C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

UT bars sale of loose edible oils
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Open and unregulated sale of edible oils will no longer be permitted in Chandigarh. For the first time, the UT administration has formulated rules to govern the packaging, sale, distribution and dispatch of such oils, which have been found to be adulterated on several occasions in the past. The rules have been framed under the provisions of Essential Commodities Act 1955.

Titled Chandigarh Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 2007, the rules prohibit sale, dispatch and delivery of any edible oil that does not conform to the standards of quality as provided in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) 1954. In many ways the fresh rules lend more teeth to the existing PFA Act.

They further specify that no person shall carry on the business as a packer unless he has obtained a certificate of registration from the District Food and Supplies and Consumer Affairs Officer, UT administration.

The rules lay down stringent guidelines for packers, who wish to obtain registration, including conformation to sanitary conditions, packing, marking and labeling oils in a manner as prescribed under the PFA Act.

These rules, sources say, come in the wake of reports of sale of unregulated and loose edible oils containing substances harmful to human health like argemone and mineral oil. Also the possibility of animal fats making their way into the edible oil market has also not been ruled out.

Adulteration is still a part of edible oil industry, a senior food inspector from the Prevention of Food Adulteration department, UT confirmed to TNS. “Several edible oil samples, including those of HAFED, have failed in the past. We are compiling data on the matter.

As per new rules, registration authority is vested with the district food supplies officer, but sampling authority remains with us,” he said.

Rules state that no person will be eligible for grant of certificate of registration under the new order unless he has his own laboratory facilities. Registration fee for three years will be Rs 10,000, while renewal fee for the same period will be Rs 5,000.

Other components of the rules pertain to the power to carry out inspection, entry and sampling. The edible oils commissioner and inspecting officers of the Central government will have the power to enter any place where oil is packed, stored and sold and take samples for the purpose of analyses under rules.

Interestingly, every registered packer will also have to furnish, to the registering authority, returns in respect of edible oils packed and sold by him. In the event of non-conformation to rules, the registration can be cancelled.



UT wants finance secy to stay longer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Chandigarh administration has sought the extension of the tenure of S.K.Sandhu, finance secretary who is due to be repatriated to his parent cadre Punjab later this year.

The UT has conveyed this to the Punjab government and a reply is awaited. Sandhu is the secretary engineering and the director of the Chandigarh technology park.

He also holds the charge of secretary, excise and taxation, planning, rural development, urban development, statistical cell, science and technology and elections. Sandhu is also the chief administrator.

Sources said one of the reasons in seeking his extension is that he is closely associated with certain major projects of the administration that are either half way or nearing completion.

The sources said the UT had also sought an extension of the tenure of P.S.Aujla, MC commissioner, on the same grounds. I.S.Sandhu, additional deputy commissioner, has already got an extension till April 2008.

"Continuity of officials at the planning and implementation stage has a definite impact on the emergence of project results", the official added.



UT Order Flouted
Colleges ask for attested documents
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, June 16
An order by the UT to simplify the official procedure by doing away with attestation by gazetted officers has no takers. Hundreds of admission seekers to majority of the colleges in the UT are being to made to go through the exercise of getting their documents signed from gazetted officers against the UT orders earlier this year.

This is in gross violation of the UT direction in February, which says “now the job applications, admission seekers, persons seeking benefit under various government schemes, services, including electricity and licenses, would not have to get their copies and photographs attested by some gazetted officers”.

R.K. Garg, a harassed father, said, “College officials are insisting for the documents to be attested by the officials, which is causing a lot of inconvenience to students as well as parents. As per the administration’s orders a number of parents and students, who are coming without attested documents, are facing this harassment. A self-attestation was the only requirement.”

He said, “We have to run to different places in the city to get our documents attested because the officials at the college counters say that the college prospectus clearly mentions that the documents need to be attested. I had argued that self-attestation should do the needful, but it was not accepted. The UT needs to look into the issue immediately,” he asserted.

