C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Six PWD protesters stabbed
Assailant was also sitting on dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Irked and enraged over being asked to turn down the volume of his television, a Ludhiana resident, sitting in protest at the Matka Chowk since the past four months, allegedly stabbed six PWD daily wagcers camping nearby, seriously injuring two, late on Wednesday night. Two of the injured were admitted to hospital, where one was operated upon and is said to be in serious condition.

All the victims hailed from Malout in Punjab and are on a chain protest since February this year, seeking regularisation.

After the incident, the accused, Ranjit Singh Saini, went all the way to the Sector 17 police Station and reported the matter before going to the Sector 16 General Hospital. On the other hand the injured PWD daily wagers rushed their seriously injured companions to the hospital on their own. On the way an investigating officer met them and after hearing their side of version booked Saini and later arrested him.

Narrating the shocking incident, Mr Mohinder Singh Dhaliwal, the chief organiser of the protesting PWD daily wagers, said the incident took place at around 10:15 pm on Wednesday, when they were retiring for the day. As they were being disturbed by the noise caused by the Saini’s TV, reportedly on a high volume, one PWD worker Surjit Singh Gill went to Saini’s tent and requested him to lower the volume.

He not only refused to budge but also began hurling abuses on him, leading to a scuffle. All of a sudden Surjit Singh started crying for help, before Resham Singh went to his help. Saini stabbed Surjit Singh’s abdomen with a dagger and the latter collapsed.

Resham Singh too fell prey to Saini’s wrath and injured his throat and chin. “At that time we all rushed for their help judging something serious had happened to them. In process, four of us, Balwinder Singh, Gurtej Singh, Sant Singh and Jaskaran Singh, sustained stabbing wounds, but we managed to shoo him away,” said Mr Dhaliwal.

While four of the injured were discharged after administering first aid, Surjit Singh and Resham were still nursing their injuries in the hospital. The doctors kept them under observation.

Mr Dhaliwal said that they were camping at the sight since February this year demanding regularisation of the daily wagers. Saini was also reportedly on a continuous dharna protesting against the Punjab police alleging that the Punjab police “has destroyed my whole family.” He was demanding action against the guilty cops.

When contacted the SHO of the Sector 17 police station, Inspector Jagbir Singh, said a case of causing hurt under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code was registered in this regard. Saini was produced before a local court today, which remanded him to judicial custody.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune Saini said that he was attacked by the PWD people but instead of taking action against them the police lodged him in the lock-up. He claimed that he lived in Switzerland before coming to India and also showed his injured wrist which, he alleged, was the result of the attack on him.



Life lost due to Admn apathy
Man falls into dry well
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Prince was lucky to have survived a potentially fatal fall. But 80-year-old Reiki Ram from Mullanpur village fell to death in an unmanned, uncovered dry well in the village tonight. The well is about 60 ft deep.

The octogenarian was returning home from his shop at around 8 pm when he fell into the well located on the premises of the village temple. The old man’s body was recovered after three hours by personnel from the Air Force station at Mullanpur and the Fire Brigade, Mohali.

Villagers said the well dated back to several decades and had run dry. The UT Administration had been requested to cover its mouth, but to no avail.

President of the Youth Club of Mullanpur, Mr Arvind Puri, said requests had been sent the UT Administration. Villagers said Reiki Ram was mentally upset and an alcoholic.



Constable, friend land in lockup
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
A Punjab Police constable, who claimed to be a Sub-Inspector, and his friend landed in the lockup for allegedly creating a ruckus in an inebriated condition at a Sector 35-based hotel and hurled abuses at the hotel staff for not serving them food late last night.

Giving details of the incident, the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, said the accused, Punjab Police constable Amit Kapoor of Sector 70, Mohali, and his friend Varinderjit Singh of Sector 20 were arrested following a complaint lodged by Mr Shushil Kumar, receptionist of the hotel.

Shushil Kumar in his complaint alleged that the accused came to the restaurant at around 1 am in an inebriated condition and demanded meal. On being told by the staff on duty that the restaurant was long closed and they did not have anything to serve, the duo began hurling abuses at them.

