) in this regard. If these agencies did not do anything the LHRI would take the legal recourse, Mr Chahal warned.

Mr T.S. Sudan, Mr Gaurav Kathuria, Mr Vipan Negi and Mr Mandeep Singh Saini, besides Mr Thakur, comprised the team.



‘Bomb’ creates panic in Sector 21
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 8
Panic gripped in Sector 21 this morning after a ‘bomb shell’ was discovered by an advocate in an alley behind his house. As residents ran away from the spot apprehending the worse, police teams accompanied by experts from the bomb disposal squad seized the “explosive device”.

Though senior police officers refused to make a definite statement, they did not rule out the possibility of the bomb being live. A senior officer said they were seeking expert opinion in the matter.

UT Deputy Superintendent of Police (East) Vijay Pal Singh said, “So far, we are not in a position to say anything for certain. From the shape of it, the object looks like a bomb. To be on the safer side, we are getting it checked by experts.” Police sources said the “bomb” had been kept in the malkahana of the Sector 19 police station.

Eyewitnesses said it all began at around 9 am when advocate J.S. Rekhi, a resident of house number 314, went out sauntering. As he stepped out of the house in the alley, he saw a “bomb- like” object placed on the bricks along the boundary wall of the adjoining house. Apprehending it to be a bomb, he immediately brought the matter to the notice of his neighbour and they informed the police.

Acting swiftly, the police reached the spot with the bomb disposal squad. As they disembarked to take the object in their possession, the onlookers dispersed from the spot. The police recorded the statements of residents of the locality.



Embezzlement of funds comes to light in Army unit
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
A number of serious lapses, including espionage, alleged misappropriation of explosives, fraud in operational works and embezzlement of funds in a RAPID engineer regiment have come to light.

In April, 2003, a large quantity of training explosive and other accessories like detonators and fuses were recovered from a vacant house within the unit location. Verification of the lot numbers of the recovered items revealed that the particular items were shown on the records as having been expended a few years ago.

Rather than reporting the matter to formation headquarters as required, a local court of inquiry (CoI) was held without even the convening order being published. The findings of the CoI were not reported either. Since a trooper from the unit had been apprehended on charges of espionage during Operation Parakram, the incident warranted a thorough probe by the intelligence.

A statutory complaint in this regard, along with extracts of documents and evidence has been filed before the Defence Ministry by the unit’s second-in-command recently. Army Headquarters is yet to initiate action on the report, it is learnt.

The complaint also alleges that in about eight months, several lakh rupees were spent by the unit on purchases and other expenditure without indicating the source of funds. This includes purchase of multi-gym, TV and music sets, furniture, computer items, service and repair works, modification of Gypsy and civil works in the Officer’s Mess. Computer printouts of transaction details have been attached alongside.

The complaint states that in a number of other cases, cash was generated in lieu of legitimate items and the money was then utilised for purchase of items, which could not have been bought in accordance with rules. A number of bogus transactions have been alleged, with items that were never bought being shown on ledger charge.

Alleging misappropriation of operational work stores, the complaint states that certain items that were supposed to have been utilised for operational works in Rajasthan were transported back to the unit location in civil hired transport and military special train. Documents attached with the complaint show that items like cement bags, CGI sheets, logs, ropes, markers, tools, cables and camouflage matter were moved back and since then been used for various other projects.

Also alleged in the complaint is tempering of the regiment’s parade statements where a jawan who died while being absent without leave was later shown to be on casual leave.



Designers lend edge to Indian fashion
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Fashion today is not all glamour and glitter . It’s has become a hardcore business with a potential for generating huge revenues and foreign exchange. The Indian apparell industry combining both the export and domestic sectors represents a monolithic Rs 550 billion enterprise, mostly earned by brands with a fashion USP.

The biggest thrust in the new millenium is going to be not only through technology and inexpensive labour but also through high calibre creativity. “In the past one decade, the Indian fashion industry has moved from the embryonic stage to a blossoming take off. Fashion designers have contributed substantially to the spread of fashion as a driving force, both among the Indian consumers and select segments of the wetsren markets, says Mr Sanjeev Wadhwani, Head Tuscan Verve, who was in the city to participate in the Fashion Knowledge Forum-2005.

With the Indian market growing and the retail segment getting organised, there is need to propel the Indian fashion industry to the world’s centre stage and make a name for itself at the global level, he adds. Tuscan verve, which is in league with top brands like Will Lifestyle, Provogue, Tommy Hilfiger, Espirit and Guess plans to go global by 2007 with greater focus on party wear and the evening wear.

However, the crucial role of value addition which designers bring to Indian competitiveness, need to be explored by all concerned comprising policy makers, designers, manufactures and retailers.

