C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Administration Turnaround
One roundabout stays, another goes
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Two sets of rule are guiding the administration while dealing with traffic congestions at roundabouts.

It has decided to restore the roundabout at the Sector 9 and 18 junction, popularly known as Press Chowk, but at the same time is contemplating to remove the small rotary at Sectors 34 and 35 and install traffic lights there.

After being rejected in the face of public criticism, the proposal has been revived by the UT engineering department. The proposal has been sent to the chief engineer. Around Rs 30 lakh will be spent on removing the rotary.

The traffic police was keen on removing the roundabout, sources in the engineering department said. Due to shortage of space, the construction of slip roads was not possible.

Experts in highway engineering believe that instead of removing the rotary, the intersection on the road dividing Sectors 34 and 35 should be closed so that the traffic could flow in two directions only.

The traffic converging on the rotary from Sectors 34 and 35 should not be allowed to crisscross.

Apart from adding to pollution (due to the idle running of engines at the traffic lights), the past experience with traffic lights has not been pleasant.

At the Piccadilly roundabout on the Dakshin Marg, the traffic lights are of little help during rush hours.

Due to the wrong alignment of slip roads, accidents are regularly occurring at the point where the slip road and the main road converge. The situation is the same on most slip roads.

“Roundabouts are removed to make way for traffic junctions and flyovers or underpasses. The problem would continue unless traffic is regulated,” said an official in the administration.

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School tuck shops to go herbal
Fare: Nutritious pizza, samosa
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The health of schoolchildren has found top place on the agenda of the administration. With the help of NGOs, the education department is initiating health programmes to be launched in government schools.

Special kiosks would be set up, which would offer juice and milk.

A joint venture of the Nature Cure Society, Chandigarh, and Don Bosco Navjeevan Centre, an NGO, the food will be prepared with herbal ingredients with medicinal values.

The food will first be introduced in canteens of those institutions which are bereft of midday meal scheme. Children from juvenile homes and orphans would run the canteens. Eight such children have already been adopted by the Don Bosco centre. Yogacharya Aneesh, who initiated to bring in this type of food, said the food was low on fat and high on nutrition.

The herbal tea would have ingredients like ashwagandha, desi tea, ginger, tulsi, cardamom, clove, black pepper and malahathi.

Herbal sandwich would be made of whole wheat bread, ashwagandha leaves, ajwain leaves, and seasonal organic vegetables, while samosa/bread pakora would be prepared with gram/wheat flour, potatoes, methi, salad leaves and green vegetables.

Herbal pizza would be made of whole wheat bread; and amla-honey juice and soya milk would sell for Rs 10 each.

Father Sabastian Jose of Don Bosco said the modalities were being chalked out to introduce healthy food in government schools. “Our endeavour is to desist children from eating junk food. We have also kept in mind that this food should be reasonably priced, fat free and tasty. We have proposed the plan to the DPI (S).

“The programme would be run on a no-profit no-loss basis and the money earned from it would be used to help underprivileged children,” he said.

The DPI said: “The plans are in the pipeline and we are introducing this type of food because it is cost-effective and healthy. Moreover, it would help in the rehabilitation of juveniles.”

The other NGOs, Yuvsatta, YTTS and UMEED, have proposed to name the kiosks “Orange Kiosk”.

The programme would initially be introduced in Government Senior Secondary Schools in Sectors 18, 19, 21, 37, 40, 35 and 23. 

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Different ball game for umpires off field
Mandeep Puri

Chandigarh, December 23
As players of various teams in the PHL receive the best of facilities available, umpires continue to be a neglected lot.

Umpires have been facing a lot of difficulty in the absence of a changing room besides other facilities. They are sore as they have to change out in the verandah.

Not only do they have to face the embarrassment of changing in front of the crowd, they have to do so sitting on the floor. The “open-air” changing room doesn’t even have chairs for them to sit on.

“We too are a part of the Premier Hockey League. While players have been given all sorts of facilities, umpires have been bereft of even the basic facilities,” said an umpire.

“It’s really awkward to see umpires change their uniform out in the verandah. We have to think twice before passing through the area,” said a woman who had came with here family to see a match.

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Tourism Growth
UT eyes Rs 5 cr central grant
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Close on the heels of union minister for culture and tourism Ambika Soni batting for Chandigarh’s heritage city status, more good news might be in the offing for the city’s tourism sector.

The tourism industry is ready to diversify as the UT administration prepares its case for drawing more central funding for tourism development.

A highly placed administration official told The Tribune that Chandigarh could draw up to Rs 5 crore from the central funds.