Shushil Kumar said he called the police, which took the accused in to custody. A case of forgery and criminal intimidation under various Sections of the IPC was registered in this regard.

The SHO said initially Amit Kapoor claimed to be a Sub-Inspector in the Punjab Police and showed an identity card. When examined, the card was found to be a fake one. Later, Amit admitted before the police that he was a constable in the Punjab Police and was posted in the computer branch. His friend Varinderjit Singh was a mechanical engineer. They told the police that they had drinks at a liquor vend in Sector 35 before going to the restaurant.

They were produced before a local court today that released them on bail.



Study: girls agree to pre-marital sex to bind boyfriends
Chitleen K Sethi

Chandigarh, August 3
A study conducted on girl students of the city has revealed that most of them feel forced to indulge in pre-marital sex in order to “retain and bind” their male friends to them. The study also revealed that these students had zero interaction with their parents about sexual behaviour and related issues.

The study was undertaken on over 120 students of Panjab University and a local girls college by Mrs Renu Gandhi, Programme Coordinator Centre for Adult and Continuing Education, Panjab University, and Dr Avnish Jolly, Coordinator, AIDS Hotline Cell, Chandigarh.

“The aim of the study was to know the social implications of HIV/AIDS. The results were interesting. Most girls admitted that they had to do things under pressure — for being accepted. Other than pre-marital sex, students admitted that they did not mind drinking, smoking and taking drugs in order to avoid feeling isolated,” said Mrs Gandhi.

The study showed that 90 per cent of the girls knew how AIDS spread though 40 per cent of them believed that among the other causes, AIDS could also spread by infected mosquitoes. “About 45 per cent of respondents knew what was meant by protected sex while another 40 per cent showed ignorance about the use of condoms. However, 15 per cent of those who knew about condom use had been made to believe that it reduced sexual gratification,” added Dr Gandhi.

Sixty per cent of girl students stated that abstinence was the best method to stop the spread of AIDS while 40 per cent felt that delaying the first sexual encounter was most effective. The students were also asked about their reactions to fellow-students who might suffer from HIV. “They reacted strongly against allowing a student suffering from HIV to share the hostel with them or even a classroom,” said Dr Jolly.

“What was most disturbing was the fact that these students never interacted with their parents, specially the mother, about sexual behaviour and other related problems. There is a need for family counselling for youth so that they take informed decisions and develop the necessary life skills required to reduce vulnerability to HIV,” added Dr Jolly.



UT police wants Hawara’s bail cancelled
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 3
The Chandigarh Police has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court for cancellation of regular bail granted to dreaded militant Jagtar Singh Hawara in the infamous jailbreak case.

Hawara, one of the main accused in the assassination case of the then Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh, and some of his associates and security guards with the help of a human bomb here in front of the civil secretariat on August 31, 1995, is now lodged in the same jail from where he and three others had escaped by digging a tunnel on the intervening night of January 21 and 22 in 2004.

On October 29, 2005, the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh, had granted bail to Hawara.

During arguments today, counsel for the Chandigarh Administration argued that grave injustice would be caused if persons like Jagtar Singh Hawara were allowed bail. Pointing to the record of Hawara, he stated that not only was he allegedly involved in the brutal killing of Mr Beant Singh, he was also considered to be mastermind behind the plan to dig a tunnel to escape from the high-security Burail jail.

He said the escape attempt could not be considered in isolation as had been done by the lower court as the accused was also waging a war against the State.

Mr Justice S.K. Mittal issued a notice for September 14.

Cops restrained

Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla on Thursday restrained the Haryana Police from arresting Mr Baljinder Singh, vice-president of the Kurukshetra district unit of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), till further orders.

Taking up the plea filed by the INLD leader in this regard, the Judge also issued notices to the Haryana Government and other respondents for September 21.

In his petition, Mr Baljinder Singh alleged that he had falsely been implicated in a criminal case by the police at the behest of the Agriculture Minister, Haryana, Mr Harmohinder Singh Chatha, in order to settle old scores with him.

The case against the petitioner was registered at the Pehowa police station, Kurukshetra, on June 14. 



