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Poultry farmers hit hard; sharp decline in sales
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Workers busy digging special 15-foot deep pits for the disposal of dead birds, at a poultry farm in Suktanpur village, near Barwala
Workers busy digging special 15-foot deep pits for the disposal of dead birds, at a poultry farm in Suktanpur village, near Barwala, on Tuesday.
— Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Barwala (Panchkula), February 21
The bird flu scare has kept the poultry farmers in the country's second largest poultry belt here on tenterhooks. In the wake of the influenza scare, sales have dropped drastically, even as the poultry industry has geared up to take all precautions against the deadly disease.

Industry sources say that for the past three days there has been no sale of eggs, live chicken or broiler from any of the 120 odd poultry farms located here. Since the main market of the poultry farmers here is in Jammu and Kashmir, and the state has banned the transfer of any poultry products from outside their state, the farmers are suffering huge losses.

"The daily transaction in the Barwala poultry belt is to the tune of Rs 1. 25 crore, and since Saturday, there has been no sale. After having suffered a loss of Rs 3. 75 crore till yesterday, the first consignment of over 15 lakh eggs was dispatched to markets in Uttar Pradesh today. After all, for how long can we continue to suffer losses, and that, too, because of misinformation being spread about poultry products?" said Mr Darshan Kumar Singla, president of the Haryana Poultry Farmers Association.
Even as the local authorities have ruled out the possibility of spread of avian flu among the poultry being sold in the city, consumers are still keeping away from buying dressed broilers.

Enquiries with retail suppliers in the Sector 21 Meat Market reveal that in the past two days, the sales have fallen by 30 per cent. But they claim that the price of dressed chicken is limping back to normal.

Mr Ved Parkash, a seller of broiler, said before the news about the avian flu came, the dressed broiler was sold between Rs 70 a kg and Rs 80 a kg. But in the past two days, it had fallen to Rs 50 a kg. Now it had come to Rs 65 a kg.

Sellers of meat and fish in the market said no significant increase in the sale of meat and fish had been registered in the past three days. Mr Bijay Kumar, President of the Meat Market Association, Sector 21, said the meat was selling at Rs 130 a kg. The fish was being sold for anything between Rs 70 a kg and Rs 200 a kg.

Industry sources say that the wholesale price of eggs had to be reduced drastically in order to effect sales. The price of eggs dispatched today from here was Rs 88 per 100 eggs, as compared to Rs 125 per 100 eggs on Saturday, before the flu scare hit the industry. The price of live chicken has dropped from Rs 18 per kg, to Rs 10 per kg, and of dressed broiler from Rs 40 to Rs 26 to Rs 27 per kg — and still there are no takers.

Meanwhile, almost all poultry farms have cleaned up their premises. Special 12 - 15 foot pits are being dug for the disposal of dead birds and sprays are being done regularly to ensure hygiene.

Ramesh Kumar, a manager at a poultry farm in Sultanpur village here, said that it was feared that the H5N1 viral strain that is leading to bird flu, had reached India through feed imported from the South Asian countries. "However, all poultry farmers here make their own feed — from raw material like corn, soya and bajra, grown within the country. We buy the raw material and make the feed ourselves. Also, hundreds of samples collected by the state government to check for the viral starin have reported negative. There is need for the state government to act and save the poultry industry," he added.

Mohali: Swinging into action today, the district health authorities created isolation wards in various civil hospitals in Ropar district.

The Ropar Civil Surgeon, Dr Yash Pal Singla, said here that isolation wards had been set up at Civil Hospitals in Ropar, Kharar and Mohali to handle cases suspected to be suffering from bird flu.

Persons suffering from flu-like symptoms should contact the control room at Ropar. The staff put on duty had also been asked to take the needed precautions if such patients suspected to be suffering from flu reported for treatment at various hospitals.

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Random sampling of blood extracts continues
Tribune News Service

A team of the Department of Animal Husbandry takes blood samples at a poultry farm in Mauli Jagran
A team of the Department of Animal Husbandry takes blood samples at a poultry farm in Mauli Jagran on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 21
Different wings of the Chandigarh Administration, including the Departments of Animal Husbandry and Forests, today continued random sampling of blood and faecal extracts from poultry and migratory birds at different locales in the city here today.