The matter was raised here with Sanjay Kothari, additional director general, ministry of tourism, who was in Chandigarh over the weekend to review the utilisation of earlier grants released to the UT by the union tourism ministry.

As regards old funds, they are mainly being spent on the administration’s pet project of budget hotels, under which the capacity of Park View in Sector 24 is being enhanced.

As against the existing 90 rooms, Park View will have 70 additional rooms, making it the biggest budget hotel in the region.

Besides, the funds have also gone into mounting light and sound show at the Government Museum and to install signages across the city. The central fund is yet to be spent.

The additional DG, tourism, has reviewed tourism projects and suggested new ideas for drawing future funding, top sources said.

Meanwhile, the secretary, culture UT, has proposed to the ministry fresh projects to spice up the tourism segment. These include further development of Sukhna Lake, Leisure Valley, Rose Garden, southern sectors and new lakes, including the one at Sarangpur.

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An apology for a complaint centre
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 23
The PSEB’s complaint centre is functioning from under a tree near a flour mill in Phase XI here.

Two linemen catering to consumers of the sector and Jagatpura, Kambali and Kairon Majra villages do not have an office.

Linemen Ram Singh and Devi Lal have put chairs under the tree. They receive complaints on their mobile phones and while one attends to the fault, the other sits at the “complaint centre” which remains open from 9 am to 6 pm.

After 6 pm, there is no place where residents can complain. Residents have no option, but to contact the complaint centres at Sohana and Zirakpur.

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Shoddy Probe
Dharna outside police station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Residents of Colony No. 4 staged a dharna outside the Industrial Area police station this afternoon alleging shoddy investigation into a case of assault.

The irate residents raised slogans against the Chandigarh police.

The dharna was lifted after the DSP (east) P.K. Dhavan reached the scene and placated the protesters.

He said the medical report of the victims was awaited and assured them of taking appropriate action on the basis of the report and after conducting inquiry.

The dharna lasted around two hours.

On December 18, Munshiram of the colony and his associates were thrashed by six persons of the locality following an argument.

Munshiram in his complaint had alleged that he was passing through a lane in the locality on his horse cart when Santosh, a resident of the locality, along with others blocked his way.

After a heated argument, the other group turned violent and assaulted them. The injured were taken to the hospital.

The police registered a case and arrested six persons — including Santosh, Sonu, Kumbkaran, Rajiv and Pappu.

The next day, some associates of Munshiram assaulted Sheeshpal and another person to exact a revenge. Both Sheeshpal and his associate suffered injuries.

The police registered a case of rioting and assault against Munshiram’s associates.

SHO of the Industrial Area police station inspector Jagir Singh said: “Members of the Munshiram group have now demanded that the case registered against them be cancelled and more sections be added in the case registered on Munshiram’s complaint.”

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Ludhiana commuters harassed at ISBT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Ludhiana, Moga and Ferozepur-bound commuters have been facing a lot of trouble at ISBT, Sector 17, here due to the mismanagement on the part of the authorities.

Everyday after 4 pm, counter number 30, from where the buses go to Ludhiana, Moga and Ferozepur, witness long queues of passengers. People have to virtually wait for more than one hour to get tickets for their destinations. Adding insult to injury, the buses go overloaded and people are forced to travel standing.

This all happens as the gap between two buses on the route is around 45 minutes during peak evening hours. In the morning, the buses run after every 10 minutes on the route.

Talking to TNS, a roadways conductor said, “The main reason of the rush at the counter is that the Chandigarh depot of Punjab Roadways has a monopoly on the bus routes which start from the bus stand in the evening”.

“After 4 pm, more than seven long-route roadways buses have to pull out to drop government office employees in the city resulting in the shortage of buses on the routes. These buses only return after dropping the employees after 6.30 pm. Due to this extra exercise, the passengers have to suffer”, added the official.

Due to this mismanagement, the people, especially women passengers, have to face a tough time daily as they not only get late but are also forced to travel in the overloaded buses.

“It is ridiculous to stand in queues for hours to get tickets. Travelling in overloaded buses is another nightmare”, said Sukhjinder Singh, who comes here regularly for his business assignments. Another passenger Gurmail Singh lamented, “Why don’t they add more buses in the evening when there is shortage. We have been suffering regularly but no one listens to our grievance”.

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UT gets proactive in combating leprosy
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The health department of the administration is getting "proactive" in combating leprosy. Concerned at the fact that Chandigarh is among nine "leprosy" states/union territories in India in the backdrop of the large-scale floating migratory population, the department has decided to elicit the support of the members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in identifying the patients at the preliminary stages.

