Jamshedpur, Oct 16: The district administration has launched a drive to ensure prohibition of sale of tobacco products in public places. The drive was carried at Sakchi and Bistupur and several sellers were fined.
Makeshift shops selling tobacco products like cigarettes, beedi, gutkha, paan, khaini, among others were found near the majority of private cradles at Sakchi, Bistupur, Kadma, Sonari, Golmuri, and Agrico.
The Jharkhand government has imposed a ban on consumption of tobacco products in public places and made public spitting an offence under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
The offence is punishable under section 188 IPC (disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant) that attracts imprisonment of six months or fine of Rs 1,000.
Meanwhile, district administration has also lined up for harsher penalties after a few days of educating the masses against ills of consumption of tobacco products.
“We are acting tough against the violators. Raiding teams have been formed at the sub-division and block level. In addition, Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee, Mango Notified Area Committee and Jugsalai municipality have also been asked to raid those shops and locations where tobacco products are being sold without placing hoardings informing the public about harmful effects of tobacco and the penal provision. The raids will commence from next month,” said an official.
Posters have also been installed by the district administration at district collectorate and SDO court declaring it as a ‘no-smoking zone’ and warning with pictorial posters about harmful effects such as oral cancer due to consumption of tobacco products.
Schools and colleges, hospitals, restaurants, cinemas and administrative offices are on the list of public places and posters would also be placed near such public places. Section 5 of COTPA prohibits all forms of tobacco ads and any such hoarding will be pulled down by the teams with help from local urban bodies.
On the other hand, openly defying the law, the tobacco shops are doing brisk business within 100 yards of educational and medical institutions. Youths are often found smoking in the nearby shops. “Everyone wants to make profit with their business and we get the maximum number of customers at this place. When the State administration is not concerned about the issue why should we?” said Madan, a shop owner next to Loyola School.
Meanwhile, Rahul Kumar a student said: “ Being a college student I know why students consume these things. Even if a person does not want to have pan-masala, his friend forces him to have it. They are not aware that a packet of Rs 10 will make them pay dearly one day”.