L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


No steps taken yet to avert another gastro outbreak
Municipal Corporation, health department continue to pass the buck
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service
Filthy and unhygenic conditions prevailing at the Sherpur and the FCI godown area near the Gill road in Ludhiana
Filthy and unhygenic conditions prevailing at the Sherpur and the FCI godown area near the Gill road in Ludhiana
Filthy and unhygenic conditions prevailing at the Sherpur and the FCI godown area near the Gill road in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, June 11
Not having learnt any lessons from last year’s outbreak of gastroenteritis in which a dozen people died, both the health department and the municipal corporation appear to be waiting for yet another epidemic of the deadly disease in the city by failing to take any preventive measures. Heaps of garbage, puddles of water and unhygienic condition prevail in most areas even as officials keep passing the buck.

Last year about a dozen areas in the city, including Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Sooa Road, Luxmi Nagar, Gyasspura and Sherpur Khurd, witnessed an outbreak of the disease with about 500 people afflicted with acute gastroenteritis and 1,500 more contracting mild infections.

Talking to The Tribune, district epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla claimed: “Our teams keep visiting these areas in routine and keep making people aware about importance of cleanliness. But it is unfortunate that last time when I visited these areas I found heaps of garbage still piling up there”.

Asked whether he had communicated this to the civic body, he replied: “Yes I wrote to municipal corporation health officer Dr Charanjit Uppal, and also informed the MC commissioner. I’ll again visit these areas on Monday or Tuesday as I remain in the field for most of the time."

However Uppal said: “I haven’t received any information in this regard from the health department recently. Usually the department officials inform us on phone but this time I didn’t get any call from anyone. I’ll ensure all city areas are cleaned properly at the earliest to avoid any health hazard." Said Surjeet Singh, a resident of Sooa Road: “This area is like a danger zone where gastroenteritis outbreaks every year. And this year also there is not much difference in the cleanliness. Two or three spells of rain will lay bare the inefficiency of civic and health officials."

Sale of cut fruits unabated

y Health department officials have failed to check sale of unhygienic cut fruits in the city, instead passing the buck to the municipal corporation. About a fortnight ago district health officer Dr Jagpal Singh had remarked “it was the MC’s job” However, MC health officer Dr Charanjeet Uppal claimed the sale of cut fruits are being checked.


77 water samples fail potability test in city
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Out of the 300 water samples collected by the district health department from different areas of the city in the past two months, 77 have failed the potability test.

Dr GP Mangala, district epidemiologist, said around 137 samples were collected in May, out of which 37 had failed the test.

While Dr Jagpal Singh, district health officer, Ludhiana, said, “Water samples are collected on a regular basis or whenever some complaint is filed by some resident. Samples collected from Gyaspura and Sherpur Khurd have too failed the test.”

In their complaint, which was filed last year, the MC officials had stated that residents had intentionally blamed them for supplying polluted water and also handed over samples of some other areas to the health department.

To avoid falling prey to gastroenteritis

  • Wash hands with soap and water before eating anything
  • Use boiled or chlorinated water for drinking
  • Avoid eating cut fruits



Heaps of garbage dot Mayor’s ward
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
It seems that city Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura has failed to notice piles of garbage and puddles of water dotting his ward.

Sadly, many people who fell prey to gastroenteritis last year, were also from ward number 72. But no lessons have been learnt from the past as flies and mosquitoes continue to have a field day in the area due to filth all around.

A visit to the Mayor’s ward is enough to expose the state of affairs. Vacant plots have turned into garbage dumps and stink emanating from these sites have made the lives of residents miserable.

Ashok Verma, a resident, said, “Garbage strewn on streets makes is difficult for one to walk.”

Rajdeep Singh, another resident of Dhandari Khurd, said, “We avoid telling people that it is the Mayor’s ward. How can one just turn a blind eye to residents’ problems?”

All efforts to contact Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura proved futile.

