C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rs 25 cr fail to link computers at PGI
13 yrs on, lack of LAN connectivity forces patients to shuttle between different departments
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Despite utilising Rs 25 crore released by the Central government for computerisation and local area network (LAN) connectivity between its departments around 13 years ago, the city's premier healthcare institute, PGIMER, has failed to ease its patients from shuttling across the departments.

The PGIMER which remains flooded with patients from the region every day had received the grant from the Central government in 1999. However, owing to lack of interconnectivity between the Emergency Ward, the new OPD and specialised centres, patients at the premier institute keep on shuttling between these departments for manual registration.

Consider this: A patient who is taken to the Emergency and then referred to the New OPD has to register at both the places separately, standing in the long queues at the reception. After depositing the registration fee, the undergoes a check-up at the New OPD, gets the required tests done and is asked to visit the Advanced Cardiac Centre. In the absence of the centralised record of treatments received by the patient at other departments, the patient is again asked to undergo tests and register separately after visiting the Cardiac Centre.

At present, computers are being utilised only for the purpose of registration at fee counters and accounting. While there is no availability of computer for registration and locating a patient at the New OPD reception, the computers at Emergency Ward's reception are lying defunct.

Every time a patient's attendant looks for his patient at the Emergency or the New OPD's reception, he has to wait for the receptionist to go through numerous files having patient entries.

Maneesha Rana (name changed) who visited the New OPD's reception on Monday looking for her patient suffering from chest congestion was suggested to visit the Emergency Ward and also the medical ward in the New OPD.

"In such cases, the computerised entry of patients can help in avoiding unnecessary visit of patients' attendants in the wards and reduce the chances of the hospital acquired infections (HAI) among patients," pointed out a PGI official.

Enquiry module already in place

The patient enquiry module at the receptions is already in place. It is only the technical set up which has to be initialised at the reception for running the modules. This may take some more time, but the system is ready. Since the PGI is a big hospital, installing software to ensure connectivity of different centres is a challenging task. The blood bank will be completely computerised from September 1.

— Manju Wadwalkar, PGI spokesperson



College trustee held for firing into the air
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 28
The Mohali police arrested a trustee of Bhaddal Engineering College on the charges of firing three shots into the air with his licensed .32-bore revolver at Phase V following an argument with a neighbour’s tenant and his friends last night.

The accused, identified as Sukhpreet Singh, a trustee-cum-finance secretary of the college and a resident of Phase V, was under the influence of liquor at the time of incident, said the police.

The complainant in the case, Mamta Sharma, landlady of Armaan, with whom Sukhpreet Singh indulged in an argument, alleged that Sukhpreet was provoked by her neighbour Manu Kamboj and her son Raju Kamboj with whom they were not on talking terms.

“Our tenant Armaan was standing along with his two-three friends in front of the house when all of sudden Sukhpreet, carrying revolver, and Raju came there and started threatening them. Sukhpreet fired three shots into the air,” said Mamta, claiming that they had nothing to do with Sukhpreet. Mamta also alleged that following the firing incident, Manu and Raju assaulted her.

On the other hand, Sukhpreet Singh claimed that about 10 youth were making noise in front of his house and were using vulgar language. “When I tried to stop them, they tried to attack me. I fired shots in self-defence,” claimed Sukhpreet.

When asked why he was carrying a loaded weapon, Sukhpreet said he always carried the weapon with him as some rivals were after his life. Two months ago, someone had fired at him near Ropar, he claimed.

The police has recovered the weapon along with three empty shells and three live cartridges and registered a case under Section 336 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against Sukhpreet Singh at the Phase I police station.


This is the third firing incident in the town in the past 20 days. The first incident had taken place at Phase VI on August 8 when Gur Iqbal Singh along with his two sons fired shots after challenging their neighbour Tajinder Singh during night hours following some rivalry. The police had arrested Gur Iqbal and his son Jaspreet Singh while the third accused in the case is still at large.