The prospectus of DAV College says “attested copies of board and university certificates and certificates claiming special status must be attached. The prospectus of SDCC College says “attach attested copy of the result of the previous class”, while the prospectus for Government Colleges says “attach attested copies of all certificates”.

Promilla Kaushal, principal of GCG-11 and admission coordinator to government colleges, said “We are aware about the administration’s decision taken earlier this year. We did not get any official communication to this regard so we decided to follow the old pattern.”

A.N. Garg, GCM- 11 principal, said, “I am aware about the new administration decision. I have asked my staff not to bother students, who did not have their documents attested from gazetted officers.”


A day without rain has temp up by 5.4°C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
After four days of rains, the city had a dry day today. With Met not recording even a trace of rainfall, both humidity levels and mercury rose significantly. As against the maximum temperature of 27. 8°C recorded yesterday, the city recorded 33.2°C today - a jump of 5.4°C over yesterday.

The nights, however, continued to remain cool with Chandigarh recording 23.8°C of minimum temperature, which is on a lower side for this season.

The downslide in minimum temperature has been continuing for many days now, with the city recording 26°C night temperature on June 14, followed by 24°C yesterday.

Today, the temperature further fell although only by a paltry 0.2°C as compared to yesterday.



Prison reforms
Officers feel lack of NGO help in Punjab, Haryana
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Punjab and Haryana are lagging behind other states in the country as far as prison reforms and infrastructure development are concerned. These issues were highlighted in a six-day seminar organised by the Institute of Correctional Administration in collaboration with the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs.

The seminar, on the theme of “Identification of best prison practices”, concluded today at the Sector 26 Institute of Correctional Administration, here. As many as 30 prison officers from nine states across the country participated in the training programme.

The participants, during discussions, raised various issues pertaining to the lack of infrastructure and working conditions in jails for officials, which adversely affect their performance.

An assistant superintendent of police from Punjab while sharing his experience said he waited for two months to get a table and some chairs for his office. He said on one side we are talking about latest gadgets to improve the security of jails, but on the other hand officials did not get the basic facilities to perform their duties.

The officials said they were aware about the provisions laid out in jail manuals. However, their implementation on ground was a different ballgame altogether. The reality was far from what it should be. He said that the lack of basic facilities caused a sense of inferiority complex among them. His views were endorsed by his counterpart from Haryana.

Earlier, Dr B.V. Trivedi, assistant director, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, delivered a lecture on formulating an action plan on prison conditions conducive to reform and rehabilitation of prisoners.

Deputy director of the institute Upneet Lalli, while discussing issues responsible for the poor state of jails in Punjab and Haryana, said the other states faired well due to the participation of non-government organisations, which was badly lacking in these two states. The other states were much ahead of Punjab and Haryana insofar as education, vocational and training programme for prisoners was concerned. The same was the condition of women and child prisoners.

When asked about overcrowding, Lalli informed that the problem was there in Punjab and Haryana. Only, the jails in Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal did not face such problem.

In his valedictory address, former Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Iqbal Singh, appreciated the efforts to train the prison officers for improvement in jails. He also discussed various issues and problems of prison administration that were being faced in different states. He asked the participants to reach out to non-government organisations and public and take their help in various correctional programmes. 



Zirakpur becomes a gamblers’ den
High-profile gang busted, 30 arrested
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 16
Strategic location and the influx of money in the wake of the real estate boom has made Zirakpur, a township of shopping malls and apartments, a gamblers' den.

This startling fact came to light with the busting of the high-profile gang by a joint team of the CIA staff of the Mohali police and the local police late last night at a Friends Enclave house on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here.

In fact, the racket run by the Sirsa-based Manjit gang has revealed interesting details, with prominent businessmen thronging the palatial house. At least 30 gamblers were arrested and an amount of Rs 8 lakh was seized during the raid.

The parking of luxury cars and the cops’ initial reluctance to divulge the details about the operation virtually confirmed the influence wielded by the high-profile gamblers, sources said.