The process, which is on since November 2005, had been intensified following reports of the outbreak of bird flu in Maharashtra, official sources said.

A team of experts from the Department of Animal Husbandry went to the poultry farms in Mauli Jagran and Khuda Ali Sher villages in the morning and took samples of blood extracts.

A team of Forest department officials took bird samples from the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake.

The samples will be sent to the Regional Veterinary Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar.

In the wee hours today, a team of the Forest Department was seen cautioning people at the Sukhna Lake against going too close to the migratory birds or trying to touch them.

The Department of Animal Husbandry held a meeting today to review the checks against the outbreak of flu.

A high-level meeting on the issue of bird flu is scheduled at the UT Secretariat for tomorrow morning.

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Blast at Sector 43 oil station
Two critically injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Two persons were injured critically in a blast at the Hindustan Petroleum petrol station, Sector 43, late in the night today. The blast which occurred at around 10 pm happened when workers drilled in to the underground diesel storage tank.

The blast took place when the workers were trying to lay cables for computer cables at the petrol station. The incident occurred as the motor of the drilling machine caught fire. A major mishap was, however, averted as the fire was brought under control before it spread and reached the fuel tank.

According to police officials, a case of negligence under Section 336, IPC, would be filed against the contractor who was given the work for laying the cables. The police was investigating till late tonight. Further details were awaited.

Till the filing of this report, the condition of the injured was stated to be very critical and both were undergoing treatment at the PGI. The names of the injured could not be verified as according to the police they were immediately rushed to the hospital.

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Big players in race for liquor vends in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Under the new liquor policy, big companies have evinced more interest in running the liquor vends located in the commercial hubs of the city— Sectors 17 and 22.

Some of the major companies which have applied for the liquor licence include Som Distilleries, Dhillon Kool Drinks and Clarian Hotels Pvt ltd. The names of all companies would be known after all the applications were processed, this was stated by sources in the Excise Department. Interestingly, at least 80 per cent of the applications have been received from companies.

Meanwhile, the maximum number of applications have been received for the five liquor vends in Sector 17 and seven vends in Sector 22.

In case of the IMFL vends, a total of 425 applications have been received. Of these 150 applications had been received under the Category A.

The categories have been made depending on the location of the vends. A vend in the commercial hubs has more fee and those located in the periphery have lesser fee.

In case of the country-made liquor vends, around 90 applications have been received. It may be mentioned that keeping in view the sale potential at the location of the vends, it has been proposed that the fee in case of country-made liquor vends be reduced from Rs 50 to Rs 40 ( category A) and Rs 30 to Rs 25( Category B). In the category A, around 40 applications have been received and the remaining have been received for Category B. Officials have pointed out that the companies would be given priority in the allotment of liquor vends

To review the applications and the related issues of the New Excise Policy, the Adviser today convened a meeting of the officials of the Excise and Taxation Department.

The city will now have a total of 215 vends which will be licensed. The number of vends selling IMFL has been increased to 150 and those selling country-made liquor have been increased to 65. Earlier, there were a total of 78 vends in the city.

An applicant, whether a company or an individual, can apply for more than one vends. However, one party shall be allotted a maximum of four vends in total, two of country-made liquor and two of IMFL. The Administration plans concentration of more IMFL vends in the sectoral grid and country-made liquor on the borders. The draw of lots for the final list of the allottees will be conducted on March 8, sources added.

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Comic timing a gift from God: Johnny Lever
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Behind the bundle of laughs lies a man deeply entrenched in his craft. In the city on a flying visit, actor ‘funny-man’ Johnny Lever charmed with his welcoming demeanour, honest-to-goodness earnest answers and waxed eloquent on the miracle, called life.

Credited with evolving comedy into a genre that now boasts of independent hits in fickle Bollywood, this man swears by humour and humour alone. “There is so much to do in comic roles. So many nuances, so many facets, I try and give something new every time.”

So, what gets him going? “Observation” is the simple answer. “Watching and studying people should be part of the system. Sometimes when scripts are being narrated to me, I get so engrossed in the way it is being told that I forget the storyline!”

The sense of humour is not for the silver-screen alone. “Comic timing is a gift from God. However solid the pick-up of a car may be, not everyone can drive the same car smoothly.” So much of comedy is impromptu, he declares, even his ‘hit’ character Aslam Bhai in ‘Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’ was created by him, including the name.