In another incident at Phase VI on August 23, the police had arrested Tajinder Singh for firing two shots at his neighbour’s vehicle over a parking issue

Official speak

The police has been trying its best to maintain law and order. In all these incidents, gunshots were fired with licensed weapons and on the spur of the moment and none of the accused had a criminal background. I don’t say it is not a serious issue, but if some illegal weapons were used, the situation could have been grave. I have already recommended the cancellation of 138 licenses so far.

— GS Bhullar, SSP, Mohali



Shivalikview, Mountview turn white elephants
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune news Service

Hotel Mountview
Hotel Mountview

Chandigarh, August 28
If the performance report of the first quarter ending June 30 is any indication, two prestigious hotels of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), including its only five-star hotel Mount View, have proven to be white elephants.

In case of Hotel Shivalikview, the profit reduced from Rs 101.57 lakh in first quarter of 2011 to a measly Rs 2.34 lakh in first quarter of 2012. The downslide has been on account of room sales, which declined from 6,219 room nights to 4,392 room nights, a drop of 1,827 room nights in the first quarter. Incidentally, CITCO is undertaking renovation of Shivalikview for the past two years at a cost of Rs 6 crore. Moreover, the authorities are not making nay effort to boost the income of the hotel as five shops on the hotel premises have not been auctioned for the past one year.

Similarly, Hotel Mountview registered a fall in profit from Rs 244.50 lakh in the first quarter of 2011 to Rs 229.28 lakh in the first quarter of 2012 despite increase in sales.

Officials said the losses incurred by Hotel Shivalikview were due to the closing of the main porch for renovation and hike in employees’ remuneration. In case of Hotel Mountview, the room sales and bar sales decreased.

The data was made available in the performance report tabled in the recent board meeting of CITCO. Not only these two hotels, but all major units of CITCO have reported losses in the first quarter.

The cash profit (profit before depreciation and income tax) for the quarter ending June 30, 2012, was Rs 3.46 crore, about 30 per cent less than the profit of

Rs 4.93 crore achieved in the same period ending June 30, 2011. However, CITCO achieved 4.75 per cent higher turnover of Rs 79.60 crore in the three-month period ending June 30, 2012 compared to turnover of Rs 76 crore achieved in the corresponding period of last year.

Barring Hotel Mountview and Hotel Parkview, units which achieved a higher turnover of 3 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, the other units like the sales depot, Shivalikview, lake, boating and baithak witnessed a downslide.

Significantly, the profit of CITCO’s major unit, the steel depot, also witnessed a decline. Compared to Rs 51.80 lakh profit earned by the depot between April 2011 and June 2011, the dept earned Rs 21.26 lakh between April 2012 and June 2012. In the above-mentioned period, 8,620 metric tonnes of steel was sold between April 2011 and June 2011. In the same period, 6,335 metric tonnes of iron and steel was sold. Recently, the issue of non-recovery of pending dues from traders, who had been given iron and steel from the depot, had been pointed in the audit of CITCO.



ADC submits report, says Lake Club premises misused
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Nine days after the high-voltage pool party at Lake Club, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Mahavir Kaushik today submitted his report to UT Finance-cum-Sports Secretary VK Singh.

In his report, the ADC has stated that the Lake Club premises was misused by the party organisers in the name of social get-together and even the Excise Act was also violated.

Sources revealed that the ADC had not made any recommendations in his report and had presented facts. On the basis of the report, the UT Administration would now decide on the course of action against those involved in the Lake Club party.

The report stated that Sanjay Singla, official caterer of Lake Club, had made organising parties at Lake Club his 'business'. Moreover, he had booked a number of parties in the past six months in his name at the club.

A senior official of the UT Administration said they were going through the report and action would be taken against violators. The UT Administration has already suspended Lake Club General Manager Rajiv Tuli.

On August 19, when Principal Secretary to the Punjab Governor, MP Singh, visited Lake Club for a function of the Punjab Rowing Association, he found that youngsters were creating a ruckus in the swimming pool. He asked the UT Finance Secretary VK Singh to take action. The police reached the club and the party was stopped.