The choice of the house rented for gambling at a secluded place in the sparsely-populated area showed that it was a well-organised racket allegedly dominated by anti-social elements from Haryana, particularly the Sirsa area.The house reportedly belongs to a Chandigarh-based businessman and his role is also being probed by the police.

During the run-up to the February 2007 Punjab elections, a number of anti-social elements had settled in Zirakpur. Since lottery is a lucrative business in the township, many took to this trade, virtually forcing the existing lottery sellers out of business.

A senior police official said the proximity to the tricity, surplus money with businessmen and a spurt in population belonging to all sections of society made Zirakpur an ideal place for anti-social activities, including gambling.

Recently, the lottery sellers, in a representation to the Dera Bassi DSP, had opposed the entry of new players from Haryana in the trade. They had expressed the apprehension that the new lottery sellers would encourage other nefarious activities, including satta and gambling, in the guise of lottery. "In fact, our worst fears have prove right," a lottery sellers said while demanding strict action against the guilty.

Meanwhile, G.P. Singh, Zirakpur SHO, claimed that the police had launched a drive against anti-social elements and the busting of gang was a part of that drive.



Students get tips on scriptwriting

Panchkula, June 16
Famous playwright Asghar Wajahat gave tips for writing scripts to the participants of a summer workshop on creativity and film making organised by Smart Mind, Sector 11, here on Thursday.

Asghar Wajahat, writer of the famous play “Jis Lahore Nahin Vekhaya……”, and head of the Hindi department and of Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, taught the students how to translate their own stories into screenplay. A freelance journalist with 18 books to his credit, Asghar also urged the students to work with dedication. — TNS



Plan to decongest Grain Market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Plan to decongest the Sector 26 Grain Market, which has remained on paper in the past, is now being taken up again.

Following the tragic death of two persons in last Sunday’s roof collapse, the administration is looking back at various proposals which were discussed from time to time.

Sources in the administration said the major problem in implementing upgradation and renovation plans for the whole area of the vegetable and fruit market had remained on paper due to involvement of different departments.

What all needs to be done

  • Shifting the apple market to the Sector 39 mandi and vegetable and fruit arhtiyas to the tin shed after getting it vacated from apple traders
  • Creating parking at the roof collapse site and on all four sides of the mandi
  • Regulating entry of rehri and phariwalas into the mandi
  • Regular cleaning of the area
  • Proper facility for loading and unloading of fruits and vegetables
  • Stringent checks on arhtiyas evading market fee
  • Proper survey regarding the number of persons selling fruits and vegetables

The market committee, which looks after the functioning of the mandi, has little control over most of the civic amenities. Among other agencies involved in the development works are the Chandigarh Housing Board, the municipal corporation and the engineering department. As a result, the upkeep of amenities suffers.

In May 2006, the chief architect, in a letter to the deputy commissioner, had stressed the need for decongesting the market and creating new space for parking.

The exiting Sector 26 mandi, spread over 29 acres, was being used for trading fruits and vegetables. Since the purchase and procurement of pulses and foodgrains has been shifted to Sector 39, the auction platform, spread over 2.25 acres, can be used for parking of 300 vehicles.

Vacant godown sites (from 302 to 316 and 201 to 210) and the building of the market committee can be used for creating more parking space.

To adjust the rehri and pheriwalas sitting on roads in the mandi, a platform with 146 shops had been planned.

The chief architect had pointed out the need to augment the system of sold waste disposal, improvement of public toilets and drinking water facilities.

Hiring of a private agency for manning haphazardly parked vehicles had also been suggested. It has been over a year when the issue was taken up with the office of the deputy commissioner.



Punjabi Welfare Sabha seeks land for bhavan
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 16
Members of the Punjabi Welfare Sabha recommitted themselves to the cause of Punjabis and announced its agenda for the year at a press conference here yesterday.

President S.K. Nayar and secretary-general Ravinder Rawal said the sabha would approach Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and ask him for a piece of land for a Punjabi bhavan.

“Though the land was promised to us many years back, it did not materialise because the Congress was out of power. Now, we have started afresh and have met Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan.