Fish sale goes unchecked

Last year, when gastroenteritis spread its tentacles, officials of the municipal corporation, Ludhiana, had issued orders to close down fish markets in gastro prone areas. This year again the situation is back to square one. Dr Charanjeet Uppal, health officer, municipal corporation, Ludhiana, said, “Whenever we conduct surprise checks, roadside vendors manage to give officials the slip. Only one or two are nabbed. They pay no heed to officials’ warnings. However, an employee of the MC said, “These shopkeepers are too clever, they get to know about the checks through their mobile phones and manage to flee.”



MC’s no to billboards on pvt buildings
‘Companies on contract to suffer’
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
The Municipal Corporation’s sub-committee on advertisements has ruled out the possibility of allowing private buildings for putting up billboards. Most of the committee members said if advertisements were allowed on private buildings, it would increase the number of illegal advertisements in the city.

BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu, who is a member of the sub-committee, firmly said today that private buildings would not be allowed to be used for advertisement purpose at any cost.

"If we do so, it would not be fair on our part, as the companies which are having the contracts would suffer losses. The contract with a company, named Greenline, was signed on March 18, 2009. They paid us Rs. 8.25 crore for a period of four years," said Neetu.

A meeting in this regard was held at the Zone D office and was chaired by Additional Commissioner Mohinder Pal Gupta.

The main agenda of the meeting was to discuss pending issues regarding advertisement contract with Delhi-based Greenline company.

During the meeting, most of the members were of the view that private buildings should not be allowed for advertisement. But some of the advertisers thought otherwise and demanded that it should be allowed.

As per the RTI Information, the MC earned a revenue of Rs 39.53 lakh in last five years from advertisements on private buildings. On the other hand, the MC earned a revenue of Rs 16.39 crore from advertisements on tendered media (sites).

That is why, the sub-committee members voted against this move and said it could not be possible as companies, which have taken advertisement tender, would suffer losses.

Greenline, which is a company holding the major share of Ludhiana's outdoor advertisements, is totally against the private building advertisement. "We had faith in the 10-member sub-committee that they would surely compensate us on the time and media advertisements lost during the agreement. We are also happy that the sub-committee did not allow the advertisements on private buildings as it causes heavy loss not only to the MC but also affects the legal tender media holders, resulting them to run mid way," said Greenline senior vice president Parminder Singh Cheema.

The issue is now postponed for the next meeting of the advertisement sub-committee to be held on Thursday.



Jan Aushadhi store to reopen
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Patients coming to the local Civil Hospital have a reason to smile, as the Jan Aushadhi Generic Drug Store will be re-opened within a week. The store, which was opened in November 2008, used to provide generic medicines to patients on no-profit-no-loss basis. The store was closed about a year-and-a-half ago after patients complaint of they being overcharged. And, now, this store will be re-opened after being handed over to the “rogi kalyan samiti.”

Shiv Ram Saroy, one of the samiti members, said the rogi kalyan samiti, which looks after patients’ welfare at the Civil Hospital, would re-open the store with a week. Generic medicines would be provided to the patients round-the-clock.”

Jan Aushadhi Generic Drug Stores were opened for retailing unbranded drugs as per the scheme formulated and launched by the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, department of pharmaceutical, Government of India. About nine such centres were opened in Civil Hospitals of different districts of Punjab. Saroy said: “The contract of these drug stores were given to private parties, which used to purchase generic drugs and sell them. But, these stores were closed after patients complained of overcharging, violation of rules.”



MC razes 6 more illegal colonies
Drive follows razing of 5 colonies on June 7
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Intensifying the drive against illegal residential colonies mushrooming in the city, the municipal corporation demolished six such colonies in the zone C area on Saturday, the second such exercise after a recent survey by the civic body identified 18 unauthorized colonies.

In today's drive, led by assistant town planner Nirmal Preet Singh, the entire colonies including streets and sewage lines were razed. The drive commenced early in the morning and continued till around 11 30 am.

“Two illegal colonies near Pippalwala Chowk, each spread over five acres, were demolished in Giaspura village. The other colonies razed were located near Jaspal Bangar village (seven acres), Lohara village (1.5 acres), Ishar Nagar near the Sidhwan Canal (two acres) and near the rail tracks in Dugri (1.5 acres)”, said Nirmal.