Over 200 youngsters were invited through social networking sites for 'Island Pool Party' by Event Experts, an event management company.

Pool party

  • Organisers violated the Excise Act
  • Singla made organising parities his ‘business’
  • ADC made no recommendations in his report 



UT police to go ‘smart’
SHOs, police post in-charges to have internet on their mobile phones
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Putting technology to its best use, the city police is all set to speed up the system to improve its efficiency and save time. With almost all station house officers (SHOs) and police post in-charges in possession of smart phones, the UT SSP has today directed them to configure their official email on their mobile sets for exchange of visuals and data.

The police officials have been provided with free internet access on their handsets, enabling them to exchange photos and other information among each other related to day-to-day crime. Moreover, senior police officials will now be sending advisories, orders as well as scanned documents for any queries to the officials concerned in a split second.

Besides the SHOs and police post in-charges, the sub-divisional police officers and inspectors in charge of units and their readers will also be part of the internet connectivity.

UT SSP Naunihal Singh said it was observed that all SHOs and officials with whom he daily needs to communicate have an access to internet on their phones.

“The idea is to save on time by making use of technology. Any information regarding a heinous crime, picture of a crime spot or photo of a missing child will now be exchanged among all SHOs and police post in-charges at the moment the crime occurs,” said the SSP.

Besides the exchange of information, sending orders, circulars, advisories and other queries can be done through internet and time can thus be saved.

DSP (Communication) Roshan Lal has been assigned the duty to activate the internet connectivity.

Exchange of information

The police officials have been provided with free internet access on their handsets, enabling them to exchange photos and other information among each other related to the day-to-day crime. Moreover, senior police officials will now be sending advisories, orders as well as scanned documents for any queries to the officials concerned in a split second



Man caught ‘stealing’ on camera
Police reluctant to take action, claims shopkeeper
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 28
A Panchkula shopkeeper has claimed that he has a video recording of a thief who committed a theft at his shop for the second time and when caught by him confessed that the police who had arrested him before, let him off demanding their share of the booty and also assured him that they would implicate the owner in a false insurance or opium case.

A copy of the video footage in which accused Ashish confessed to his crime and what action the police took when he was caught is with the Tribune.

The thief in the video footage said that the then Investigating officer, ASI Rajesh, kept him for a night in at the police station and demanded his share.

Ashish was taken into custody by the police on January 6, 2012, as he was accused of stealing cigarettes worth Rs 6 lakh from a shop at Sector 6, Panchkula. Ashish had reportedly committed the theft but he was let off by the police and the latter had told owner Sumit Singla that he was not involved, despite sufficient proofs against him.

“When the theft was committed for the first time, the police was surprised that the theft had taken place from inside the shop despite the fact that it was locked. After investigations, it came to light that Ashish had hidden inside the shop and committed the theft,” said Sumit Singla, owner of Ganpati Traders.

He further added, “On August 17, 2012, cigarettes were stolen from the same shop for the second time and the CCTV cameras installed at the shop clearly showed the picture of Ashish committing it. We told him to confess everything and he did.”

Ashish in the video clipping says, “I told the investigating officer ASI Rajesh that I was under debt and I had committed the crime. The police just kept me for a night at the Sector-6 police post. They asked me as to how many people were involved in the crime and what my share was. I told them I just got Rs 10,000.”

He further added, “The IO demanded his share and told me not to worry. He told me that if my owner would asked about the case then he would implicate him in a false case.”

Singla along with other shopkeepers had gone to meet DCP Parul Kush along with the proofs. Kush further called the police post in charge Mange Ram and told the complainants that an action would be taken after investigations.

Despite the proof, no action has been taken against Ashish. Dheeraj Setia, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), said that immediate action would be taken. “I will surely look into the matter.”



Four injured as car falls into gorge
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 28
Four inebriated youths sustained serious injuries when the car they were travelling in rolled down a gorge and rammed into hutments in Surajpur near Pinjore.
The car belongs to a Chandigarh police official.
The car belongs to a Chandigarh police official.