Acting under the guidelines of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), more emphasis is being laid on treatment at preliminary stages. With that end in mind, a continuing medical education (CME) programme on ‘Common skin ailments with special emphasis on leprosy’ was held by the Chandigarh Leprosy Society in collaboration with the IMA and the German Leprosy Association (GLRA) here yesterday, leprosy programme officer of the NRHM S.D. Mehta said.

Since members of the IMA were usually the first contacts with the patients suffering from skin ailments, private doctors could play yeoman's role in combating the disease, Uma Vasudeva, medical officer, leprosy, informed.

On the need to involve the IMA members, officials highlighted that there was a certain degree of prejudice among the doctors in the urban areas as far as the leprosy patients were concerned. In the wake of the intensive campaign in rural and slum areas, the record of early detection and treatment and acceptance level of people in these areas was satisfactory.

In fact, the number of cases, which touched a high of 343 in 2003-04, have been coming down regularly with 2007-08 recording merely 193 cases. While the number of cases was 285 in 2004-05, the same came down to 193 in 2005-06.

Claiming that the disease was completely curable, B.D. Sharma of the GLRA said any light colour and reddish spot without any sensation should not be ignored and medical advice should be sought at earliest.

Meanwhile, addressing the CME, Ravi Gupta, orthopaedic surgeon from Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, said leprosy,which was synonymous with deformity and disfigurement, could now be corrected through reconstructive surgery and the dignity of the patient could be restored.

Director, health services, M S Bains, eminent leprologist Bhushan Kumar and associate professor of the PGI Sunil Dogra stressed the need for early detection and early treatment for the prevention of disability.

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Rao inspects garbage processing plant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Urging officers to expedite the work and ensuring that the garbage processing plant becomes operational within the stipulated time frame, municipal commissioner R.K. Rao inspected the site at Dadu Majra here yesterday.

Work of closing, capping and developing the sanitary landfill for scientific disposal of garbage is in progress under the sponsorship of the Centre Pollution Control Board.

Rao inspected the progress of the garbage processing unit which is being set up by Jaiprakash Associate Ltd on the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis. The memorandum of understanding and implementation agreement between the Chandigarh municipal corporation and Jaiprakash Associate Ltd were signed on July 8, 2005, and December 30, 2005, respectively.

The project got kick started in December 2006.

Imported equipment, including primary shredder, ballistic separator and secondary shredder, manufactured by Doppstadt-Germany and tested by German engineers have been installed at the site.

Remaining equipment like rotary dryer (in parts), magnetic separator, conveyor system, weigh bridge, electrical panels and handling equipment are being tested. Synchronisation of all machines is expected to take another month and a half approximately. A 1200 KW power station is being set up after the UT administration provided the necessary clearance.

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About 20 pc infants die of pneumonia: Doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
About 20 per cent Indian infants below five years of age die of pneumonia, a highly-infectious disease of the lungs caused by a variety of micro organisms, causing serious concern among the medical fraternity about its diagnosis and treatment.

In this backdrop, experts at a symposium on advances in community-acquired pneumonia today advocated the framing of uniform national guidelines for the prevention and control of the disease.

The framing of the national guidelines with slight variations according to 
regional requirements would go a long way in prevention and early treatment of pneumonia, Dr J.K. Pande, a former professor and head of the department of medicine of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, told The Tribune on the sidelines of the symposium, organised by the National Academy of Medical Science Regional Tele Medical Education (North) and the Department of Pulmonary Medicine of the PGI here.

Terming the disease, which also affected about 1 per cent population above 65 years of age as a major challenge to the medical fraternity, Dr Pande advocated rational antibiotics at the early stages so that the hospitalisation could be avoided.

In fact, experts said the hospital-acquired pneumonia, which occurred 72 hours after hospitalisation, was more dangerous than the community-acquired pneumonia as it could lead to severe complications such as respiratory failure kidney damage, Dr Pande informed.

Besides infants and elderly, those with pre-existing diseases like chronic lung diseases and diabetes were more prone to the disease.

Dr S.K. Jindal, professor and head of the department of pulmonary medicine of the PGI, said the symposium was organised to remove misgivings on the choice drugs amongst the doctors and patients.

He said the symposium was organised under the telemedical education programme of the PGI and doctors of Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, and Pandit B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, participated in live connectivity in the symposium.

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Major snarl-up in Panchkula
Harried motorists wait for several hours
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
People were put to a great hardship throughout the day following major traffic jams on the Ghaggar bridge, near Majri chowk as well as road leading to national highway through Sectors 3 and 25 here today.