Now, 300 films and 25 years later (he began his career with ‘Yeh Rishtaa Na Toote’ in 1981 in a small role with comedian Jagdeep) Johnny Lever is ready to step into the sparkling world of television.

“I got an offer to do television 10 years ago but it is now, after I have tried my hand at so much that I want to do something I would like to.” Going into people’s homes and hearts via this medium is what his latest calling is.

Come March 10 on Zee TV, a spanking new comedy, ‘Johnny Ala Re (Here comes Johnny) will telecast for an hour each week. “Whatever I have in me will come out in this show.” With several big films in his kitty (Phir Hera Pheri and 36 China Town) due for release as well, this gentle man seems content with life. “I spend my time with my family and attend prayer meetings in my spare time.” A miracle with his son, who had a fatal tumour and was cured after much prayer, Johnny Lever believes it is important to accept in the power of hope and God.

Any favourite jokes? None to relate but plenty to act out, for the power of observation may make a caricature out of you next! With this he makes his exit for the Sukhna Lake before the sun sets.

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Chandigarh Calling

Various hues at the Pecfest which was held in the city recently
Various hues at the Pecfest which was held in the city recently. — Photo by Vinay Malik

Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) is responding to the public response to the newly introduced ‘Grid System’ of the bus service in the city. The authorities are responding to the voice of people from the areas which were left out under the new system. One such area where the CTU has responded by restarting a discontinued route includes Route Number 33 and 40 in the periphery of the city.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Fisheries and Tourism Minister, Punjab, in a letter to the Director CTU said, “I wish to convey my thanks for the prompt action taken by you in response to my earlier communication following which route 33 has been restored”. A big number of daily commuters were the biggest sufferers under the new system.

According to sources the CTU was planning to restart certain old routes.

Unanimous election?

The “unanimous” election to the prestigious post of the president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal(CBM) has left several questions unanswered. One, if it was a “unanimous” election then why the CBM constitution was amended to provide for two presidents with one year term each. And will the new executive fulfill the expectations of the whole trading community?

In fact, the CBM leadership was at the receiving end the other day on the issue of unity in the CBM, the largest representative body of the traders. “At the most, it is the truce between the two factions of the mandal for one year”, conceded a senior member.Though both the newly-elected president, Mr Subhash Sethi, and the president-in-waiting, Mr Charanjiv Singh, claimed “they had no difference of opinion”, years of factionalism does not evaporate in a day.

Unique research

Published in Hindi and released last week, ‘Bharat ke Mul Niwasi Balmiki Sharesth log’ written by former Joint Director Welfare Department, Punjab Mr R.L. Sabharwal is a unique research paper on the Balmiki community and Scheduled Castes. Descendants of defeated rajas who lost their kingdoms in battles, they were kept in confinement without food and water and were made to do menial jobs and with the passage of time were treated as outcastes. The book attempts to correct historical facts and present these in “a true perspective” and with the continuous efforts to eradicate manual scavenging, which the community is subjected too, despite a ban, the book is a must read.

Lecturer shines

Harneet Kaur
Harneet Kaur

City lecturer Harneet Kaur’s poem ‘’Over time’s shoulders’’ was given the first prize at a seminar held here recently. The seminar, based on the theme “City stories: Transforming the City’’, was held in Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26.

Harneet also participated in City Stories Katha Asia International Utsav held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The utsav brought together writers, academics, urban activists and students from various disciplines from 20 countries and from all over India.

Marketing wars

In this age of marketing wars, scruples seem to be not so important, after all. Last week, a major corporate house having its operations in Punjab, called a press conference to announce the launch of a new value-added service. Interestingly, a rival company got to know of this, and immediately searched its library for the other Value Added Services lauched by its arch rival... only to realise that the announcement of this launch had also been made in September 2004. Seeing a perfect opportunity to scuttle the marketing plans, this company sent copies of the previous launch to all newspapers and news agencies... finally succeeding in upsetting the marketing efforts of the company.

Contributed by Sanjiv S. Bariana, Pradeep Sharma, Gayatri Rajwade, Yajan Kashyap, Ruchika M. Khanna

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Garbage processing plant inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The Administrator, Union Territory, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today laid the foundation stone of a garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra. The solid waste management project will be set up at a cost of Rs 23 crore. The project, first of its kind in the city, is a joint venture by the Chandigarh Administration with Jai Parkash Associates.