The youths, who had gone to Timber Trail, have been identified as Ashish Verma, Gurvinder, alias Rupak, Aman Sharma and Gurpreet Singh.
A beer bottle was found in the car
A beer bottle was found in the car.

The Ritz car was being driven by Ashish Verma, who is the son of a Chandigarh police official, while Rupak is the son of a Punjab police official. Aman and Gurpreet are Mohali residents.

The youths were rushed to General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula. The police has also seized liquor bottles from the car. The four are BCA students at Landran College.

One of the youths told the police that all of them had consumed liquor.

“As the weather was pleasant, we decided to go to Timber Trail. On our way back, we asked Ashish to drive slowly, but he did not listen to us," said Rupak, who had sustained minor injuries.

An eye-witnesses said the car which belonged to the Chandigarh police official was being driven at a speed of 140 km per hour.

“Suddenly, a vehicle came in front of our car and Ashish lost control over the vehicle which fell into the gorge," added Rupak.

On hearing the sound of the collision, villagers rushed outside and informed the police about it.

The youths were under the influence of liquor," said former sarpanch of the village Yogender Thakur.

The investigating officer, ASI Ramkaran, reached the spot and impounded the vehicle. “We are investigating the matter," said the ASI.

Pinjore SHO Naveen Sandhu said he was out of town and would look into the matter.


mc bypoll
Infighting within Congress comes to fore
Tribune News Service

JP candidate from the ward Bindu Rani (second from right) with her supporters
BJP candidate from the ward Bindu Rani (second from right) with her supporters. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, August 28
Infighting within the Congress over the selection of candidate from ward number 7 came to the fore today.

Party candidate Poonam Sharma, who filed the nomination papers, was accompanied by a few senior party leaders, councillors and colony residents.

Senior leaders seemed annoyed with the Union Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal over the selection of the candidate. Neither the Mayor nor the senior women leaders accompanied Poonam.

Party president BB Bhal, too, reached the office of the returning officer late.

Congress senior women leaders, including Kamlesh, Anu Chatrath, Anju Beniwal, councillor Gurbax Rawat and Kashmiri Devi did not show up. Sources said the party leaders were annoyed with the MP as no meeting was held before finalising the candidate from the ward.

Sources said the selected candidate had lost the elections twice from Dhanas and ward number 4.

They added that it would not be a cakewalk for the Congress to win the seat. BB Bhal, while refuting the allegations, said BJP candidate Bindu Rani was also an outsider as she resided in Burail and her in-laws were from Maloya.

On being asked which party she was supporting, Congress supporter Radha, who is a resident of Maloya, said she was from the BSP and was supporting Ram Sumer Morya. The BJP-SAD candidate, Bindu Devi, also filed her papers.

Seven candidates in fray

Seven candidates filed the nomination papers from ward number 7. The by-elections are scheduled for September 15. The candidates include Congress candidate Poonam Sharma, BJP-SAD Bindu Rani, BSP Seema Yadav, Independent candidate Sunita along with three covering candidates Arpana Sharma from the Congress, Lakhwinder Kaur from the BJP and Nirmal Devi from the BSP.



MC removes 200 signboards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, today removed 200 signboards and hoardings under Section 5 of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order 1954 displayed by shopkeepers owners in the market area of Sector 7 and 26, Madhya Marg for violating the provisions of the Advertisement Control Order.

The drive was carried out under the supervision of Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach, assisted by Kashmira Singh, superintendent and other sub-inspectors of the enforcement wing.

During the course of the drive, the team removed signboards. An official said that defaulters had been asked time and again to remove the hoardings and advertisements failing which, the same were removed at the cost of owner and the material used for the said advertisement were confiscated.



Traffic slips issued to six govt vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The UT Traffic Police has initiated action against government vehicles found violating traffic rules while plying on city roads.

The UT Traffic Police has issued traffic violation information slips (TVIS) to six government gypsies that were found violating traffic rules while plying in Chandigarh. The slips have been issued to three UT police gypsies -(CH01-GA-6020, CH01-GI-6029 and CH01-GI-6235).