The flip side of Yuvraj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Today, the local journalists witnessed the nasty attitude of cricketer Yuvraj Singh, which can be called a totally unprofessional on the part of the cricketer.

The journalists, who were invited by those close to Yuvraj, kept waiting for two hours braving rain at DAV College grounds, Sector 10, here. Yuvraj did turn up but let down all the journalists, who had reached the venue to have a talk with him. His father and former test cricketer Yograj Singh was also present at the ground.

Yuvraj not only ignored the queries of the journalists but also refused the photo journalists a chance of a photograph. A photo journalist from a leading English daily also had an unsavoury experience when Yuvraj Singh allegedly tried to dissuade him from clicking a picture. However, he later agreed to pose for them for some seconds only.

As the cricket star left in his waiting vehicle after spending a few minutes, the media persons, many of whom Yuvraj has been otherwise interacting with off and on, were left surprised at his attitude.

Even the fans of the cricketer, who also waited for him for hours, were shocked with his indifferent behaviour.



13 shops burgled

Panchkula, August 3
A gang of burglars struck at over a dozen shops in Ramgarh market and decamped with cash and other goods worth lakhs last.

The gang broke open shutters of almost every shop with the help of iron rods and took away goods. The miscreants broke open cash boxes of some shopkeepers, besides ransacking the shops.

They took advantage of a power cut to commit the crime. The burglaries came to light this morning when the owner of one of the shops Mr Bhura Ram, found the lock broken. He was shocked to see that locks and shutters of other shops were also broken. He raised an alarm and the police was informed.

Police officials, claimed that a police party on night patrol had noticed a group of over six persons on the Ramgarh-Mubarikpur road last night. — TNS



Couple killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
A couple was seriously injured when a CTU bus collided with their scooter near the Sector 38 roundabout this afternoon and died at the PGI later in the night.

Sources at the Sector 39 police station said the victims, Mr L.C. Puri and his wife Neelam Puri sustained serious injuries and were rushed to the hospital. The doctors reportedly told the police that the victims suffered multiple internal injuries in the mishap.

The police has arrested the bus driver Daljit Singh.



IAF flares over city sky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Residents of Chandigarh witnessed a rare sight on Thursday evening when the Indian Air Force used up its flares over the airfield and areas around the city. Just as it was beginning to get dark, flares came up in the sky emitting bright orange lights at regular intervals. Just as one flare died down, another one came up in a regular pattern turning the sky into a magnificent canvas of lights.

An excited Sector 11 resident told The Tribune that she was witnessing an unusual phenomenon in the sky. Inquiries later revealed that these were flares generally used by the aircraft in distress to attract attention. As a general routine, when these flares near their expiry these are used over the airfield. Internationally flares are used by a distressed ship or aircraft to request help.

In normal circumstances, flares are used to indicate that a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate assistance. There are several other distress signals apart from flares and include rockets, smoke signals, and other attention-getting devices that burn, sputter, smoke, or explode.

Aerial flares emit orange smoke and generally have a 42-month service life after which they are destroyed by using them up over a designated area. Many a time, flares are also used prior to an emergency for the purpose of checking their reliability. 



Parks being misused with impunity
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 3
are being misused here as per the convenience of residents as the authorities turn a blind eye to the violations.

Certain residents brought the gross misuse of parks to the notice of the PUDA authorities as well as the Deputy Commissioner, but to no avail.

Parks have been used for parking vehicles and also for dumping construction material, adversely affecting the greenery in the area.

Mr B.S. Khosla, a resident of an HIG flat in Phase IX, complained that the park outside his house was being used as a “transport yard” for all kinds of light and heavy vehicles, reducing the lush green park into a barren stretch.

The park railing had been removed and one could see all types of vehicles, including school buses and taxis, parked in the area. Drivers of these vehicles roamed around there freely, much to the annoyance of the people living in that block.

Mr Khosla said complaints in this regard were made to the Chief Administrator, PUDA, the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP but no action had been taken by these officials. He said the Deputy Commissioner had written to the PUDA authorities to take necessary action and report back within a week, but nothing had happened.

A retired PCS officer living in Phase V, Mr R.C. Arora, complained that construction material had been dumped by a resident in a park near his house. Earlier, a small room was constructed in the park which was used by labourers. However, this had now been removed.

