C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S




Broker behind CA’s murder arrested
He paid Rs 14 lakh to contract killer to pocket Rs 1.90 cr

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Less than 12 hours after Rajesh Goel, a charted accountant, was knifed to death in his Sector 32 office, the Chandigarh Police today claimed to have solved the case with the arrest of a share-broker, who allegedly paid a supari of Rs 14 lakh to pocket a sum of Rs 1.90 crore taken from the victim.

The police has arrested the share-broker, 32-year-old Kanav Arora of Sector 21, his employee Shiv Kumar of Nayagaon and “contract killer” Mandeep Singh of Phase X, Mohali, a call centre employee.

They were produced before a local court, which remanded them to two days’ police custody. Later, the police nabbed the fourth accused, Ashwinder Singh of Sector 21, from near the railway station. Except for Arora, all other accused are in their early twenties.

The police has impounded the Hyundai Santro car (CH-03-A-2064) used in the crime. They had displayed a fake registration number (CH-03-A-2884). The police has yet to recover the dagger.

Deputy superintendent of police (South) KIP Singh said the police found from the dustbin in Goel’s office a torn PAN card application form filled in the name of Arora. The police team raided his house and nabbed him late last night. He was identified by Goel’s peon, Kamlesh. During questioning, Arora admitted to the crime and gave names of other accomplices.

The DSP said Arora ran an investment company, Satya investments, in Phase I, Ram Darbar, and Shiv Kumar was his computer operator. Goel had given Rs 1.90 crore to Arora. Goel had once given Arora a blank form signed by him to carry out transactions in the share market. Arora used the form and transferred 67,000 shares of HCL Technology worth Rs 1.90 crore in the name of his employee Shiv Kumar.

Arora claimed that he had lost Rs 25 lakh in the shares. In April Goel asked him to return his amount by selling his shares. At this, Arora found himself in a fix and in order to cover up the Rs 25 lakh loss and pocket the rest of the amount, he decided to eliminate Goel.

Father of a three-year-old daughter, Arora told mediapersons that he contacted his friend Ashwinder Singh seeking his “help” to get him out of the problem. Ashwinder told him about Mandeep.

On Tuesday they met at Sector 44 and reached Sector 42 in Ashwinder’s car. While Mandeep and Ashwinder waited downstairs, he along with Shiv went to Goel’s office. Goel was alone in his office. Mandeep had told him that they would emerge from the office after five minutes, signalling him that Goel was alone.

Arora and Mandeep went into Goel’s office while Ashwinder and Shiv waited outside near Kamlesh. Mandeep gagged Goel following which the later fell on the floor.

Arora held on to Goel’s legs and Mandeep stabbed him in his throat.

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Course Correction
EO to function within deadline
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Cutting unnecessary delays is the latest buzzword in the UT’s estate office. In a bid to project a people-friendly image, the estate office has set deadlines for its staff to handle cases.

The deadlines, varying from branch to branch, are being monitored by the head of the branch concerned.

The computerisation of the entire record pertaining to the resumed sites or the sites facing proceedings on account of building violations, misuse and non-payment has now made it possible for monitoring officers to obtain computer-generated reports, curtailing the dealing time by seven to eight days.

Sources in the estate office said the recent controversy over the adviser ordering a vigilance probe into the handling of certain cases had brought the functioning of the estate office under a scanner.

Soon, property owners would be able to see the account statement of their property on the website of the estate office. The statement would specify the head under which the dues were pending.

Coming to the disposal of cases at different levels, it is an open secret that property owners have to run from pillar to post while getting different type of sanction. “We are making serious efforts to make the estate office more responsive,” said estate officer R.K. Rao.

Under the new plan, each dealing hand has specific days to clear a specific case. For example, a case for execution of lease deed would have to be dealt with in 10 days and grant of extension of the time limit would have to be decided within seven days.

Similarly, a no-objection certificate for sale of a plot would have to be given within 20 days and the permission to mortgage would have to be cleared within 10 days.

A revised building plan would have to be sanctioned within 15 days and occupation certificate would be given within 20 days.

Deadlines have also been fixed for transfer on the basis of a will, transfer of property on the basis of a sale deed, DPC certificate, and other works related to the building branch.