"Residents are again urged to get their colonies regularized by paying development charges, for which they just have to contact officials of the MC’s buildings branch," he added.

Last Tuesday MC officials demolished five unauthorized colonies situated near Tibba Road, Kailash Nagar, Mayapuri and Jassian Road.



Orders issued

The Commissioner of Police today directed owners of cyber cafes in the city to ask visitors for their identity proof and other details. In orders issued under Section 144 of the CRPC, he asked them to register their names and contact numbers. The Commissioner said several cyber crimes took place from the computers used in the cafes. It was necessary to keep a watch on each and every person visiting these cafes.


The accreditation cell of the Executive Committee of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM paediatric section) and Intensive Care Chapter of Indian Academy of Pediatrics has approved Dayanand Medical College and Hospital Pediatrics ICU(PICU) as a fellowship training centre. Inspection was done around three months ago by specialists from the PGI, Chandigarh, and New Delhi.

DMCH is the only hospital in North India, apart from two hospitals in Delhi and PGI, Chandigarh, to have this training. This certified course was started in 2002 in India. There are total 17 such recognised hospitals in the country, a majority being in South India. There are 42 accredited teachers for this fellowship in the country, including Dr Puneet A Pooni and Dr Sidhartha Bhargava from the DMCH, claimed a communique by the hospital.


The Punjab Medical Representatives Association (PMRA) today expressed concern over flouting of the labour laws by some pharma companies. This was conveyed to Health Minister Satpal Gosain during the association’s general body meeting. Members said in order to discourage unions from exercising their democratic right to protest and agitate, these companies through their cartel had started engaging the retired police officials (either on their pay role or in the form of a private security agency), who pressurised the local police authorities (through their old connections) to implicate the union members in false cases. The minister assured the members that he would solve their problem.

Helpline launched

The Unemployed Linemen Union, Punjab, today launched a helpline for the unemployed linemen in the city who wanted to take the help of the union in getting their demands addressed. The numbers are 9872606093 and 9815105811. Calls will be answered every Monday. — TNS



Sarpanch refutes allegations on misuse of funds
Lawyers’ body to rescue of whistleblowers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Several days after seven members of Naujwan Bharat Sabha were booked under the Defacement of Property Act, the Democratic Lawyers Association, an NGO, today came to their defence claiming that the seven persons were paying the price for standing up against a Rs 45 lakh scam related to Panchayat funds in Mini Chhpaarvillage.

Addressing a news conference here today, the lawyers led by Daljeet Singh, claimed the youth were paying the price for blowing the whistle on embezzlement of money meant for laying sewerage in the village.

The lawyers claimed that their investigatons compiled in a report pointed to an embezzlement of Rs 40 lakhs between the years 2000 and 2005. They said the sarpanch had evaded questions relating to utilisation of funds saying he did not have the records.

The lawyers said that another grant of Rs 4.9 lakhs for construction of toilets and grant of Rs 9 lakhs for drains were not utilised properly as the level of drains was more than the plinth level of roads.

On visiting the village, they aid they found the residents living in poor conditions.

Refuting the charges, Hargobinpura sarpanch Gurwinder Singh Grewal said that all grants had been utilized according to laid down norms. The rank and file in the panchayat department have been supervising progress of works undertaken by the civic body, he said.

On the issue of laying of the sewerage system Grewal maintained that the amenity could not be provided as there was no proper place to construct disposal tank.

“However we have been impressing upon senior officials to allot land for laying the sewerage system in the locality that had remained negleced by successive governments,” said Grewal.



Mutilated body found

Ludhiana, June 11
Panic spread in the Focal Point area after a few residents spotted a mutilated body of a newborn baby girl. According an investigating officer, the body was found from a vacant plot located near Simran Dharam Kanda in Focal Point.