He has assured us that the matter would be pursued. At our level, we are seeking an appointment with the CM and hopefully we will also be allotted land on the lines of allotments made to other communities,” Nayar said.

Stating that Punjabis formed nearly 70 per cent of the population, Rawal said the sabha had redefined its objectives and would work towards encouraging members of the community to come forward and help those in need.

“We plan to organise scholarships to encourage meritorious students, work on tackling the menace of drug abuse and create awareness about the evils of dowry,” Nayar said.



NGO wants Apartment Act simplified
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Samadhaan, a pressure group for social reforms, today urged NGOs, residents welfare associations and individuals to send their opinion on the implementation of the Apartment Act to the Chandigarh Administration before June 30.

Reacting to an administration proposal seeking opinion on the Act, the president of the group R.P. Malhotra stressed on the simplification of the Act so that more people might benefit.

After a lot of persuasion, the group succeeded in getting the administration to agree to frame and notify rules for subdividing buildings in distinctly identifiable apartments for further sales.

Care was taken not to disturb the city skyline, as the zoning, ground coverage, height and FAR were left intact. Vertical division of premises bigger than 1400 sq yard are allowed, that, too, within the zoning plan while in smaller units only horizontal divisions are permissible.

There were some other socio-economic reasons to go for the Act. Selling a portion of the house and possessing it too, at the time of need is one reason. Distinct division of the property among the legal heirs of the allottee was the other reason, he said.

Senior citizens having no other source of livelihood except a big residential house may like to part with a portion of the house to lead a comfortable retired life.

If a person having three sons could construct a three-storeyed building within the same property, what was wrong if another person living alone sold the upper floors to someone within the legal framework, he said.



Kajheri anything but model village
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Punjab Governor and UT administrator, Gen S.F.Rodrigues' announcement to make Kajheri a model village more than a year ago has fallen flat. A park in the heart of the village is home to filth from construction in adjoining areas.

Residents claim that their problems have aggravated following the transfer of the village to the municipal  corporation.

A majority of the complainants say a 3-acre plot opposite the government school, which was a park earlier, is now nothing more than a garbage dumping ground.

The place is being used as a dumping ground by the public. The waste from a number of new constructions around the park has also found place there. Children and park enthusiasts crib about their lost facility.

Gurdeep Singh Tiwana, a local resident, said the entire area needed immediate attention of the UT authorities. “The area has become filthy and is a stain on the City Beautiful,” Tiwana added.



Mock fire drill in Sector 15
Tribune News Service

Fire officer S.K. Gosain during a mock fire drill at Sector 15 in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Fire officer S.K. Gosain during a mock fire drill at Sector 15 in Chandigarh on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, June 16
The fire and emergency services department of the municipal corporation today conducted a mock drill in the booth market, Sector 15-D, with a view to assessing the reaction and proficiency of fire and emergency services and apprising shopkeepers about the shortcomings which could result in a disaster.

The drill was conducted on the orders of P.S. Aujla, municipal commissioner.

The drill showed that shopkeepers did not react on the excepted lines. It was found that there was a wide cement platform in front of shops which reducted the width of the passage. Besides this, the shopkeepers had also placed counters on these platforms. The MC had earlier requested the shopkeepers to remove the constructions along passages or face action.

H.S. Kandhola, joint commissioner-II, said the shopkeepers had to use their own fire fighting extinguishers.

He advised them to install miniature circuit breakage and disconnect main power supply after closing the market at night.



Militant Threat
Police on alert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Chandigarh police remained on high alert today in the wake of threat from Kashmiri militant outfits. The police has launched a special checking drive at all sensitive places in the city, including bus stands and the railway station.

The police continued with its special checking drive at the Sector 17 and 43 ISBT, and at the railway station. Passengers coming to the city were frisked by the security forces. Help of a dog squad and a bomb disposal squad was also taken during the checking which, senior police officers said, was a routine matter.