“In case of delays, the employees concerned would be held responsible,” said the estate officer.

In a bid to bring new faces on public-dealing posts, a major reshuffle in all offices under the deputy commissioner is on the cards. A major focus of the reshuffle will be the estate office which has the highest number of public-dealing posts.

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Payback
UT seeks Rs 170 crore more from Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
An additional amount of Rs 170 crore has been sought by the Chandigarh Administration from the central government as revised estimates. The amount is in addition to the approved plan budget for the Chandigarh Union Territory.

The proposal was submitted during a presentation made before the joint secretary, planning commission, Manju Lika Gautam, and other senior officials of the commission at New Delhi today.

UT Finance Secretary S.K. Sandhu made the presentation and elaborated on various projects like terminal market, theme-cum-amusement park, mass rapid transportation system, education city and projects like the midday meal scheme and slum rehabilitation.

The city has surplus budget and it contributed Rs 465 crore to the Government of India. Hence, the Government of India should take a liberal view and give UT more funds , the UT pleaded.

A battery of UT officials was present at the meeting.

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Heat and Dust
At 40.2° C, it’s getting unbearable
Tribune News Service

WAITING FOR A BREAK
WAITING FOR A BREAK

Chandigarh, May 23
Chandigarh recorded one of the hottest days of the season. Within a fortnight, the day temperature has shot up by six degrees. The city recorded a maximum of 40.2 degrees today. This is the highest temperature recorded in the season so far, except for 40.6 degree recorded on May 16.

The night temperature has almost remained constant at 27 degree for the past fortnight. Even today, the minimum temperature was 28 degrees, as against 28.6 degrees yesterday.

The soaring mercury coupled with high humidity has made the weather conditions unbearable. The Met has forecast similar conditions over the next few days.

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25-yr-old youth run over by bus

Chandigarh, May 23
At an accident that occurred at the Piccadilly roundabout today at 8 pm, 25-year-old Navneet Singh, a resident of Yamunanagar, came under the rear wheel of a Haryana Roadways bus (HR 57 1380) bound for Sirsa while trying to board it.

The young man was seriously injured and taken to the General Hospital-16, where he was declared “brought dead” by the doctors. The driver of the bus, Prakash Singh, a resident of MC Colony, Sirsa, ran away but was later arrested. — TNS

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French honour for Nek Chand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The talent of Nek Chand has now caught the fancy of Parisians. Two decades after the celebrated environment architect showcased his conservation skills in the French capital, he was recalled to weave his magic all over again. And he has returned from Paris with a prestigious award, presented by the city’s Mayor.

Comprising a citation and a medal, the award is presented for exceptional contribution to the world of environmental heritage. Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, being one of the finest examples of environment heritage in the world, fetched him the award. The presentation ceremony took place in Paris on May 15.

Back home in Chandigarh, Nek Chand is proud of the honour. He is proud of the fact that his exhibition has again been invited to France after exactly 27 years. It is on display at Montmartre City, Paris, and will go on for three months.

"I have taken the best specimens of my works to France. The idea is to familiarize the west with the kind of environmentally-sustainable architecture I practise. Some French have expressed a desire to pick up the art by attaining practical experience at the garden. I have already been instructing foreign nationals through the Nek Chand Foundation that's promoting my art in Europe," said Nek Chand.

His French connection dates back to 1980 when he was invited by the then president, Jacques Chirac, to hold a show in Paris. At that time too, Nek Chand, had been formally honoured by the French government.

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COMMUNITY
 

Farmers holding back stocks
Punjab wheat arrivals fall
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The government of India has announced that the Rs 100 bonus on the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 750 per quintal of wheat would not be paid to farmers after May 31. However, this has failed to enthuse farmers in Punjab, who continue to hold back their stocks.

Though the field staff in the neighbouring state of Haryana managed to persuade farmers to bring in their stocks to the mandis, Punjab has failed to evoke a similar response from its farmers. Farmers in Punjab, hoping for better returns through sale to private traders and corporates later this year, have decided not to sell their stocks to the government procurement agencies now.

