C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Day after robbery, police announce Rs 50,000 reward
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
A day after the robbery incident in Sector 22 in which a youth, who was on foot, fled with 18 gold chains after firing at a salesman in a jewellery store, a clueless UT police have announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of the robber. The name of the informer will be kept a secret, the police said.

The UT police today stepped up investigations into the case and called a number of bouncers and gym instructors to the police station who were showed the footage.

The police suspect the robber could have been a bouncer if one goes by his built and appearance as seen in the CCTV footage.

The UT police also took some remedial measures after receiving flak over the incident. The police conducted meetings with an association of jewellers and asked them to take adequate security measures such as putting up an alarm system, hiring guards and installing proper CCTV cameras.

SHOs of all police stations held meetings with jewellers in their respective areas and briefed them about the mandatory security arrangements.

Meanwhile, the injured salesman, Paramjit Singh, was operated upon and the bullet was removed from his head. His condition is now stated to be stable.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said they were investigating all angles and were hopeful of getting a lead soon.

An unidentified robber on foot had fled with three trays containing 18 gold chains after firing at a salesman at KRJ Karan Jewellers in Sector 22 at 11.20 am yesterday.

Jewellers' deputation meets UT SSP

A deputation led by Subhash Kataria, chairman of the Chandigarh Jewellers Association, met the SSP, Chandigarh, and apprised him of the deteriorating law and order situation in the city. They requested him to step up security for the jewellers in the city.

Jewellers demand security

During a meeting held with the police, the Sector 22 Market Jewellers Association demanded a beat box and 24-hour PCR van movement in the market area. The owners of nearly 30 jewellery shops requested DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor to deploy policemen in civil dress to keep a vigil on the visitors. They demanded that the entire parking area be turned one-way to keep better track of each vehicle entering and leaving the market.

The association decided to improve security by replacing the existing 20 CCTV cameras with high-resolution night vision cameras, increasing the number of armed security guards from the current 15 to 30 and that of the watchmen on night duty from the existing four to eight.



PFA raid creates a flutter at Vivek High School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Panic gripped students and teachers at Vivek High School, Mohali, this afternoon when three "armed men" suddenly barged into the school premises at around 1.45 pm with an agenda of raiding the biology lab.

The incident, that later turned out to be a raid by representatives of the People For Animals (PFA), left the students (including tiny tots) and parents “highly” traumatised as they perceived it to be an attack.

While PFA officials claimed that they raided the school under “provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and found specimens of animals banned for educational purposes in the school”, the school took exception to the move, saying it led to harassment of staff and students.

“It appeared no less than an attack by some outfit. It was the time for our kindergarten students to leave the shool and parents were entering the school to pick up their children. Suddenly a car stopped in the middle of the school gate, blocking the entry and exit points, and five men, two of them carrying sten guns and accompanied by a constable, entered the premises,” said Director of the school HS Mamik.

“Panic gripped the entire school premises and without even informing the Principal, the men entered the biology lab. Though we have a doubt over the locus standi of the PFA in raiding a reputed institute like this one, even if they felt that there was some apathy on our part, this is no way of implementing laws. They could have made a pleasant visit,” Mamik said.

The PFA raiding officer, Saurabh Gupta, on the other hand, said 17 specimens of animals banned under Schedule I (stark fish) and Schedule IV (lizards and turtles) of the Wildlife Protection Act were seized from the laboratory and they had sought permission from the Mataur police. SP, City, Mohali, Swarandeep said the police were going through the complaint before registering any case.

“We are looking into the legal angle since at the moment we are not aware of it. The specimens were nearly eight years old. We will look into the legal position and explore our options,” Mamik said.

Meanwhile, three years ago, a similar raid was conducted at Sacred Heart School, Sector 26.

Schools in Chandigarh violating law: Maneka Gandhi

Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, who runs the NGO, PFA, said, “The law has been reinforced and several circulars have been sent even by the CBSE to schools across the country to surrender banned animals. However, several schools in Chandigarh have been violating the law.”