Mr Arora said the metal gates at the park had gone missing and the area was being used for parking vehicles, including a tractor and a trailor. The park could not be used by the public and even children. He had repeatedly written to the Chief Administrator to get the encroachments removed, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, Mr Khosla alleged that some residents were misusing the flats in Phase IX for commercial activity in violation of building bylaws. The garages of some houses were being used to run clinics while property dealers also ran offices from there.



Cong backs, BJP opposes merger move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
There is mixed response to the move by the Chandigarh Administration to merge more UT villages with the Municipal Corporation. The Congress-led Municipal Corporation has supported the move, while the Bhartiya Janata Party is opposed to it.

A delegation of the Municipal Corporation led by Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, had already met Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser, in this regard. It was pointed out that “the long-standing demand of the villagers should be accepted at the earliest where scattered houses built in these villages should be relocated adjoining the already existing abadi”.

It was pointed out that the basic aim of the move to include all villages in MC limits was to provide them all facilities.

A delegation of the sarpanches, panches and members of the Zila Parishad, Panchyat Samiti and Market Committee of the BJP Kisan Morcha will submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner tomorrow against the merger of the UT villages with the Municipal Corporation.

They want the DC to forward the memorandum to the President of India, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.

In a press statement today, these leaders said they were in favour of extension of “Lal Dora” as well as regularising construction around the villages. “However, we are of the view that this can be done without abolishing the gram panchayats”.

The delegation would consist of Mr Ramvir Bhatti, secretary, BJP, Mr Mam Chand Rana, Sarpanch, Maloya, Dr Tarsem Lal, Sarpanch, Dadu Majra, Mr Gurdeep Singh Atwal, a former Sarpanch of Attawa, Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Hukam Chand, members of Zila Parishad, and Mr Bhajan Singh Maru, Director, Market Committee, Chandigarh.

They said though elections of 10 members of the Chandigarh Zila Parishad were held in June 2005, even after 13 months there had been no election for the posts of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the parishad. 



Rs 3.68 cr given to riot-hit
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 3
Rehabilitation grant to the tune of Rs 3.68 crore was distributed among 1984 riot-affected persons in the auditorium of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation here today.

A cheque for Rs 2 lakh was presented to each beneficiary who had submitted an application for the relief amount by May 15. There were a total of 184 beneficiaries.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, said though Rs 2 lakh as rehabilitation amount was less and was being given too late, it was possible only with the efforts of the Punjab Chief Minister.

A sum of Rs 17. 80 crore was distributed among the riot hit families at the camps held earlier. As many as 864 cases were dealt for compensation by the Ropar DC out of which 805 cases were cleared.



Poor assessment results in Rs 3 crore loss to Army
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Poor planning and failure to assess the future requirement for spares while procuring radio sets from indigenous sources has resulted in the Army losing over Rs 3 crore.

The Director-General, Ordnance Services (DGOS) at Army Headquarters, had placed three indents on Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for supply of 2,500 RRF radio sets along with maintenance spares for two years.

The contract, which was worth Rs 572 crore, provided that BEL would retro-modify the sets in the field free of cost. The retro-modification was completed a few months ago.

The Master-General of Ordnance (MGO) pointed out that due to the retro-modification, spares, valuing at Rs 3 crore procured initially, could not be used and BEL be approached to provide spares of equivalent cost in lieu of the spares for the old sets.

BEL, however, maintained that the spares supplied earlier were of no use as there was no market for them and that spares for the new sets would have to be purchased by the Army separately.

Last year, the MGO’s Branch stated that it was envisaged to utilise the spares for sustaining the serviceability of the old sets. This contention, however, was not tenable as only about 50 radio sets were left to be retro-modified till a few months ago, for which the requirement of spares would be extremely limited.

In another instance, the Army made excess payments of Rs 2.73 crore by accepting higher rates and adopting unfavourable exchange rates for purchase of radio sets from a foreign vendor through BEL.