The need for organising design sector is also the need of the hour with a convergence of minds, energies and resources to give India credibility in the world of business.

For Ms Rinku Kaicker, Designer Head, ITC, Wills Lifestyle , “Fashion is an instinct. You are what you wear.” The most successful fashion labels today are those with a strong sense of accessories - from perfumes to hand bags, from after shaves to ties.

To move into the mainstream fashion, India still needs to tap the emerging markets, forecast their trends and offer consumer-driven design to sustain financial and economic viability, she adds.

Wills Lifestyle also plans to add some ethnicity to its clothes keeping in view the growing demand for the same. With the mall culture growing the customers in the mid-market segment have also started walking into the premium stores, says Ms Kaicker.

Mr Karunesh Vohra-Ceo and Chief Designer, Munch Design Studio, says that designers could become nucleus of large business enterprises and the designs have to be scientific.

The country has a large talent pool of designers available to provide an edge to Indian design scenario and availability of skilled labour at the most economical prices.

With more and more international players investing in India, specialisation is the key to growth and change in industry, he adds.

The Indian fashion business has vast resources of traditional and contemporary knowledge base in the area of textiles, apparel and accessories.



HUDA caught on wrong foot
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has been caught on the wrong foot, after its staff reportedly demolished a structure on disputed land between Panchkula and Dhakauli in Zirakpur, for which a court stay had been granted.

Yesterday, the HUDA staff, led by Junior Engineer Karam Chand, went and demolished a wall being constructed on the disputed land.

The woman who was constructing the wall, Maninderjit Kaur of Dhakauli, alleged that a court had granted a stay, and she went and lodged a complaint with the Zirakpur police against the JE. Today, the HUDA authorities had planned to deolish the structure and a HUDA team accompanied by a posse of cops reached the spot, only to find that the land was under a court stay.

Eye camp

The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 4, will hold a free eye operation and eye check-up camp from November 10 to 14.

Mr Sushil Kaushal, president of the association, said a team of doctors from the General Hospital would examine patients.



Villagers meet Dy CM
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
Over 150 villagers from the Raipur Rani block today met the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, and asked him to recommend the investigation of the Sarpanch Ram Niwas murder case to the CBI.

Sarpanch Ram Niwas of Taprian, son of eminent freedom fighter, Sadhu Ram Saini, was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

The villagers said the police had earlier claimed that it was a case of suicide, and only after much persuasion, did it lodge a case of murder.



Santokh Singh Award for Amarjeet Kang
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The Haryana Punjabi Sahitya Akademi has announced the Bhai Santokh Singh Award and book awards for 2004-05. While stating this here today, Mr Phool Chand Mullana, Chairman of the akademi and Education Minister, said the Bhai Santokh Singh Award would be given to Dr Amarjeet Singh Kang.

The award carries Rs 21,000 in cash, a memento and a certificate.

He said the award in the poetry category would be given to Sardar Harbhajan Singh Komal for his book ‘‘Dharti di Gazal’. The award in the reminiscence category would be given to Dr Kartar Singh Suri for his book ‘‘Amit Yadan’’.

In the story-writing contest, the first prize would be given to Prem Singh Barnalawi for his story ‘‘Sadak Chup Si’’, the second to Iqbal Singh for his story ‘‘Bhul Bhulaiya’’ and the third prize to a story by Manpreet Kaur Sadhura. Financial assistance would also be given to Prem Singh Barnalawi.



House panel meeting on Chandigarh held

Chandigarh, November 8
A meeting of the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs for Chandigarh was held in New Delhi today, reliable sources said.

The meeting on affairs pertaining to the City Beautiful earlier scheduled for October 27 was deferred. The meeting could not be conducted because it could only hear the representatives from Andaman and Nicobar and Pondicherry.

A senior official of Chandigarh Administration who attended the meeting said “I cannot say anything on details of today’s meeting because I am officially not allowed to do so. I can only say that the meeting was held in a very congenial atmosphere”.

One of the burning issues likely discussed during the meeting was the question of whether the city should have a Vidhan Sabha or not. TNS



Woman booked for illegal confinement
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 8
The police has booked a woman on the charge of keeping a minor boy in wrongful confinement. Besides, two persons were arrested by the police for allegedly indulging in gambling. Elsewhere, a motor cycle was reportedly stolen from the city.

Sources in the Sector 39 police station said Mr Anil Kumar of Sector 37 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Geeta Arora of the same Sector kept his son in wrongful confinement on Monday. A case has been registered in this regard

However, the SHO of the Sector 39 police station, Mr Nanha Ram Kadiyan, said the boy, Sandeep, told the police that he was offered “prashad” by Parmod, a resident of his locality. He added that he fell unconscious after consuming it. When he regained consciousness, he found himself at the Ambala bus stand and came back to the city late last evening.