Sources in the police said the local police had received advisory information from intelligence agencies following which instructions were passed on to police personnel manning sensitive places like bus stands, market places and religious institutions.

The intelligence agencies informed the police about a possible terrorist strike in Chandigarh, Punjab and in Panipat, following which the police sprang to action.

However, UT senior superintendent of police Gaurav Yadav maintained that it was a routine checking drive. He said such drills were conducted by the police from time to time. He said there was no such information, but to leave nothing to chance the checking drive was launched.

At the railway station, the local police, along with the Haryana police and the government railway police frisked all passengers coming to the city. Bogies of a goods train were also checked. 



Permission to hold function
Gymkhana Club members cry foul
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 16
Members of the Gymkhana Club yesterday condemned the attitude of the club authorities in delaying permission for holding a function to celebrate 150 years of the freedom struggle.

While the programme will not be held on schedule, the members said that they would try to organise it at a later date.

Members R.R. Bhardwaj and V.K. Sood said it was decided at the general house of the club in May to organise a function to mark the event.

A request was sent to chief administrator, HUDA, who is also the president of the club, to allow the members to use the premises for the purpose.

The members said they had clarified that the expenses for organising the function would be borne by club members on voluntary basis with no liability on the club.

The application was forwarded by the officiating chief administrator to the club management but no permission had yet been granted.

Club members said they were hurt by the attitude of the club management as permissions for holing marriages and parties were given liberally, while their request had been ignored.

The members decided to make all efforts to organise the function and obtain approval for the purpose.

Members of the steering committee regretted the fact that the function slated for June 16 was being postponed for the lack of will of the authorities.



Pak councillors visit MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
An eight-member team of councillors, headed by Nizam (mayor) Usman Ahmed Warriach of the Burewala Corporation, Behari district, Punjab, Pakistan, visited the municipal corporation here today.

A spokesman for the MCC said the delegation was on a study tour to learn about engineering projects in India and in that connection it visited the municipal corporation.

Harjinder Kaur, mayor of the MCC, gave a presentation on the working of the sanitation system, waterworks, electricity and other functions of the corporation.

Elaborating on the JNNURM project, the mayor said it was the single largest initiative undertaken by the government in areas of urban renewal with a central government share of Rs. 50,000 crore.

Team leader Warriach gave a brief introduction of the delegation and about its purpose to study ‘managed cities’ in India.



‘Power crisis due to lack of investment’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 16
Union minister of state for poverty alleviation Selja said today that the power crisis in the state was the outcome of lack of investment made by previous governments.

Selja said the present government was trying to address the power paucity in the state and plants were being set up in Yamunanagar, Jhajjar and Faridabad for the same purpose. She explained that in the coming weeks the government would segregate residential connections and make more power supply available to the public.



Interrogation begins in Ram murder case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 16
The police has begun interrogation in the Ram Kumar murder case by summoning members of the families named by the parents of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the report given by the PGIMS, Rohtak, where the post-mortem was carried out, states that the victim was hit by a sharp-edged weapon. He had seven wounds on his body and died of shock.

However, the police is still clueless about the assailant (s) who killed the boy.

He was found buried in the fields near his house in Garhi village of Raipur Rani.



Tips for safe driving
Vulnerable roads

Others on the road, who are more vulnerable than you, may need more time or space:

  • Pedestrians be aware of their actions as they cross the road.
  • Children particularly unpredictable
  • Disabled/old people may not be able to move in the same manner as the able-bodied.
  • Motorcyclists/Cyclists may need to swerve to avoid obstructions and are often affected by weather.



Stepmotherly treatment

Residents of Sectors 48 to 50 are getting stepmotherly treatment from the Chandigarh administration as there is no post office facility for nearly 30 societies here. Residents of these societies have to cover a long distance to go to post offices located in other sectors.

Secondly, there are no permanent sheds at bus stops and commuters, especially school children while waiting for buses, have to bear the heat during the summer season. These facilities have been provided up to Sector 47 only.

The administration should do the needful for these neglected sectors on priority basis.