The Army had placed an order on BEL for 500 PRC - 6020 radio sets valued at Rs 86.24 crore, the foreign exchange component of which was Rs 75.65 crore. Fluctuations in the exchange rates and the appreciation of the rupee against the dollar were not taken into account when payments were made over a period of time, resulting in excess payments.



National policy for farmers in October
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Agriculture which is the largest public sector enterprise in the country, has to have a strong human content in order to be sustainable and feed the teeming millions in the country. Keeping this objective in mind, a national policy for farmers has been drawn up.

This was stated by Dr R.B. Singh, Member, National Commission on Farmers, during his visit to the city today. He was in town to participate in a conference on Crop Protection Chemicals and Food Safety, organised by the CII here today.

He also criticised the policy makers for fixing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of crops without undertaking a scientific study, especially at a time when the agriculture production was going down, and demanded a uniform MSP for a crop across the country.

“The buffer stocks of foodgrains in the country have been exhausted substantially. As against the minimum 37-38 million tonnes of foodgrains that have to be maintained as buffer stocks, we will have only 18- 20 million tonnes of grains after the kharif and rabi procurement this year,” he said.

“The National Policy, which will have a thrust on the human content, will be unveiled on October 4. The policy recommends technology flow to farmers to make farming an economically viable vocation. The policy outlines that the farmers be provided with renumerative market to sell his produce, and make agriculture risk- free by providing seeds and other inputs like power and adequate water supply at the right time. We have also recommended that the credit flow to the farming sector is improved and they should be offered credit at maximum 4 per cent rate of interest. Though some states have already been extending credit to farmers at 4 per cent, the Centre has recommended 7 per cent interest to the farming community,” he said.

Dr Singh said they had also recommended establishing of small farmer groups, on the lines of self help groups. These groups will have the advantage of economy of scale, he added.

Dr Singh said diversification of crops was desirable, but not at the cost of lowering the foodgrain production.

“Wherever productivity of wheat and paddy is low, we have to increase the productivity. But efforts have to be taken to ensure that this cropping pattern does not affect the soil health and water resources. Since we are short of pulses and oilseeds cultivation, we have to increase their production,” he said. He also said the entering of corporates in the farming sector would prove to be beneficial for the farmers, provided the government puts the interest of the farmers first.



Accident victim cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Sunita Sharma, wife of a Tribune employee, who was killed in a road accident involving a scooter and a mini truck yesterday, was consigned to flames at the Mani Majra cremation ground this evening.

The cremation was attended by a large gathering, including relatives, family friends and colleagues.

Sunita Sharma was on her way back home when she was crushed to death by a mini truck at the Traffic Lights Point.

She is survived by her husband, Mr Sunil Sharma, son Aditya (15) and daughter Neha (19).

Sunil Kumar is working as Section Head in The Tribune Group of Publications. 



Exhibition with a cause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Joy de Vivre and Purnam in association with Sawera, an organisation working with children with special needs, will organise a two-day carnival in the city on August 4 and 5.

To be inaugurated by Ms Jean Rodrigues, wife of Punjab Governor Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), the carnival will feature exhibitors from all over the country. Part of proceeds from the show will go to Sawera. The carnival, which the organisers call, “carnival with a difference”, will feature top-end products.

The range will be wide — both in terms of content and pricing. Among some of the exhibited products will be designer jewellery, intricate silverware, home furnishings, traditional, western and Indo-western wardrobes.

A food court will also be set up during the days of the exhibition to be held at Shivalik View. 



Driving licence forms

Chandigarh, August 3
City residents who wish to get their driving licence renewed or get their vehicle registered need not go to the office of the Registration and Licensing Authority to buy application forms.

The forms are now available at the e-Sampark centres across the city. A set of forms — like those for renewal of driving licence, registration of vehicle, duplicate driving licence and depositing of road tax — had been sent to the IT Department for putting these on the net.

The forms would also be available at Jan Sampark centres which are expected to start soon. — TNS



Youth found drowned in ditch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
An unidentified man in his late twenties was found drowned under mysterious circumstances in a ditch near the Iron Chowk in Sector 29-D here this morning.

The police, ruling out the possibility of foul play, said preliminary investigations revealed that it could be a case of accidental death.