He was medically examined today and the report said his condition was stable, said the SHO.


The police arrested Chandar Bahadur of Kumhar Colony and Onkar of Attawa village near a tubewell in Sector 42 on Monday. The police recovered Rs 250 from their possession and registered a case under the Gambling Act in this regard.



Double murder: 2 remanded
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
The main accused in the Hangola double murder case, Kashmira Singh and Sadh Singh, were today remanded in four days police custody. They had surrendered before the Raipur Rani police yesterday.

The accused, both step brothers of a former Minister, Mr Balbir Singh, were produced before the court of the Judicial Magistrate, Ms Shashi Bala Chauhan. Earlier, their medical examination was conducted at the General Hospital, Sector 6.

The accused have been booked under Section 302 of IPC, on charges of having shot dead two villagers, Ajmer Singh and Nirmal Singh, on October 31. The accused are alleged to have also injured two other persons, Gurnam and Gurmeet.

Kashmira Singh today claimed that he was not present at the scene of crime, when the incident toook place. He said that he had been falsely implicated and that he was in the district courts here at the time of crime. There was a dispute over the shamlat land in the village.



Call centre owner, staff booked on assault charge
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 8
The police today booked a proprietor of a Sector 44-based call centre and his two employees on the allegations of assaulting and injuring a Sector 21 resident and two others who had gone to collect rent from him. Mr Pradeep Chopra, the victim, told the police that he had given nine computers to the accused on rent and had gone to collect the outstanding amount.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station said a case of assault and criminal intimidation on the basis of a complaint filed by Pradeep Chopra had been registered.

He alleged that Raman Khurana and his two employees, Rajeev and Sanjeev, attacked him and his employees this afternoon. All the three accused are still at large.

Mr Chopra in his complaint said that he had gone to the Sector 44-based call centre of Mr Khurana to collect the rent for nine computers. Earlier, he had talked to Mr Khurana on the phone and he was told to come and collect the rent.

When he and others went to Khurana’s office at around 2 pm, instead of giving the amount the accused attacked them with hammer and other weapons.

Mr Chopra and his employees, Punjab Singh and Gurmeet Singh, sustained injuries on their heads and other parts of bodies. They were rushed to the Sector 16 Government Medical College and Hospital.



Litigants come to blows
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
High drama was enacted in the courts complex when two opposite parties in a case exchanged fisticuffs outside the courtroom of the Judicial Magistrate, Ms Shashi Bala Chauhan.

The incident took place this afternoon when the two parties- Mr Naresh Chand, and Ms Alka Bharti and Mr Amit Bhandari had come to the courts complex to appear for their hearing. Mr Naresh had accused the duo of blackmailing him on the pretext of framing him in a sexual abuse case, two years ago. Ms Bharti and Mr Bhandari had accused him of cheating, by complaining that he had married Ms Bharti.

As the two parties were standing outside the court room, Mr Chand accused the other party of trying to take his picture from their camera phone. This led to a verbal duel, following which Mr Chand was allegedly manhandled by Mr Bhandari. Soon, the scene got heated as they began levelling allegations against one another and came to blows.

Later in the evening, both the parties filed complaints against each other with the police.



Man found dead in park
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 8
A man was found dead in a park in Phase I here today. He is suspected to have died of cold.

The body was sent to the local Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination by the police.

The deceased — Satpal — had been reportedly living in a shed in the park for the past some time. Residents of the area used to give him food.



Motor cycle stolen

Chandigarh, November 8
Mr Vishal Bhardwaj of Sector 18 reported to the police that his motor cycle (JK-02-G-7776) was stolen from his residence between October 30 and November 3. A case of theft has been registered. TNS



Firm seeks removal of illegal hoardings
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 8
A private advertising firm, which is renovating bus queue shelters for the local Municipal Council, has urged the civic body authorities to get the unauthorised sign boards put up outside various shops by multinational companies removed.

In a letter addressed to the Executive Officer, Mr Vinay Gupta of the advertising firm, pointed out that no payment was being made by such multinational companies to the council for putting up signboards. Neither was any advertisement being given to their firm by various companies because they were able to display their brands by paying negligible amount to shopkeepers for putting up signboards.

Mr Gupta said that his company had to spend Rs 12 lakh for renovating 12 bus queue shelters in various parts of the town. The company was also paying Rs 9630 as rent and display tax for each bus shelter to the civic body. If the unauthorised sign boards were not got removed by the council, the firm would not be able to renovate the remaining bus queue shelters.


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