Dilbag Rai, Chandigarh

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



CTU driver caught with poppy husk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The local police arrested two persons, including a CTU bus driver, and recovered 4 kg poppy husk from their possession in the wee hours today.

The accused landed in the police net during a special police drive at the ISBT, Sector 17.

The police said CTU bus driver Dilbag Singh was arrested after 2 kg poppy husk was found under his seat in the bus.

In another incident, Azad Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib district was nabbed while carrying 2 kg poppy husk.

Two cases under Section 15 of the NDPS Act have been registered.

Smack seized

The local police arrested Sukhbir Singh of Burail on charge of carrying 10 gm smack this afternoon. In another incident, Ravi Kumar of Ludhiana from Sector 45 was arrested for possessing 4 gm smack yesterday.

Two cases under Section 21 of the NDPS Act have been registered.


Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, principal S.K. Sharma lodged a complaint with the police alleging that five computers were stolen from his school.

The theft came to light when the watchman noticed the locks of a room broken and articles missing.

The school had been closed since May 26.

In another incident, Anchla Aggarwal of Sector 22 reported to the police that a gold set, a pair of tops and other ornaments were stolen from her residence on June 3. She was out of station when the theft took place.

Two separate cases of theft have been registered in the police station, Sector 17.


A 16-year-old boy from Solan district was arrested by the police from the airport on the allegation of trespass this afternoon.

Airport assistant security officer M.M. Rawat lodged a complaint with the police alleging that the boy was nabbed while entering an unauthorised area.

The police said the boy worked as a cleaner on a truck and had gone to watch planes when nabbed.

Being a juvenile, he was produced before a duty magistrate and later sent to a juvenile home, said the police.



3 robbers arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The special crime investigation cell of the Chandigarh police has arrested a three-member gang of robbers and claims to have solved three cases of robbery and snatchings.

The in charge of the cell, inspector Ved Pal Malik, said the trio - Sanju, Rihit and Omi - all residents of Sector 25 robbed Sanjeev Kumar of Sector 7-C of his gold ring and gold chain at knifepoint on the road dividing Sectors 25 and 38 on Friday afternoon. A case had been registered in this connection.

Malik said the police was already keeping a track of the trio and managed to nab them late in the night. The robbed articles were recovered from them.

During preliminary interrogation, the accused admitted to having snatched two gold chains from the area falling under the Sector 39 police station. The chains were also recovered from them.

They were produced before a local court today, which remanded them in one-day police custody. The accused were earlier also arrested by the crime branch of the Chandigarh police in several cases of thefts, snatchings and robberies.



Bank Loan Recovery
Phone company dealer opens fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
A shooting was witnessed in Sector 38 today afternoon when a team of the ICICI Bank went to make recovery of their loan amount against Pritpal Singh, a dealer of a private telecommunication company. He allegedly fired two shots in to the air. Pritpal Singh has been arrested under Section 307 of the IPC.

The police said Pritpal Singh had taken a loan against a Skoda car and did not return it. He did not pay seven instalments. The bank informed the police and went for the recovery.

When the ICICI team went for recoveries, the resident of sector 38 allegedly fired two shots in to the air from his licensed weapons. The accused said that he fired because he feared some unknown intrusion.



2 snatching cases reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Snatchers struck two women in the city within a span of 10 minutes. The police said Gagandeep Bindra of Sector 46 lodged a complaint that two unidentified motorcyclists snatched her gold chain. Similarly, in Sector 47, two unidentified motorcyclists snatched a gold chain form a woman. She was walking along with her husband when the incident took place.

Cases have been registered in the Sectors 34 and 31 police stations in this connection.



BIZ Clips

TIE-UP: Allahabad Bank has signed an MoU with M/S Kotak Mahindra AMC Ltd to focus more on increasing the fee-based income through selling of third-party products. The bank has also finalised its plans to partner with M/S Reliance Capital Asset Management Ltd and with M/S Franklin Templeton Asset Management (I) Pvt Ltd. TNS



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