Speaking on the occasion, General Rodrigues said the project would give a major boost to the plans of the Administration to promote ecological sustainability. He said the public should be educated to promote environment-friendly practices and it must be a joint endeavour of the Administration, NGOs and the public to work together for achieving the goal of garbage-free surroundings.

Mr P.S. Aujla, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, said the corporation would collect and deliver total quantity of solid waste generated within municipal limits. He said the Central Pollution Control Board had also approved a proposal for covering, closing and capping of reclaimed land development of a new sanitary landfill site for future dumping.

The implementation of second phase of the demonstration project will also help in desilting of the Sukhna Lake. About 1 lakh cubic metre of soil will be removed from the lake to provide the covering for the landfill site.

Senior officers of the Administration and Corporation were present at the inauguration.

Addressing mediapersons later in the day, Mr Rajiv Gaur, president of Jai Parkash Associates, said the present requirement of the municipal solid waste of the plant is about 350 tonnes per day. However, the plant has a processing capacity of treating 650 tonnes of waste per day. A storage capacity of up to 650 tonnes will also be provided, so as to cater for any breakdown or natural reasons like monsoon, etc.

“The fuel made by the plant will be used for a power plant in Ropar,” he said. The fuel would form 20 per cent of the fuel to be used for a cement plant in Himachal Pradesh. The plant is expected to be operational by December.

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Taxi service to commence from April 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Chandigarh is all set to have the local taxi service operational from April 15 onwards. The date has been given to the taxi operators, approved by the Chandigarh Administration, to start the service.

Confirming the date, Mr P.S Shergill, secretary of the State Transport Authority, said the ‘‘Administration has given a nod to Hertz and the Mega Cab, both Delhi-based companies and Indus Travels and Logistics, a Mohali-based company, for commencing the services. Travel House, another Delhi-based company, is learnt to have withdrawn its name. The operators were given 60 days to ensure the compatibility of the cabs with the set standards. The city will have the local cabs by April 15’’.

Mega-Cab, a Delhi-based company, has formally announced its stand to commence the service by the due date.

Mr Kunal Lalani, Managing Director of the Mega-Cab, said ‘‘Chandigarh is one of the finest and well planned cities in India, yet it lacks an international standard taxi service’’. The company has offered to ‘‘bring in our expertise of professionally managed and technologically networked taxi service which compliment’s the city’s sensibilities and demands’’.

Initially, the company plans to start the service with a fleet of 100 air-conditioned cabs and gradually swell the size to 300. The cars used will be Maruti Esteem, Tata Indigo, Hyundai Accent, Opel and Ford Ikon. The tour operators are expected to use the Global Positioning System (GPS) in the cabs which will be operational 24 hours. Fitted with a tamper-proof electronic fare meters, the cabs assure fair and accurate billing.

The service is intended to have drivers formally trained in communication skills to deal amicably with the passengers. To make the availability of cabs easier for the public, it has been decided that the users will be required to call a four digit number which will be connected to the control room. The control room then calls the nearest cab which will reach the passenger at the earliest.

The Chandigarh Administration has decided to charge Rs 12 per km from the customers for using the services of the local taxi service set to commence shortly in the city. The Administration will charge a meter down payment of Rs 15 on the commencement of journey.

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Shatabdi gets another coach
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Good news for passengers of Shatabadi Express. The Northern Railway has come up with an additional coach in all Shatabadi Express trains.

This was done with effect from yesterday.

To make the rail journey more convenient, the capacity of all Shatabadi trains has been increased by one or two coaches (chair cars). This was a long-pending demand of the passengers.

Train numbers 2005/2006, New Delhi-Kalka-New Delhi and 2011/2012 have been introduced with one chair car having a capacity of 67 berths each, in addition to its nine chair cars.

Today the train saw a heavy rush in the morning and the train was booked to capacity. A frequent commuter, Shaheen Brar, said: “Hopefully, now there won’t be much rush at the counter. Though I keep travelling by air, but last-minute cancellation of flights has brought me here.”

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Motorists harassed by cops?
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The Chandigarh Police is out on a harassment spree, apparently.