Major relief for power consumers
JERC rejects Chandigarh Electricity Department's petition to levy FPPCA charges
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Providing a major relief to power consumers, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has rejected a review petition of the Chandigarh Electricity Department to levy fuel and power purchase cost adjustment (FPPCA) charges.

With the JERC order, now consumers will not have to pay the FPPCA charges. Earlier, the department was levying the FPPCA charges after every three months, calculated on the basis of the usage of a consumer’s electricity units.

Rejecting the review petition of the UT, the JERC said, “The commission would like to add that variations in the power purchase cost are already allowed as per the applicable provisions of FPPCA regulations. The actual power purchase cost will be trued up in the subsequent orders (subject to availability of audited accounts prepared on the principles of commercial accounting). The commission thus finds no merit in the petitioner’s submission and the issue is decided accordingly."

The Electricity Department had demanded that it should be allowed to levy FPPCA charges on account of non-refund of full expenditure incurred by it on the purchase of power from the power exchange.

The department had also demanded and increase in the average cost of supply from Rs 4.61 per unit to Rs 5.33 per unit, keeping in view the actual cost of power purchase, but the JERC also rejected this demand.

UT Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said according to the JERC order, they would not include the FPPCA charges in the electricity bills.

Sources said the FPPCA charges, which were included in the electricity bills issued in this financial year (2014-15), would be adjusted in the next electricity bills.

What are FPPCA charges

A senior official of the UT Administration said the UT Electricity Department purchased fuel and power from various sources to meet the ever-increasing demand in the city. Sometimes, the Administration had to pay more than the estimated budget for the purchase of power to meet the demand. To cover the cost variations in order to purchase fuel and power, the JERC had earlier authorised the department to levy the FPPCA charges. However, now they had turned down the demand of the UT, he said.

He said the FPPCA charges were the amount the utilities levied on bills based on the varying price of fuel or coal.

The price of coal or fuel changes every month and thus the cost of producing electricity changes accordingly. Electricity generation companies pass on this cost to distribution companies, who further pass it on to the consumers.

How much do consumers stand to benefit

As the FPPCA charges vary each month, the department calculates these on a quarterly basis. On an average, the UT charges between Rs 0.15 and Rs 0.50 per unit. If a consumer’s power consumption is around 500 units per month and the UT fixes Rs 0.50 as the FPPCA charges, the consumer has to pay Rs 250 extra every month. Now, the consumer will not have to pay these extra charges. 


building violations
No pick-and-choose policy, UT tells Estate Office staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Already under fire for harassing property owners on account of delay in approving building plans, the Chandigarh Administration has now directed the Estate Office to bring more transparency while reporting building violations across the city.

The field staff has been asked to avoid pick-and-chose policy while reporting violations.

Acting on complaints, Sarvjit Singh, UT's Chief Administrator (CA), has stated that the practice of misuse of authority by the field staff was resulting in resentment among residents.

To ensure accountability, the CA has directed the field staff to inspect all properties of a particular type when they go to inspect any violation in a particular area. In the
past it had been seen that the field staff acted on their whims and fancy while reporting or ignoring violations.

The CA said after every inspection, the field staff would submit a report to the Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) certifying that all the properties in a particular area had been checked and list out properties found complying with the rules and another list of the properties with violations.

The schedule of the inspections to be carried out will have to be conveyed to the AEO at the beginning of the month. The staff will not pick and chose areas to be inspected on its own. In case of complaints, the field staff will include the same in the upcoming month's schedule of inspections. There will be exception to cases where violation need to be checked immediately on account of  public safety.

Instructions to bring in transparency

*n Due notice to be given before any coercive action

* While inspecting, the focus should be on major violations

* Speaking orders shall be passed by the EO or the AEO in each case 



Cong councillors meet UT Adviser
Seek action against BJP leaders for holding Teej function without paying ground rent, stealing power
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
A delegation of Congress councillors today met the UT Adviser seeking action against BJP councillors for holding the Teej function at Sector 38 West allegedly without paying the ground rent and stealing power through a kundi connection.