As a result, the total wheat arrival in Punjab is just 76.54 lakh metric tonnes till date, as compared to 80.73 lakh metric tonnes last year. Though the percentage share of government agencies (other than the Food Corporation of India) has increased from 84.7 per cent last year to 88.8 per cent this year, the total quantity of wheat procured in the state by these state procurement agencies has reduced from 58.80 lakh metric tonnes to 56.70 lakh metric tonnes this year. The share of FCI has reduced from 10.62 lakh metric tonnes to 7.12 lakh metric tonnes.

In the wake of global reduction in wheat production, leading to high prices of wheat, farmers are hoping that if they hold back their stocks, they would get at least Rs 300 per quintal more than the prevailing price of Rs 850 per quintal (including bonus of Rs 100 per quintal). “The government is importing wheat at a price of Rs 1300 per quintal, which after packaging, would sell at Rs 1400 per quintal. Thus, we expect to fetch good price for wheat in October,” said a landlord in Khanna, requesting anonymity.

However, while procurement in Punjab has been slow, Haryana has managed to increase its total arrival in mandis from 29.69 lakh metric tonnes to 34.57 lakh metric tonnes this year. Various government agencies have procured 31.06 lakh metric tonnes this year, as compared to 22.29 lakh metric tonnes till date last year. Even the FCI has increased its share from 2.69 lakh metric tonnes to 3.29 lakh metric tonnes.

Officials in the Haryana unit of the FCI informed TNS that they had managed to persuade farmers to bring their produce to the mandis by launching an awareness campaign and ensuring payment to farmers within 48 hours. “Our field staff and taxation officials of HAFED also managed to put an embargo on the movement of wheat to outside the state. Farmers were also educated that the cost of storage of wheat would be high and ultimately they would not benefit from the high prices offered later,” said a senior official in FCI.

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Army to discharge 27,000 troops
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
To offset surplus manpower, the Army would be discharging close to 27,000 personnel placed in the low medical category (LMC) over the next two years. The discharges, which concern personnel below officer rank (PBOR), are scheduled to commence from June.

According to a circular sent to all command headquarters by Maj Gen V.K. Sharma, Additional Director General, Manpower Planning at Army headquarters last month, a review of the manpower, which was carried out in January, revealed a significant drop in the annual wastage (discharge/retirement), primarily due to reduced number of pre-mature retirements.

The manpower directorate expects the trend of low premature retirements to continue for some time in view of the anticipated pay increase based upon the forthcoming Sixth Pay Commission. “The only option available, therefore, is to shed some manpower from existing holdings to liquidate the surplus manpower within a reasonable time-frame,” the circular states.

A chart accompanying the circular reveals that of the 26,706 troops to be discharged, the maximum are from the infantry, followed by the Signals and Electronics and Mechanical Engineers. The Army Medical Corps and the Engineers account for a significant number.

Between June and September, 14,643 troops are to be released, followed by 5,787 men from October to December. The remaining will be released next year.

Over a period of time, PBOR manpower has become surplus. The Army has instituted a number of measures to offset this, including reducing the number of vacancies for recruitment.

The policy on management of LMC troops allows retention of all personnel up to minimum pensionable service and even thereafter so that they could avail proper treatment in a military hospital.

However, with the establishment of the Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme, the medical requirement of LMCs has been adequately taken care of, the circular states.

In its latest report, the Comptroller and Auditor General has highlighted inadequacies in manpower planning in the Army. Excess manpower resulted mainly due to incorrect estimation of wastages, which also involved additional financial liability of several hundred crore rupees per annum, the CAG noted.

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Molestation Case
Clean chit to Brigadier
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Chandigarh police today said the FIR registered against Brig J.S. Jaswal (retd), former director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab, accusing him of molesting his employee, a war widow, had been cancelled as the allegations could not be substantiated.

In a press note, the police asserted that during the investigation it was found that the complainant, Raj Kaur, made seven telephone calls to the accused and he made 17 telephone calls to her during the nine months preceding the registration of the case. This was revealed by the mobile details of both.

It further states that an on-the-spot inspection of the office of director, Sainik Welfare, Sector 21, revealed that the door of the office was of glass and there were transparent glass windows with strip curtains for windows and the office was visible from outside the door.

There was an open terrace on the other side of the director’s office which was frequently used by the staff members. Similarly, a spot inspection of the dispatch room, where the complainant used to sit, showed that it was a small office accommodating an almirah, a room cooler, an office table and a chair.