In violation of its own stand against stopping drivers not committing any visible offence, the cops have been carrying out checks late in the evenings after setting up nakas reportedly without any reason or authority.

To make the matters shoddier, the men-in-khaki are going from house to house asking the owners about the number of cars they possess and why some of the vehicles have been kept covered, for reasons best known to them.

Senior police officers agree that the cops can at the most enquire from the residents whether they have furnished information about the vehicles to the police station of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the rules.

The worse affected are the residents of the northern sectors, including Sector 18, 19, 21 and 29. Almost daily after about 8 pm, the cops conceal themselves behind camouflaging trees dotting the internal roads cutting through these sectors. As soon as the two-wheelers approach, they throw the torch light’s beam on the rider’s face before perilously stepping in front of the vehicle.

Narrating his experience with the cops, a Sector 19 resident says (on the condition of anonymity): “Clutching the vehicle’s handle, they directed me to produce documents like the driving license, the registration certificate and even the insurance cover. Even after I handed over all the documents to the cops, they tried to hassle me by asking all sort of questions”.

Interestingly, the instructions issued by senior Chandigarh Police functionaries to the challaning officers clearly state: “A motor vehicle shall be stopped for challaning only on the commission of a visible traffic offence…. A motor vehicle can be stopped for checking of documents only under the specific instructions of senior supervisory officers”.

They go on to add: “While stopping the vehicle due care shall be taken that no hindrance is caused to the smooth flow of traffic. The vehicle shall under no circumstances be stopped on the road intersection or rotary…. The challaning officer shall walk to the point where the vehicle is stopped and shall first greet the driver and then tell him the reasons for stopping the vehicle in a polite manner. The driver or the traffic offender shall be addressed as ‘sir or madam’. The conversation with offender should be polite and brief….”

Claiming lack of knowledge about such late evening “checks”, a senior police officer says checking the movement of purse and chain snatchers can be the intention behind carrying the checks. He, however, agrees that these sectors are not included in the list of snatching-sensitive areas”.

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Mi-17 copters to fly at higher altitude
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
About five years after the IAF inducted Mi-17 IV helicopters, it has embarked upon a project to enable the aircraft to fly at higher altitude. The project is being undertaken at No.3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) here, which is responsible for all technical matters pertaining to the Mi-series helicopters

Air Force sources said the aim of the project was to increase the helicopters' service ceiling as much as possible, without compromising on flight safety. The stated service ceiling of the Mi-17 IV is 18,000 feet.

"Presently project trials are on," an officer said. "The ceiling is being increased progressively by a few hundred metres at a time and we are seeing how high we can go," he added. Increase in service ceiling would allow Mi-17s to airlift men and material to greater heights, boosting the logistic efforts. It would also allow for greater flexibility in flight plans and maneouvering while flying in the mountains.

According to officers, all engines have a certain amount of "reserve power" which can be exploited. This reserve comes from laid down margins beyond which an aircraft is not allowed to climb, even though it has the capability to do so.

Sources said these margins, which relate to the rate of climb and atmospheric density, would be re-defined. Also some gain in ceiling height can be achieved by cutting down on the overall weight of the aircraft.

The first four helicopters of the IV series were inducted in October, 2000. India and Russia had signed a contract in 2000 for the supply of 40 IV series aircraft. These are more advanced versions of the original Mi-17 helicopter.

Besides better avionics, the IV series have more powerful engines, larger side doors than its predecessor. They also have a ramp at their rear, replacing the twin conventional cargo doors and, thereby, facilitating easy movement of cargo.

It may be recalled that during the 1999 Kargil conflict, rocket-armed Mi-17s had played a key role in providing close air support to ground troops during assaults at altitudes in excess of 15,000 feet.

Thereafter, the IAF had carried out several modifications to its Mi-17 fleet to further boost their capability.

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Bidders stay away from auction
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 21
Bidders once again kept away from the auction for octroi collection work organised by the local Municipal Council in Ludhiana today, which was to be conducted under the supervision of Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana.

This was the third time when the local civic body got a poor response from bidders. Two earlier auctions were held on January 16 and January 24 respectively at the Municipal Bhavan in Sector 68, here when only one bidder appeared for the auction each time.