The Congress councillors, including Subhash Chawla, Pardeep Chhabra, Darshan Garg, Sheela Devi and Gurbax Rawat, today met KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator, demanding registration of a case against the BJP leaders of electricity theft (kundi connection) during the Teej function held on July 31.

The Congress councillors, in their representation, alleged that the function was organised by senior leaders of the BJP in blatant violation of the rules and regulations of the competent authorities, including the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation.

The representation further mentioned that to organise the programme, the electricity connection was taken from the adjoining main electrical feeder of the Electricity Department by using a kundi connection. A complaint was also made regarding this by some residents of the locality on the same day. However, Electricity Department officials, on reaching the spot, spared these offenders by levying a fine of Rs 15,000. They did not make a complaint of power theft to the police.

The Congress councillors said BJP leaders did not book any ground to organise the function. They also did not obtain permission from the District Magistrate, Chandigarh, to use loudspeakers.

BJP councillor and leader of opposition Arun Sood, while refuting the allegations, said the residents of the area organised the function. He, along with other BJP leaders, was invited to the function.

“If I am invited to some function, I won’t go and check whether the organisers have taken permission and from where they have taken the electricity supply for the function,” he said.



Family members pledge their bodies

Chandigarh, August 5
For Kamal Sharma (52), a businessman, convincing his family for giving consent for body donation rather came as a pleasant surprise. While fearing resistance from the younger generation in the family, which differs with the older generation in most of the decisions, and his wife, who believes in social stigma, he asked them to give consent as he decided to pledge his body for donation.

“I was surprised to see my wife’s reaction. She said she also wanted to pledge to donate her body. We both feared a lot of resistance from our children. But, I feel that the younger generation understands the importance of social service much better than us. My daughter said she wanted to seek my consent for pledging to donate her body,” Gupta said.

Upon sharing the idea with his son, Gupta found his son also keen to join them. The family of four - Anita Gupta (48, wife), Kritika (22, student) and Yatin (24, advocate) - visited the PGI’s Department of Anatomy and pledged to donate their bodies.

Body donated

The Department of Anatomy, PGI, received the body of Romesh Chandra Jani, 80, a resident of Mohali, a union leader and a poet. He is survived by 2 sons, 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren. — TNS



PGIMER to start ‘living organ donor transplant programme’
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Amid shortage of organ donors, despite finding high number of brain-dead patients, the PGIMER has proposed to start living organ donor transplant programme this year. Lives of patients needing liver, kidney, lung, intestine or pancreas transplant would be saved with the facility of living donor transplant.

“We are going to start the programme within a few months,” said Dr RK Dhiman, professor, Department of Hepatology, PGIMER.

“To be a living donor, a person must be free from long-term diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure, mental health problems and aged between 18 and 60,” said Dr Ajay Duseja, associate professor, Hepatology Department. “Living donors can donate a kidney, a lobe (part) of a lung, half of a liver (it will grow back to normal size in both the donor’s and in the recipient’s body over time), a section of intestine or a part of pancreas. There are laws governing acceptability of a living donor in our country, experts said”.

Poster-making contest today

The PGI has received entries from nearly 1,000 persons, including those living in the US and southern states, for a poster-making competition.

Who can donate an organ

A brain-dead patient is a potential donor for organs. Donating organs after the brain death to the needy is equal to ‘donating a life’ to a person dying of organ failure.

How can you be an organ donor

If you are 18 years or older, you may become a donor by signing donor card in the presence of two witnesses and carry it with you all the time. If you are under 18, you may become a donor if your parents or legal guardian give consent.



INLD fails to strike a chord with students
MP Dushyant Chautala focuses on Haryana Assembly poll rather than issues related to varsity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The leaders of the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) wing of Panjab University (PU), and local colleges were left disappointed when Dushyant Chautala, grandson of INLD stalwart OP Chautala, preferred to speak about the forthcoming Haryana Assembly elections rather than the university student council elections.