It was found that the statement of Balbir Singh, a witness, deposed in favour of the complainant, did not corroborate the findings of the physical inspection of the spot.

The police said several employees of the office, in their statement recorded with the police, held that the complainant never informed them about any such incident. Besides, they also deposed regarding the general good conduct of the accused.

The statement of office orderly Gurbax Singh, Bali Avtar Singh and staff member Ramesh Rattan revealed that Brigadier Jaswal did not call Raj Kaur through them and that there was no telephone or intercom installed in the dispatch room where she used to sit.

The police maintained that Raj Kaur did not mention any specific date of the incident and according to Brigadier Jaswal’s statement, he was out of the country from September 8 to September 19, 2006.

According to the arrival stamp on the photocopy of the passport supplied by him to the investigating officer, he deplaned at Delhi on September 19, 2006, at 11 pm and after spending the intervening night of September 19 and 20 in Delhi, he travelled from Delhi to Jalandhar to proceed on leave from September 20 to 24, 2006. He had annexed a photocopy of the government order, the tour programme and sanction of leave. The leave was duly sanctioned by the competent authority.

On the basis of the oral evidence brought on record, including statements of witnesses, inspection of the spot, analysis of mobile details and documentary evidence and after seeking legal opinion, the investigating officer reached the conclusion that sufficient evidence to prove the allegations was not available and as such a cancellation report had been filed, claimed the police.

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Proposal to extend MC limits shelved
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 23
Even as the Municipal Council today unanimously rejected the proposal to extend the jurisdiction of the civic body at the monthly meeting held here today, heated arguments were witnessed between members of the ruling group and those of the opposition over alleged taking of bribes by certain councillors.

The additional director, Local Government, Deepinder Singh, had directed the council to extend its limits by including four residential sectors (66 to 69), two industrial sectors (74 and 75) and Kambali, Kumbra and Lambian villages within its jurisdiction.

The House rejected the proposal on the ground that these sectors and villages had so far not been fully developed by the GMADA. The municipal limits would be extended only after every type of development activity was completed in these areas because the civic body did not have adequate funds to spend on the development of new sectors. After the abolition of octroi, the council was working with limited funds provided by the government and was not in a position to take extra burden.

Members of the opposition said nearly 200 persons had been authorised by the council to sell watermelon on roadsides and certain councillors had allegedly accepted bribes in this regard. However, MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who attended the meeting as an ex-officio member, asked the councillors to prove whether bribes had been accepted by certain elected members. He said an affidavit could be given against the councillors indulged in corruption.

The House also unanimously decided that the work of maintaining parks, electrical works and those related to public health would be taken over by the council only after the GMADA started giving 75 per cent of extension fees and fees earned from clearing building plans for the maintenance of these works.

Moreover, the approval for additional budget from the government would also be needed as the council had limited sources of income. It was pointed out that in Panchkula, HUDA provided 75 per cent of the income earned from clearing building plans and giving extension to the civic body for carrying out maintenance works in the town. The House decided that the GMADA should carry on with these works till funds for were made available.

The proposal of giving one month extension to present contactors carrying out sanitation work in the town was also cleared. The extension had to be given as fresh tenders for allotting the work had not been called so far and the term of the sanitation contractors had expired on May 22.

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Ban on burning leaves goes up in smoke
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
In violation of the apex court’s orders banning the burning of leaves and other waste, garbage weeds and bushes were burnt on large tracts of vacant land in Sector 31 here today.

This indiscriminate burning of waste resulted in increased levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the air this morning. Several employees in central government offices located in Sector 31 complained of irritation in the eyes and throat, caused by the burning of the waste. They said even though air conditioners in offices were on, they had to suffer as thick smog entered the offices.

It took almost three hours before the fire extinguished on its own and the officials could finally breathe freely. A senior official in the CII said he had to go out for some work, but because of the pollution outside, he was confined to indoors till the afternoon.

The municipal corporation claimed that it was unaware of who lit the fire to clear the land of garbage and wild growth.

Officials in the sanitation wing of the MC told TNS that they had received information about the fire and rushed to the spot. A few sanitation workers were also asked to enquire from nearby offices as to who could be responsible for the fire, but they were unable to gather any information.