“Maguts were crawling all over the mutilated body of the baby girl,” said investigating officer Dalip Singh. — TNS



165 patients examined

Mandi Gobindgarh: The Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a medical check-up camp at Khoje Majra village. A team of doctors headed by Dr Kanwaljit Singh Ahuja, the college principal; Dr Darpan and Dr Jyoti examined the patients.

At least 165 patients were examined and medicines provided free of cost to them. Most of the patients were suffering from stomach disorders, hypertension, leucorrhoea, low eye vision, skin disorders and anemia. — OC



Police to count Autos plying on city roads
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
For the first time, auto-rickshaws in the city will undergo a Census with the police acting as the ‘census officers’. The police department has been entrusted with counting the number of three-wheelers plying in the city.

If all goes well, auto-rickshaws will be given a unique identification (UID).

The police has prepared a form, available at a centralised counter of the traffic police, for distribution among auto-rickshaw drivers across the city.

The owner of the auto-rickshaw and its driver would be required to fill the the form along with affixing their latest photographs. These forms will be submitted to the traffic zone in-charge and the Station House Officer of the respective police stations.

“In case there is a problem filling the forms, auto-rickshaw drivers can contact the officer concerned. The owner and driver will be given a receipt in return, which they can produce during the routine check,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema.

Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh said it was the first time a count was being done.“This will help check illegal plying of these vehicles,’’ he said adding that the Census would not put an extra burden on the police department, instead, it would help in better monitoring.

“After completing the count, we are planning to give a UID to auto-rickshaw drivers,” said the Commissioner of Police. The Commissioner of Police has appealed auto-rickshaw drivers to comply with the latest instruction.

How this will help

  • In checking actual count of auto-rickshaws and areas where three-wheelers are creating havoc and are sources of major traffic bottleneck
  • Bring to light how many auto-rickshaws are being owned by policemen
  • Put a tab on the plying of the illegal three-wheelers on city roads

Auto-rickshaw gangs

The brutal murder of banker Pran Ranjan Sinah, who was killed in October 2009, had bought to the fore the presence of such a gang in the city. The police said, auto-rickshaw gang was still thriving in the city and robbing commuters. With this count. The police will now be able to keep a tab on such criminal acts.



Paedophile ‘Nihang’ arrested
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 11
The Dehlon police has arrested a fake Nihang of Kilaraipur village near here who had allegedly attempted to abduct a minor girl with the intention to exploit her physically and eliminate later.

The police has also initiated probe into another incident in which the accused had allegedly raped a minor a few weeks ago and threatened the victim’s parents with dire consequences in case they reported the matter to the police.

Jagdev Singh, alias Channa (55), was arrested by the Dehlon police when he was trying to leave the area this afternoon. Investigations revealed that Channa had tried to abduct Hazida (10) from her house situated on the outskirts of Kilaraipur village on Monday night. Though the parents had succeeded in rescuing the girl after a brief chase, the accused succeeded in fleeing from the scene under the cover of darkness.

Hasab and Kiran, parents of the child alleged that Channa had attempted to abduct their youngest daughter with the intention of exploiting her physically. They apprehended that their daughter could have been killed had he succeeded in abducting her.

“Had we not rescued our daughter from his clutches, she could have either died due to the brutality of the accused or he could have killed her for fear of being caught,” stated Hasab and Kiran to the police.

Investigations revealed that the accused had exploited some minor girls earlier too.

The police booked Channa under Sections 363, 364, 376 and 511 of the IPC.



Domestic help decamps with Rs 22 lakh
Nepalese deceives employer, breaks his safe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Having faith in a Nepalese servant proved costly for a trader after the latter fled with cash worth Rs 22 lakh by breaking open a safe of his shop located in Butte Shah Mandi here yesterday.

The police suspects involvement of a Nepalese servant and a few of his accomplices in the theft.

The accused identified as Namdev was working as a servant in Balbir Chand’s house for the past three years. Namdev used to sleep in the shop after finishing work at the trader’s home.

The incident came to light here today when the police registered a case in this regard. Balbir Chand admitted that he had neither verified the antecedents of his servant nor handed over his photograph to the police.