The junior Chautala, Member of Parliament (MP) from Hisar, was at PU for the 12th foundation day of INSO today.

During the three-hour event, which saw 15 speakers address the gathering, scores of INSO workers shared the party manifesto released for the recent Vidhan Sabha elections in Haryana.|

Referring to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the INLD leaders shared their views about how to strengthen the INSO in other states to become a national party.

During the 25-minute speech of junior Chautala, the students were keen to know about the young leader’s vision for the party in PU. However, to their surprise, the MP discussed the INSO’s vision for Haryana and its priorities there.

Digvijay Chautala, National President of INSO, urged the students to make sincere efforts to win all student seats in the PU elections this year.

Even during the course of his 20-minute speech, Digvijay did not share plans which the party had for the students of Panjab University.

Rather, he spoke about the the INSO’s vision for women empowerment and job opportunities for youth in Haryana.


* PU security staff had a tough time in managing traffic on the campus due to a large number of vehicles.

* INSO activists faced difficulty in meeting their youth icons as only party leaders were allowed to go on stage

* Boys were asked to vacate seats for girls who had turned up for the programme.

Cold shoulders’ student issues

The INSO panel, which works for the party on the campus, did not mention what issues it would fight for while contesting the PU student council poll.

Waiting for Dosanjh, students hoot

The cultural programme of Punjabi singer Daljeet Dosanjh was delayed by four hours as the event commenced late. Eager to hear the singer, the students started hooting in their bid to wind up the speech of MP Dushyant Chautala.



INSO-SOI alliance on the cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
On the day the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), entered into an alliance with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), for the Vidhan Sabha elections, their respective student parties at Panjab University also united for the forthcoming student council elections.

However, no formal announcement regarding the alliance for the student council elections was made by any leader during the event.

During the 12th foundation day of the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) — the student wing of the INLD — celebrated on the campus today, all major leaders of the Student Organisation of India (SOI) — student wing of the SAD —shared the stage with them.

Prominent leaders of the SOI also addressed the INSO workers and said, “We have learnt from the INSO to give representation to girls in the student elections.”

Besides this, five student leaders of the Hindustan Students Association (HSA) also joined the INSO today.

Leaders share stage

During the 12th foundation day of the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO), the student wing of the INLD, all major leaders of the Student Organisation of India (SOI), student wing of the SAD, shared the stage with them.



Crores sanctioned, P’kula roads still in bad shape
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
It has been over one year since the Municipal Corporation was formed, but still potholed roads greet commuters in Panchkula. A total of Rs 60 crore was sanctioned for development, but it seems to go down the drain.

Councillors alleged that they have been sanctioned money but their files are not being passed. In March, Rs 3 crore was sanctioned to all 20 councillors.

Ravi Kant Swami, a councillor, said: “Roads in my ward are in a pathetic condition. Every day there are cases of some or the other commuter falling near the Amartex chowk. Though the files are not being passed, I am answerable to the public.”

He added “Whenever the authorities are approached over the matter, we get a reply that we are short of funds. Then why was the amount sanctioned.”

Two contractors had also come to the office of the Municipal Corporation seeking their payments of civil works that has been pending since two months.

“My payment amounting to Rs 55 lakh is pending. I have been shuttling from one office to another as they are sitting on the file. This is the reason why contractors are always unwilling to take the work,” said a contractor on condition of anonymity.

“Our councillors are not taking the issue seriously. The roads are in a bad shape. It has been a year, I haven’t come across any re-carpeting work in the Mansa Devi Complex area,” said Vishnu Sharma, a resident of the MDC, Sector 5, here.He added: “Several times, my daughter has fallen on a potholed road.”

Deputy Mayor Sunil Talwar said: “In fact the files have to pass through various levels and till the time the process is completed, either it is rainy season or winters or extreme summers due to which the the re-carpeting work not being carried.”

Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia said: “We have sufficient funds. Recently, we got the approval of Rs 37 crore for the re-carpeting of roads. In fact we want that the work may delay by a few days but it should be of quality. Recently we had pointed out various quality issues in the road.”

Entire city faces problem

Roads are in a bad shape in all wards. The worst hit are the MDC area, Amartex chowk in Sector 19 and Industrial area in Sector 16, Budanpur, Majri Chowk. The entire city is suffering from the problem.

No development in district

As Rs 3 crore was sanctioned to each councillor, a total of Rs 60 crore was to be spent on the development of the district, but to no avail. The condition is same as it was before the MC was formed.



Role of social media discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Public Relations Society of India, Chandigarh Chapter, organised a seminar on “Role of social media in the present and future scenario” at Sector 27 here on Sunday.

Former Member of Parliament (MP) and BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, Vivek Atray, IAS, and Dr Neeraj Kaushik were among the eminent speakers.

Jain spoke on the uses of social media while quoting the example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi using social media for his election campaign in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Vivek Atray, author of “Dubey Ji Bounces Back”, said: “Social media has changed the way how humans interact in the modern day.”

Neeraj Kaushik, associate professor from the NIT, Kurukshetra, gave a powerpoint presentation on social media sites.Other speakers also presented their point of view.



Finally, MC to hold Teej function on August 9 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Ending the controversy over Teej celebrations, the Municipal Corporation (MC) is finally going to hold the function on August 9.

It has been decided that no politician will be the chief guest of the function and the MC has also decided to drop the idea of gifting Phulkari and sweets to councillors for which a provision of Rs one-lakh was made in the Budget.

The Teej celebrations which was scheduled to be held at the Shivalik Garden on August 3, was postponed following a controversy between the Congress and BJP councillors over finalising the name of the chief guest for the function. The BJP councillors wanted local MP Kirron Kher to be the chief guest whereas Mayor HC Kalyan was not willing to invite Kher.

Sources said that Kalyan had put up a note with the Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh that the function would be organised on August 9. “It has also been decided that the MC would be spending less on the function”, the sources stated. Area Councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala said they had decided that a woman who is a senior citizen would be the chief guest of the function. “Various singers would be enthralling the crowd during the celebrations” Kala said.

Was to be held on Aug 3

The Teej celebrations which was scheduled to be held at the Shivalik Garden on August 3, was postponed following a controversy between the Congress and BJP councillors 



e-seva centre inaugurated

Panchkula, August 5
To facilitate residents in the Surajpur area, a common service centre - E-seva centre - was inaugurated by Panchkula Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia here today.

The centre has been formed in a room in the school, as per the administration. It would issue birth, death certificates and provide information on other queries.With the opening of the centre, the village residents dont need to visit the DC office to get their works done. — TNS



SD College students end hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The students of SD College ended their hunger strike today after a meeting with the college principal wherein all issues pertaining to the hostel inmates were resolved.

The students went on a strike on Monday to protest the lack of medical facility in hostels and behaviour of the girls’ hostel warden.

In the meeting, principal Bhushan K Sharma proposed that a hostel committee would be constituted through elections or on the preference of students.

The committee will report to the chief warden or principal every week and point-out the problems.

The principal also appointed a woman teacher to look into problems regarding hostel issues or the warden.

The students were assured that they would not face any harassment or inconvenience from the warden or any hostel authority.

As per the prospectus, the inmates are allowed to go out on alternatives days from 2pm to 5 pm, while a 10am to 5pm outing is allowed on Sunday and on all gazetted holidays.

But from now onwards, the inmates can avail home pass, local guardian pass, or an urgent pass for any work.

Coaching passes will also be issued and a medical facility has also been assured by the principal.

* The students went on a strike on Monday to protest the lack of medical facility in hostels and behaviour of the girls’ hostel warden.

* Principal Bhushan K Sharma proposed that a hostel committee would be constituted through elections or on the preference of students.

* Inmates can avail home pass, local guardian pass, or an urgent pass for any work. Coaching passes will also be issued and a medical facility has also been assured by the principal.