The officials said they were planning to clean the land by employing manual labour.

Burning of dry leaves and garbage leads to an increase in the suspended particulate matter levels in the air. This not only damages the air quality but also poses major health hazards. While particulates reduce visibility and get lodged in lung tissues and the respiratory tract, damaging the respiratory system, carbon monoxide molecules can enter the bloodstream. There these prevent the delivery of oxygen in the body and high concentration of carbon monoxide can be fatal.

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PGI pool needs treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The swimming pool on the PGI campus has not been opened for want of repairs so far this year. The opening of the pool, which was scheduled for May 22, got delayed as it needed repairs, said P.K. Srivastava, in charge of the construction division, PGI.

The repairs of the pool would take a couple of days more before it could be thrown open to the public, said Srivastava.

According to sources, the authorities concerned did not carry out the repair work on time. There was a problem of silt in the pool and the pump being used for filling water in the pool was also not in a working condition.

During a visit to the site, it was found that there was need for replacing some tiles in the pool and the flooring around it. The toilets and taps were also in need of repairs.

After repeated efforts by the PGI Campus Residents Welfare Society, the superintendent hospital engineer visited the spot on May 12 and ordered that work be started immediately, but nothing has been done so far, said the sources.

“This is not the first time that such a thing has happened. Every summer there is some problem or the other since the pool was constructed nine years ago,” alleged residents.

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CBI drops case against PGI officer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Two years after the CBI booked PGI store officer Nand Kishore Munjal and his wife Janki Dulari Munja in a case of disproportionate assets, the agency has filed a closure report in court.

It has said no case could be made out against the couple. However, it has recommended departmental action against the couple for not disclosing assets from a catering business to their employer. It is for the CBI special judge to accept the closure report.

On July 1, 2005, the CBI, had conducted a raid on the Sector 15 house of the couple. The agency had claimed that cash, besides details of investment in movable and immovable properties, were found during the raid. A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act had been registered then.

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Voter cards on your doorstep
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 23
Several teams of officials of the district administration would prepare voter identity cards of residents of different sectors of Panchkula on their doorstep.

While the voters of Sectors 6 and 7 would be issued the cards tomorrow, the teams would visit Sectors 8 and 9 on May 25.

The next day voter cards would be prepared at MDC, Sector 5, and on May 27 the voters of Sectors 20 and 21 would get the cards. On May 28, Sectors 10 and 11 would be visited by the teams while on May 29 the people of Sectors 12 and 12 A could get their cards prepared at their doorstep.

On May 30 the voters of Sector 14 would be issued cards.

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Sewerage work pending for 2 yrs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 23
The sewerage wing of the Public Health Department had not cleared road gullies in parts of Phase X and XI which were lying choked for the past two years causing inconvenience to residents.

Municipal councillor Amrik Singh said road gullies on the main road leading from Phase X to Phase XI were lying choked and nobody was ready to clear these despite several requests. He said even after light rain water gathered on the road and buses and other heavy vehicles splashed muddy water on persons going on foot and two-wheelers.

He demanded that the work be got done by the department concerned before the onset of monsoon.

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Letters
Menacing verandahs

Verandahs in most of the markets at Chandigarh and Mohali cause a lot of inconvenience to the public. There are three main irritants. Firstly, shopkeepers keep their stuffs in the verandahs blocking them completely. Secondly, shopkeepers renovate floor of the verandahs in front of their respective shops with different types of marble/tiles altering the floor height which makes it difficult for the shoppers to walk smoothly. Last, but not the least, air-conditioners hung in the verandahs emanate hot air thus making it uncomfortable to walk there. There should be a rule to keep the ACs behind the shops.

The authorities concerned must ensure that these wrong practices do not continue.

Bhagwant Singh, Mohali

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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CRIME
 

2 youths held for robberies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
With the arrest of two youths, the local police today claimed to have solved two cases of robberies. The police also recovered a dagger from their possession.

The police said the accused had been identified as Bachan and Jatinder, both residents of Colony No. 4 and in their early twenties. They were arrested from near the CTU turn following a tip-off.