The Executive Officer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sekhon, said only one bidder from Gobindgarh had come to take part in the auction today. According to the rules, at least three bidders are needed to conduct an auction.

He said bidders were not interested in the work of octroi collection as they found the reserve price on the higher side. Moreover, there was uncertainty involved in it as the Punjab Government was making announcement of abolishing octroi in the state.

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MCC to remove hoardings

Chandigarh, February 21
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh (MCC), today launched a drive to remove the hoardings bigger than the assigned size in Sector 17 market. The drive was however, discontinued later as a few officials were hurt while removing the hoardings. The drive will be continued tomorrow. The shops using hoardings on the brick structures are being removed by the MCC. According to officials, only the area on the ground floor is permitted.

Meanwhile, the MCC has also issued notices to the various shops in the concrete structures across the Park Plaza. The MCC will take action if the hoardings are not put to size. The fifteen-day notice period expires on February 25. — TNS

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One killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 21
A 25-year-old man was killed in a road accident after the motorcycle he was riding on collided head on with a car near the Sector 19, 20, 27 and 30 roundabout on Monday. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where the doctors declared him ‘dead on arrival’ said the police. The unidentified car driver reportedly fled the spot after the accident.

The victim has been identified as Prashant Bisht of Sector 7-C. hailing from Garhwal.

The parents of Prashant live in Delhi. Prashant, a bachelor, was working as a marketing executive with a private firm dealing in building material. He was living alone in the city for the past over seven years.

The police said the accident took place at around 7.30 am. The victim was rushed to the hospital by some passers-by in their car. The victim sustained serious head injury which may be responsible for his death, said the police.

According to Mr Ravinder Bisht, the brother of Prashant, the passers-by who took his brother to the hospital informed the family about the accident.

They were told that the delay in proper treatment coupled with excessive bleeding claimed Prashant’s life.

The police handed over the body to the family after the post-mortem.

A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered in the Sector 19 police station against the unidentified car driver.

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5 held for gambling at public place
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 21
The police has arrested five persons on the charges of indulging in gambling from various parts of the city. Besides this, a motorcycle was stolen from the city.

According to sources the police has arrested Surinder Kumar of Kurukshetra district from Sector 17 ISBT, Vikram Singh of Kishangarh village from Sector 17, Ramesh of Madrasi colony from Sector 26, Lal Chand of Colony Number 4 from the same locality and Raj Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony from Sector 26, on the charges of indulging in gambling at a public place on Monday.

The police recovered Rs 185, 510, 410, 750 and 1,050 from their possession, respectively. Five cases under the Gambling Act have been lodged in the Sector 17, 19 and Industrial Area Police stations in this regard.

Motorcycle stolen

Mr Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Raja Narinder Singh Street in Nabha, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his motorcycle (PB-11-Y-8916) was stolen from opposite Circus Ground in Sector 17 on February 18.

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18-year-old run over by train, dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 21
An 18-year-old resident of Ram Darbar was critically injured after he was crushed under the Kalka-Ambala passenger train this afternoon. He was rushed to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries in the evening.

Sources in the General Railway Police (GRP) said the deceased had been identified as Rohtash, a resident of Phase II, Ram Darbar. The accident took place at 1 pm.

The police said Rohtash’s legs were crushed under the train and he suffered multiple injuries. The police is investigating the case.

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Mentally challenged boy missing

Kunal Ghai
Kunal Ghai

Chandigarh, February 21
Kunal Ghai, an 18 year-old mentally challenged boy, was reported missing from his residence no.1280 in Sector 22-B here this evening. A daily diary report was filed later in the day at the Sector 22 police station. According to the report, Kunal went missing after he left home for a walk. — TNS


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‘Sabka’ savings account
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
IDBI Bank has launched its no frills ‘Sabka’ savings account to make banking services accessible to the vast majority of the unbanked population.

An official press note said with this new savings product, the average balance requirement had been considerably reduced to Rs 250 in rural / semi-urban branches.

This would enable the customers to access IDBI ATMs branches.

SMS refill system:- The Indian Oil Corporation has launched an SMS refill booking system for Indiane LPG customers with seven distributors of the city.

The system was launched by the General Manager of IOC, Mr V.J. Chhibbar, at a function at Sunshine Gas Agency, Sector 44-C, Chandigarh.

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