The body was found lying in a ditch formed by water gushing out of a leaking water pipe. The deceased was wearing grey trousers and no shirt. A piece of cloth was found on his shoulders. A polythene bag was found in his right hand. The police received information about the body at around 8.30 am.

The SHO of the Industrial Area, police station, Inspector Baljit Singh Chaddha, said, “The spot inspect suggests that in all probability the man had come there to bathe and may have slipped over the concrete slabs. His head might have banged against the water pipes following which he may have fell unconscious and remained in water with his head submerged for a long time and died”.

About the polythene bag, the SHO said, the deceased may have come there to collect water.

Looking at the body, a police officer said the death might have occurred on Wednesday evening.

No document or any article, except a pack of biris, was found on the body. The police kept the body at the spot for two hours for identification, but in vain.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The body has been sent to the Sector 16 General Hospital. 



Rs 1 lakh stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 3
A sum of Rs 1 lakh was stolen from a car belonging to a resident of Chandigarh.

According to the police, Mr Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 18, Chandigarh, had complained that he had withdrawn Rs 1 lakh from a bank and kept the amount in the dashboard of his car. He had then parked the car outside his office. When he came out of the office, he found the cash missing from his car.

A case under Section 379 of the IPC was registered in this regard.

Cash, mobile stolen

A sum of Rs 1,000 and a mobile phone were stolen from a scooter in Phase V here.

According to the police, Richa Aggarwal complained that she parked her scooter in the Phase V market. When she came back, she found the cash and the phone missing from the glove box of her scooter.

The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC in this regard.

Lottery tickets

A resident of Phase I was booked by the police on a charge of selling lottery tickets without getting the required permission.

According to the police, Ashok Kumar was booked under Section 283 of the IPC for selling Punjab state lottery tickets near Madanpur chowk without permission. He was also causing traffic hindrance.



Held for selling lottery tickets

Chandigarh, August 3
The police arrested Pradeep Kumar and Rajiv Kumar of Rajpura on the allegations of selling lottery tickets in Manimajra on Wednesday. The police seized 17 bundles of 10 tickets each and six bundles of 25 tickets each from their possession. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

Mr Om Parkash Goyal of Sector 19 reported to the police alleging that his Santro car (PB-48-A-8879) was stolen from the Punjab and Haryana High Court parking lot on Wednesday.

In another incident, Mr Vikramjit Singh of Kharar lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Hero Honda motorcycle (PB-27-B-6308) was stolen on Tuesday.

Two separate cases of theft have been registered in this connection.



Holistic plan must to enhance
agri produce: Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
A holistic plan, keeping in view the farmers’ interests and involving a multitude of agencies to complement each other’s efforts is critical to ensure efficient, cost-effective, competitive, sustainable and enhanced agricultural production.

The Kheti Virasaat Mission, an NGO, had yesterday shot off a letter to the Punjab Governor, requesting him not to attend this conference organised by the CII and the Agrochemical Promotion Group on “Crop Protection Chemicals and Food Safety” nor endorse the views of the organisers. The letter is endorsed by eminent citizens. It says that it is the farmers who provide food security to the country, not the agro-chemical industry.

This was stated by Gen. S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor, Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh, while addressing delegates at the Conference on Crop Protection Chemicals and Food Safety, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry ( CII) in collaboration with Agrochemical Promotion Group here today.

Expressing concern over the pace of development and exhorting the industry to be proactive in taking Indian agriculture forward, the Governor said that it was a matter of concern that with best brains in the world, we are still marginally above Sub-Saharan Africa even after 58 years of independence. There is a great need to strengthen Research and Development to harness cutting-edge technologies for enhancing the agricultural production.

“However, along with these opportunities, the challenges are also multiple, ranging from high incidence of hunger and poverty, widening regional imbalances, lowest growth rate to degradation of natural resources and complex problems of failures of monsoon and market, credit, infrastructure etc.”

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Salil Singhal, Chairman, Agricultural Competitiveness Sub-committee, CII (Northern Region), and Mr S. Kumarasamy, Chairman of the Agrochemicals Promotion Group (APG). The session was attended by over 150 delegates from industry, institutes and academia.



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