During questioning, they admitted to having robbed Rs 16,000 from a man on April 26 at knife-point. Similarly, they had robbed a man of about Rs 50,000 from Phase II, Ram Darbar, about a week ago.

The police said Jatinder was also arrested with a dagger last year.

Assault

Ashok Kumar of Phase II, Ram Darbar, reported to the police that Sanjay Kumar, Dinesh and Varinder, all residents of the same locality, assaulted and threatened him on May 21. He was admitted to the PGI. A case has been registered.

In another incident, Sandeep Kumar of Phase II, Ram Darbar, reported to the police that Deepu of the same locality beat him up, causing injuries. He was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. A case has been registered.

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Bribe costs SDM’s reader his job

Chandigarh, May 23
The district administration today dismissed Naresh Gupta, reader to SDM (south) Vinay Singh, for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 1,000 from a Panchkula resident.

The junior assistant was suspended last year by deputy commissioner R.K. Rao. The UT vigilance department had caught the accused in the SDM office on February 28, 2006.

The reader was caught when he was taking Rs 1,000 from Amarjeet Singh, who had earlier been arrested along with Aneeta and Joshan Bhatti while creating nuisance at a public place. They had been booked under sections 101 and 151 of the CrPC on February 20.

While being produced before the SDM, the reader allegedly refused to acknowledge the guarantors brought by Amarjeet for being released. Instead, the reader produced his two guarantors subject to payment of a bribe of Rs 2,500 to each of the guarantors.

When Amarjeet went to the police station to get his valuables released, the reader demanded another Rs 1,000 for getting the release order of the SDM. Without the release order, Amarjeet could not get his valuables released from the police station.

When vigilance sleuths conducted a raid, it was revealed that the release order had already been signed by the SDM. — TNS

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BUSINESS
 

Mobile after-sale services in disrepair
Ruchika M. Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
It may be a windfall for the “mobile crazy” customers after prices of mobile handsets have been slashed by manufacturers. However, the after sale and repair services by most manufacturers have left bad flavour, rue city residents.

It is alleged that a large number of mobile handsets develop technical and software problems within a few months of purchase - much before the warranty time of one year offered by the company. The string of complainants at any of the service centres of these mobile handset manufactures in Sectors 22 and 35 stand testimony to the fact.

In fact, at a service centre of a leading manufacturer, the complaints have to wait for over two hours to hand over their handset for repair and are issued token numbers to meet company executives.

The process to get the handset replaced (if within warranty period), as promised at the time of purchase, is often tardy and takes months. As a result, many of the harassed consumers often just let go of the faulty handset and purchase a new one.

Though all leading mobile handset manufacturers have set up their service centres in the city, but customers allege that most of the repair centres do not have spare parts, and as a result, it takes weeks to get a faulty handset repaired.

Common accessories like bluetooth, handsfree, memory cards or batteries are also not readily available at the service centres. With prices of most handsets being reduced by companies within weeks of their launch, the customers feel cheated when the value of their handsets gets depreciated, while these remain unused for more than a month at the service centres.

Take the case of Vivek Sharma, an engineer with a private firm in Panchkula. His mobile handset, of a premium manufacturer, which he had bought for Rs 20,000, developed a technical problem, seven months after he had purchased it.

“I had to run from pillar to post to get the handset replaced. The company executives at the service centre agreed that there was a manufacturing defect, but they deferred replacing the handset for almost two months. It was only after I threatened legal action and talked to senior company officials in Bangalore that the handset was finally replaced,” he rued.

Most of the mobile handset dealers in the city agree that complaints about the quality of handsets and software getting corrupted even when it is within the warranty period are growing manifold.

A leading mobile handset dealer in Sector 22 said certain mobile manufacturers had initiated a policy of replacing handsets which were “dead on arrival”.

“Though the distributor gets these handsets replaced from the company, many small distributors do not replace these mobiles for customers. Since the customers in most shops are not allowed to open and see the handset before purchase, they tend to suffer,” he said.

Mobile manufacturers, however, claim that they offer the best after sales and repair services. Says Sunil Dutt, director (sales), Nokia India, “Nokia as a company is always looking at improving its services, as we want to provide the best to our customers. As many as 90 per cent handsets that reach Nokia care centres are returned to customers within less than 24 hours.”

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