The traffic jam on both the routes connecting connecting Zirakpuri-Pinore road with Ramgarh road forced vehicles to cross the highway at a snail’s pace. The jam lasted from early morning to late night aslakhs of devotees thronged the gurdwara being Purnima falling on holiday of Sunday.

More than one lakh devotees had visited the Gurdwara, said Bhupinder Singh the manager at Gurdwara.

The absence of police personnel on the spot added to the woes of commuters who were stranded on the road for up to two hours to cover this stretch.

The queues could be seen throughout the day from Majri chowk to Gurdwara and from Cricket Stadium in Sector 3 to Ramgarh Road.

The situation become worse as the Gahaggar bridge was closed partially for the repair work and only one way traffic was allowed on it. The traffic coming from Ramgarh side was diverted towards Sector 25 from where it was to pass through Azad colony and Sector 3 before reaching the Zirakpur-Pinjore road. However, the stretch started witnessing chaos causing problems to thousands of commuters as no policemen were found deputed on the route to direct the traffic.

“It took me more than one and a half hours to travel this stretch while going towards Ramgarh,” said a resident of Chandigarh. The situation was more chaotic while returning back, he added.

The police later decided to stop the trucks from plying on the route to ease the congestion.

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Protest over burial ground wall demolition
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 23
Tension prevailed at the Matour village this morning when the boundary wall of a burial ground was found demolished from two sides. Members of a religious community gathered to protest against what they alleged was an act of residents of the village. Residents also collected at the spot and the situation tensed further.

The police was called in to avoid the situation from deteriorating. The police said the villagers were demanding a thoroughfare from the burial ground which had been enclosed with the boundary wall.

The villagers had to take a long route to get out of the village and reach the main road in the absence of any way through the burial ground. Members of the religious community however pointed out that the ground cannot be given for a thorough fare as this led to a disrespect to the remains of those who were buried here.

Following intervention of the police, the matter was resolved with the members of the religious community agreeing to allow a thoroughfare in 19 foot lane near the wall on one corner of the burial ground next to the school.

SDO S.K. Bains of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) also reached the spot and said if this lane was used by the public then would spoil the commercial land of the authority beyond the burial ground.

The matter had come to light almost a month ago also when this boundary wall had been demolished and a similar problem had arisen.

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BJP gears up for municipal elections
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
Enthused with the success achieved in Gujarat elections, the BJP leaders, started gearing up for the forthcoming municipal elections here today.

The elections of the civic body are due early next year. Addressing a press conference the Haryana BJP president A.P. Manchanda said the party was ready to contest the election on their own and a meeting to decide the strategy in this regard would be convened today only. “The party would contest independently on its symbol like last time in the election to be held in the month of February or March next year,” said the party leader.

Criticising the state government on the BPL card issue claimed that the party was preparing to come to power in the state as well as in the centre.

“The party is on the winning track again and we are hopeful of forming the government in the state as well as in the centre after the next elections”, claimed Manchanda.

“The state government was exposed before the masses as it used the survey of BPL cards to oblige its favourites,” he added.

Terming the victory of BSP through ‘social engineering’ in Uttar Pradesh as fluke Manchanda said the elections of Gujarat has proved that there was no impact of social engineering on other states.

Informing that the efforts were being made to organise a national council of the party at Kurukshetra which is due to be held during next couple of months, Manchanda said a request has been made to the Central body of BJP.

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In Basta
Youth’s charred body not identified in 20 months
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The police has failed to identify a 20-year-old youth whose charred body was recovered from the wilderness near Ram Darbar and Hallo Majra on April 23, 2000, during its 20-month investigation, let alone tracing the killers.

This is yet another case where the killers escaped the law after burning the body to conceal the victim’s identification.

The police record reveals that the case was sent as untraced on December 13, 2001. It maintained that no clue had come to light, forcing investigating officials to close the probe. The victim’s identification was a stumbling block in the investigation.

The murder came to light in the wee hours when head constable Devinder Kumar saw something smouldering. He went to the spot and found a body on fire and informed his superiors. Police teams reached and fire brigade was also called. The operation was suspended due to darkness and was relaunched in the morning.

The police found that the victim was strangled with a wire before being torched. The body was lying on a dump of coal tar.

The spot was also examined by forensic experts. The police recovered some visiting cards smeared with coal tar from the victim’s trousers. The police had registered a case under Sections 201 and 302 of the IPC.