In addition, official vehicle of the UT DC, number (CH01-GI-9000), vehicle of PAP, Chandigarh, (CH01-G-0811) and the vehicle belonging to the DGP, Intelligence, Punjab, (CH01-G-1782), have also been issued slips. The drivers were found driving without fastening seatbelts.



Land acquisition for Phase II and III of IT Park
Admn accused of favouring real estate companies
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
In a case pertaining to the land acquisition for Phase II and III of Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park, the petitioner's counsel in the Supreme Court today argued that the UT Administration had acquired farmers' land for public purpose, but was utilising the same for favouring real estate companies.

The Supreme Court had already ordered status quo on the land acquisition for Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park till the pendency of the case.

The petitioners had challenged the acquisition of land by the Administration for public purpose, namely for the provision of city level-infrastructure, regulated urban development of the area between Chandigarh and Mani Majra, and planned development and expansion of Chandigarh Technology Park in Mani Majra which is popularly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park.

The petitioners had alleged that the project was being set up without clearance from the ministry of forest and environment even though it was close to the ecologically sensitive lake. As per the petitioners, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed their pleas without considering the relevant material.

The petitioners had also alleged that about 10 per cent of the area was meant for constructing residential premises for IT professionals, but not a single flat had been allotted to them so far.



Anti-rabies vaccines being sold for Rs 350 instead of Rs 100
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Despite the Municipal Corporation’s recent announcement of Rs 250 subsidy on the anti-rabies injection, patients are being forced to purchase the vaccine on the MRP from the market owing to its erratic supply at the Sector-19 dispensary.

In its last house meet, the civic body had announced that instead of paying Rs 350 per injection, the residents would be required to pay Rs 100 per injection. The rest of the cost would be borne by the MC.

Many Councillors had complained that the vaccination of dogbites was not available for the public in the Sector-19 dispensary. VP Singh, MC Commissioner, had then proposed that the corporation would facilitate the availability of vaccines in the dispensary and the department would work out the feasibility of dividing the city into four zones and provide the injections in four dispensaries to lessen the burden on single dispensary.

However, the situation continues to be same after four weeks, with the victims of dogbites paying Rs 350 each for the five injections administered. The total cost of the treatment comes out to be Rs 1,750.

The department of health and MC are busy putting blame on each other. When contacted, Chander Mohan, UT Director (Health Services), said, “The dispensary comes under the purview of the MC. Whenever they write to us for the supply of vaccines, we provide it.”

The MC Commissioner, meanwhile said, “We have been informing the health department about the shortage in the dogbite vaccines since long. We have now set aside Rs 30 lakh budget for the bulk purchase of the vaccines”.

Around 7,000 victims visit the Sector-19 dispensary annually. Apart from the city residents, those from the adjoining areas also come to the dispensary.



AAI, Punjab, Haryana sign pact
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
After awarding Rs 314 crore tender for the construction of an integrated terminal at the new Chandigarh International Airport to Larsen and Turbo, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) today signed an agreement with Punjab and Haryana for forming a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to facilitate construction of the terminal.

While the AAI has 55 per cent share holding, Punjab and Haryana have shareholding of 24.5 per cent, each.

Officials of the Union Aviation Ministry, AAI, secretaries of departments concerned of Punjab and Haryana were present at the meeting held for signing the agreement. The meeting was today held at the Chandigarh Airport.

Sources in the AAI said the new terminal would come up within two-and-a-half year, paving the way for handling of 25 lakh passengers annually.

Covering an area of 40,000-sq metres, the terminal would be equipped to handle 1,100 domestic and 500 international passengers at one point of time.

The terminal would be equipped with three aerobridges in the first stage.



MC website updated

Chandigarh, August 28
The Municipal Corporation has updated their official website today by showing seat of Ward Number 7 as vacant under the directory and email addresses of their webpage whose ward councillor Laxmi Devi died four months ago after she met with an accident.

