September 21, 2020

Govt to crack fine whip on smokers

Patna: The district administration has decided to launch the anti-smoking drive in the city after August 15. A similar drive had been launched two years ago but with passage of time it had fizzled out.

Patna district magistrate (DM) Kumar Ravi said smoking at public places is an offence and penalty will be imposed on violators once the administration gets over with the Independence day programme.

Ravi told The Telegraph: “A few days ago, I had convened a high-level meeting in this regard and we want to ensure that cigarette smoking at public places must be stopped. We are committed to providing a clean atmosphere to the people of the Patna and for that anti-smoking drive must be carried out after August 15.”

Earlier, the district administration had formed flying squad teams, which used to raid betel and cigarette shops across the city. The flying team used to comprise food safety officer, police jawan and physiologist as well for counselling.

Ravi stressed that the district administration had done the basis preparation for the drive and will take every possible steps to implement it.

“Smoking at public places is very harmful owing to which non-smokers are greatly inconvenienced. It also has bad influence on youngsters, who get encouraged to smoke. We also target small betel shops selling cigarettes illegally on pavements,” Ravi said.

Smoking at public places drew a penalty of Rs 100 earlier, which is quite less. The district administration had planned to raise the fine but that did not happen.

“We are afraid of asking people not to smoke in public areas because they get physical. It is the duty of the administration to put checks on such activities but it seems it’s fast a sleep,” said Ravi Singh, a resident of Exhibition Road.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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