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Letters
Forms on website

I thank your paper for highlighting the plight of students and parents due to shortage of AIEEE forms in Chandigarh. In this era of modern technology, the authorities concerned should put important forms on their respective websites so that the applicants can download the same. The requisite fee can be paid through bank draft or IPO.

Similarly, brochures of various institutes can be displayed on the internet. This will help us save time, money and resources besides preventing the common man from harassment.

Hope the authorities will look into the matter.

R.D. Sharma, 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

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Tipsy man hits cop, booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
A tipsy Morinda resident allegedly created ruckus at the ISBT, Sector 17, here tonight before hitting a head constable who was taking him to the hospital for a medical examination.

The police arrested the accused, Ravinder Singh (48), on charges of causing breach of peace under Sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

According to sources, the police received information that a man was creating nuisance at the bus stand under the influence of liquor.

Some youngsters complained to the police that the man had picked up quarrel with them.

The police had a tough time controlling the man, as he resisted arrest.

He was taken to the Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, for a medical examination, where he hit head constable Satwant Singh.

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Ornaments stolen from Sector 29 temple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Gold ornaments worth around Rs 20,000 were stolen from idols at a Sector 29 temple, here last night.

According to the police, temple priest Pawan Gautam reported that a silver crown of Lord Hanuman and a gold nose ring of another goddess were stolen from the temple after the thieve(s) broke open the locks.

A case has been registered in this connection at the Industrial Area police station.

The police said ornaments had earlier been stolen from idols at the temple. The police had then arrested a priest and recovered the stolen ornaments from him.

Vehicles stolen

Ishrat of Sector 52 reported to the police alleging that his Maruti car (CHK 0535) was stolen from his house during the intervening night of December 21 and 22.

In another incident, Iqbal Singh of Phase 11, Mohali, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his motor cycle (PB 65 D 3510) was stolen near the passport office in Sector 34 on December 18.

Two cases of theft have been registered in this regard.

Heroin seized

The crime branch of the Chandigarh police arrested Omi of Sector 25 while allegedly carrying 25 gram heroin on Saturday.

A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered at the police station-11.

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Kalka resident held for snatching
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The police has arrested a Kalka resident and recovered two stolen mobile phone and jewellery from him. The police said the accused was a habitual snatcher and was involved in eight incidents.

Sub-inspector Ram Rattan, in charge of the ISBT-17 police post, said Rahul, alias Nitin, of Kalka was arrested from a shop in Sector 22 where he had gone to sell stolen mobile phones.

The police received information that a man was selling mobile phones without bills. It conducted a raid and nabbed Rahul.

During interrogation, Rahul admitted to having committed snatching in Sector 22 on September 30.

He was produced in a local court, which remanded him in police custody till Monday.

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Positive market trends will last: Expert
Advises investors to stay put
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, December 23
Investment guru and chief investment officer ICICI Prudential Nilesh Shah foresees a positive future for the Indian stock market in the next three to five years. Predicting that the current trend would last for some time, he says the investors should stay invested and should make long-term plans.

In Chandigarh for CNBC’s mastering mutual fund series, Shah told The Tribune that investors should maintain asset allocation profiles and wait for corrections to happen in the stock markets for adding to investments.

But for those looking for quick and manifold returns, he has a word of caution: “One should not expect huge returns now, especially when the markets have risen six times in the past four years. Such growths don’t happen ever day.”

Refraining from forecasting what the markets might look like by next year, he said the Indian stock and equity market looked pretty strong. He termed the recent rise in stock markets as “reasonable” considering the Sensex had risen only five times from the level of 4,500 in 1991.

About the recessionary trends in the US economy, Shah said the US markets were resilient enough to cope. “It is difficult to take a call on whether the USA will go into a recession. But even if it does, it will have no long-term negative impact on Indian economy,” said Shah, adding that the Indian growth story was not tied down to the US economy.

Not so positive about China, the investment expert said the Chinese markets had been stretched too far in the recent past. "We will have to wait before initiating investments in China though we already have a fund there by the name of Dragon-Peacock Fund,” he informed.

Talking about the mutual fund industry in India, Shah said the market was growing at fast pace and fetching good returns for investors.

Positive about Indian stock markets, he said ICICI Prudential was fully invested at present, except for five per cent cash funds kept aside for redemption purpose.

He disclosed that ICICI was about to come out with some more sectoral funds, for which SEBI’s nod had been sought. “You can expect new funds in a month,” he said, adding that though new funds were being introduced to fill the gaps in company portfolios, old funds were progressing well.

“We have increased investments in our integrated fund, which has become the first to cross the Rs 4,000-crore mark,” he said.

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