Balbir Chand told the police that his servant used to lock the door of his house. On Thursday night, Namdev left the door of the room where the cash was kept open and went downstairs to sleep.

“They might have entered the room by scaling the pipe. They knew exactly well the cash was kept. Without wasting any time they broke open the safe and fled from the scene,” Balbir Chand added.

Balbir Chand is running his business under the name of Jagat Ram and Tarsem Ram.

Easy Targets

  • Numerous incidents have been reported where residents have paid a heavy price for not getting their servants verified. About a month ago, a servant tried to kill an owner of Batra Hotel, who was sleeping in a room, by giving electric shocks. The servant,later on, fled with cash.
  • Two weeks ago, a servant of Nepalese origin fled with cash by sedating four family members of Bedi Electronics in their house at Gurdev Nagar.



Thieves decamp with jewellery, cash
Strike at two houses in Khamano
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, June 11
Thieves decamped with cash, jewellery and a licensed rifle after striking at two houses in ward no 7, Khamano, last night.

In the first incident, thieves burgled the house of Daljit Singh, who is a government employee and was on duty. His wife had gone to her in-laws and no one was at home at the time of the incident.

Another theft took place at the house of one Manjit Singh whose family was away. Daljit Singh said thieves had decamped with Rs 70,000 in cash, gold ornaments, a diamond set, a 12. bore licenced rifle, a television and two cylinders, apart from some other valuables. While Rs 10,000 in cash and some gold ornaments were stolen from the residence of Manjit Singh.

The thefts came to light in the morning when someone noticed broken locks and some valuables scattered outside the two houses. On being informed, DSP Balwinder Singh Randhawa and Khamano SHO reached the spot. A dog squad was also pressed into service. The police said they had taken into custody some suspicious persons and were trying to identify the culprits. Interestingly, a CPO was on duty in the area when the incident took place.



Two elderly women crushed under truck
Were sleeping along road
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 11
Two elderly women were crushed by a speeding truck at Gidarwindi village near Sidhwan Bet last night.

Both the deceased were in their mid-seventies. The deceased have been identified as Tej Kaur (72) and Malan Kaur (72) of Gidarwindi village.

The accident occurred yesterday around 11 pm when a speeding truck (PB 13 C-0720), coming from Kishanpura crushed both the women, who were sleeping alongside Sidhwan Bet-Kishanpura road outside their home. Both the women died on-the-spot.

The truck driver, identified as Sukhwinder Singh, fled soon after the accident.

Meanwhile, the bodies of both the victims were handed over to their relatives after conducting a post-mortem at Jagraon Civil Hospital today morning.

The police has registered a case at Jagraon Sadar Police Station under Section 174 of the CrPC.



Country-made pistol seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 11
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested one person with a country made pistol and a stolen scooter. The accused has been identified as Harbans Singh of Chapa village in Barnala district. The accused has also been arrested twice in the past in two different theft cases registered against him at the local city police station and the Mehal Kalan police station. He was released bail.

SHO Sadar, Rachpal Singh Dhindsa, said a police team from the Galib Kalan police post led by ASI Davinder Singh arrested Harbans Singh yesterday evening during a routine raid near Galib village.

The scooter he was riding was stolen from Moga a few days ago. The accused also admitted to stealing gas cylinders and ceiling fans from different places.



Man held for raping 11-year-old
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
The police today arrested the 45-year-old man on the charges of raping an 11-year-old girl.

The girl was abducted, raped and then dumped near a level crossing at Alamgir village in the wee hours of June 1.

The accused, identified as Jawharlal, was booked on the basis of circumstantial evidence and on the statement of the victim, said the investigating officer.

The police has further sent the DNA of the accused to the laboratory for testing.

The victim, belonging to a nomadic family, was sleeping in the open, along with her parents, near Manakwal village on the night of June 1 when she was raped.

The parents came to know about her disappearance when her mother woke up in the night due to bad weather. In the morning, village residents spotted the girl and informed the nomads about her.

According to the victim, who is still recuperating, it was Jawharlal who raped her.