Reopen canteen in botany dept: PUSU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) today staged a protest in the Botany Department to reopen the canteen in the department which has been lying closed from the last few years.

Addressing the agitating students, PUSU President Sahejpal Singh Sidhu, said, “As the canteen at the botany department is shut for a long time, students have to visit other canteens to buy eatables.”

A memorandum duly signed by the students was submitted to the department chairperson Amrik Singh Ahluwalia and PU’s Chief Security Officer Jatinder Grover.

The department chairperson assured the students that their problem would be solved within a week.



CCET employees stage protest 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The employees of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), today staged a gate rally regarding the non-fulfillment of their demands.

A delegation of the union met the UT Adviser KK Sharma but the meeting did not yield any result as the Chandigarh Administration has failed to form any committee for the solution of 100 per cent contractual teaching, non-teaching and outsourcing staff.

The staff of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology have sought a comprehensive policy for 100 per cent contractual teaching, non-teaching and outsourcing staff. 



PU & college notes

MCM Rotaract Club

The installation ceremony of the MCM Rotaract Club was conducted at MCM DAV College for Women here today. The ceremony to induct the new board members commenced with the introduction of the ideology of the club by the newly-elected general secretary Seerat Brar. Rotarian Paramjit Singh, President of the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, was the chief guest and lauded the achievements of the club.

MEd admissions

In the MEd admissions (regular) through centralised counselling from Panjab University (PU), the last date for pointing discrepancies has been extended up to August 8, 2014. The discrepancy can emailed at medadmissions@pu.ac.in or in person or by post to at the address the coordinator, MEd admissions (regular) 2014, Department of Education.

Experts deliver lectures at PEC

A lecture by Prof PB Sharma, founder Vice-Chancellor of Delhi Technical University and current Vice-Chancellor, Amity University, Gurgaon, was held on the second day of the orientation programme at the Punjab Engineering College University of Technology. The lecture was based on the importance of integrating various fields of engineering. This was followed by a question round which allowed the Ist-year students to interact with Prof Sharma. The lecture was followed by an alumni interaction via Skype with Ravi Chandra Kysaram, currently studying at the Harvard Business School (2015 batch). Following this, Ajay Kadyan, IFS, shared his views with students on several issues. The event concluded with a music club presenting some power-packed performances. —TNS



From schools

Parenting skills

Chandigarh: The Tribune Model School is holding a programme on life skills, counselling, guidance and positive parenting skills under the expert guidance of Maya Gaitonde, Secretary, Bala Mandir Research Foundation, Chennai, who is known in the field of education as a pioneer for her programmes regarding holistic child development.

Declamation competition

The Sanskrit Academy organised a declamation and writing competition at DAV Model School, Sector 7-B.

Sisters-duo shines

Nishita and Nishtha, both sisters and students of Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, bagged medals in different categories at the Chandigarh State Winning Championship-2014 held at Panjab University swimming pool.


The students of GN Holy Heart School, Mauli Jagran Road, celebrated Vanamahotsava on the school premises.

Extempore competition

An inter-house extempore competition was held at RIMT World School for students of Classes VI-VII.

Essay-writing contest

Anjali Negi, student of Class VIII at Saint Soldier International School in Sector 28, won the first prize in an inter-school essay writing competition on ‘Sada Punjab’. The event was organised by Guru Nanak Khalsa Sr Sec School, Sector 30. She was honoured with a prize and a merit certificate. Anjali and Sejal, students of Class VIII), Reetinder of Class IX and Deepak Vashisht of Class X represented the school in the junior and senior categories.

Print culture activity

The students of Class X of Banyan Tree School took part in print culture. The students were divided into four groups to experience the making of a handwritten manuscript.

Vanmahotsava celebrated

Panchkula: Vanmahotsava was celebrated at Mount Litera Zee School. Vivek Atray, Director General of Secondary Education, Haryana, inaugurated the celebrations. He also planted a tree on the school campus. — TNS



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