After the story under the headline “Dead councillor alive on website” appeared in The Tribune today, the authorities swung into action and made these changes on the webpage. In the report it was highlighted that while the candidates were busy filing nomination papers for the byelections in the Ward 7, the official website of the Municipal Corporation still showed late Laxmi Devi as its councillor from Ward Number 7. — TNS



Missing girl found
Was not kidnapped; had lost her way

Chandigarh, August 28
A day after a nine-year-old girl was kidnapped, the Mani Majra police has recovered the girl from Saketri here today. It came to light that the girl was not kidnapped, but had lost her way while playing and then reached Saketri where her family used to stay earlier.

Inspector Yash Pal, SHO, Mani Majra police station, said Chotu Ram, a gardener residing in Saketri, saw the girl crying and brought her home day before yesterday when she had gone missing. There the girl played with the gardener’s children while her parents got worried and suspected that she had been kidnapped.

The gardener is deployed in the IT park and today approached the police and gave the police the whereabouts of the girl whom he had found. The police then identified the girl as Shobha and brought her to her parents today.

Yesterday, the police had booked her neighbours on the complaint of her parents. The police will now move court to cancel the kidnapping case. — TNS



SHO gets notice

Chandigarh, August 28
Unable to curb the rising spate of snatchings in the city, senior police officials have finally swung into action and started pulling up Station House Officers. Inspector Kirpal Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station, has been issued a censure notice by the UT SSP, following an incident of snatching in the jurisdiction of his police station today.

Raj Grower, a resident of Sector 44-C, reported that two unidentified persons on a motorcycle sped away after snatching her gold chain near her residence. — TNS



Drama at Mohali market
Police rounds up teens for consuming narcotics, release later
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 28
High drama was witnessed at the main market of Phase 7 when four youths including two girls, all in their late teens, were rounded up by the police from a showroom-cum-office (SCO) where they were suspected of consuming narcotics today morning.

However, the medical report of these youths did not confirm the charge and the police handed them over to their parents in the evening after lodging a DDR in this connection at the Mataur police station.

Earlier, the police raided the spot following the information that some youths were taking drugs there. On reaching the spot, the police found four youths sitting in the room with a 'hookah', an empty bottle of beer and eatables.

After recovering the hooka and other items, the police took the youngsters to the police station. Meanwhile, several passersby had gathered at the spot.

All the youngsters were said to be students of a private college at Chandigarh and belonging to respectable families.

"It was a herbal hookah which the youngsters brought along at the room. However, we have sent it to a forensic laboratory for further examination. If something objectionable comes up, we will surely initiate legal proceedings in the case," said SSP GS Bhullar.

However, he denied that some hookah bar was being run at the spot.



3 ultrasound machines seized in raid
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 28
Officials of the health department today conducted raids at the residence and office premises of Vinod Dua, an industrialist, and seized three ultra sound machines.

The firms which sells the ultrasound machines crosschecked with the health department where it was found that Dua had purchased it but did not get the registration done. Vinod Dua works as a supplier of ultrasound machines.

According to the department, several notices were sent but the registration was not got done following which they conducted a raid today.

When contacted, Vinod Dua said, "The doctors who purchase the ultrasound machine are required to get registration done, not people like us."



MCM DAV organises lecture on God particle

Chandigarh, August 28
MCM DAV College for Women, in collaboration with the Society for Promotion of Science and Technology in India, organised a lecture on God particle today.

“God Particle is the theoretical particle which is key to understanding the formation of universe and all the matter around us,” said Suman Beri, from the Department of Physics, Punjab University, addressing the gathering.

She also told the students about the simple laws that govern our understanding of the universe.—TNS



PU alumni association to organise play today

Chandigarh, August 28
The Panjab University Alumni Association of the Department of History (Aitihasiki) is organising a recitation of the historical play “Gadhar Express” by Dr Atamjit Singh (a National Sahitya Academy Sangeet Natak Academy Award winner) on August 29 at 11.00 am at ICSSR Complex, Seminar Hall No 1 on the university campus.

The entire faculty and students of Panjab University have been invited in a move to provide everyone a peep into the past. —TNS



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