Jawharlal, who lives in the same locality, had been detained for questioning a few days ago. He confessed of committing the offence. He told the police that he raped the girl in order to settle score with her brother.

The suspect had a fight with the girl’s elder brother over a minor issue. At that time, the suspect had threatened to rape the victim.

The accused was produced before the court and further sent to police remand.



Ludhiana, Jalandhar eves move into semifinal league
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 11
Defending champions, Jalandhar and last year’s runners-up Ludhiana advanced into the semifinal league in the girls’ section on the second day of the 62nd Junior Punjab State Basketball Championship being played at the Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

The current champions Jalandhar survived a scare from Mansa before emerging victorious 57-48, while hosts Ludhiana eves, who finished first runners-up in the last edition of this championship recorded an easy victory over Sangrur 42-24 yesterday to book their place in the semifinal, which will be played on the league basis among four top teams.

In boys’ section, matches played between Mansa and Jalandhar, Nawanshahr and Muktsar turned out to be absorbing affairs.

Mansa proved, too, good for Jalandhar, as the former came out triumphant 54-38, while Nawanshahr scripted a hard-fought 43-37 victory against Muktsar.

In other matches (boys), Gurdaspur outplayed Nawanshahr 87-58; Kapurthala drubbed Barnala 44-17; Amritsar defeated Mohali 30-14 and Patiala edged out Bathinda 51-20.

The match played between Patiala and Gurdaspur in the girls’ section was a low scoring, as the former overpowered their opponents with a narrow margin of three points (22-19).

In the match held between Fardikot and Mansa, the latter failed to put up resistance and lost it meekly 23-50, while Hoshiarpur pipped Moga 20-11.



Prithipal Hockey
Kila Raipur Academy lads prevail over Dhamot boys 3-2
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 11
Randhir Hockey Academy, Dhamot, after leading by two goals, went down tumbling 2-3 against Grewal Academy, Kila Raipur, in the U-17 group in the second edition of the Prithipal Singh Memorial Six-a-Side Hockey Festival being organised by the Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association at Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium of Jarkhar village near here today.

After wasting a couple of chances, Randhir Academy players drew the first blood in the 24th minute through Gurmeet Singh. They increased the lead (2-0) five minutes later when Gurjeet Singh sounded the board.

Trailing by two goals, Kila Raipur Academy lads unleashed a flurry of attacks at the rival’s citadel. These pressure tactics yielded results, as they struck the first goal in the 45th minute when Jaspreet Singh produced a brilliant goal to read 2-1.

Two minutes later, Gurjeet Singh managed to sneak into Dhamot’s defence and scored the equaliser (2-2).

Kila Raipur lads went all out and succeeded in scoring the match winner in the last minute of the encounter. The important goal came off Jaspreet’s stick (3-2).

In another match (U-17), Jarkhar Academy blanked Grewal Academy, Kila Raipur “B” 5-0.

Sukhpreet Singh and Amanpreet Singh scored two goals each, while Gurpreet Singh added one goal to complete the rout (5-0).

Meanwhile, in the U-21group, Mohali XI and Ludhiana XI wrapped up their respective matches to keep hopes alive to secure berths in the final.

In a keenly contested encounter, Mohali XI pipped Ropar XI 10-9. The two sides were tied at four.

Gurpreet Singh accounted for four goals for Mohali XI, while Jaswant Singh and Ranjeet Singh scored a brace each.

Captain, Damanjeet Singh and Parvinder Singh added one goal each to complete the tally.

For Ropar XI, the contributors were Kiranpreet Singh (3), Gurpreet Singh (2), Bakhshish Singh (2) and Bhupinder Singh (2).

In the second match (U-21), Ludhiana XI outclassed Jarkhar Juniors 11-6 in which Pawanpreet Singh found the target four times, while Jangpreet Singh chipped in with three goals and Gurveer Singh sounded the board twice. Gurlalpreet Singh and Manish pumped in one goal each.

For losers, Harmanpreet Singh and Amritpal Singh scored two goals each, while Sandeep Singh and Surinder Singh contributed apiece.



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