Ganderbal Police Fines 23 smokers, Rs 3000 compounded
Srinagar – District Police Ganderbal launched an anti tobacco drive under the stewardship of Sr. Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ganderbal Mr. Shahid Mehraj and Dy. SP, Mr. Fyroz Ahmed alongwith SHO Ganderbal, Inspector Liyaqat Khan. The team inspected various public places in the town and challaned 23 persons for smoking in public. A fine of Rs. 3000 was recovered from the offenders. The details of offence will be incorporated in the monthly crime reporting form of Police Station. This action follows a sustained campaign launched by J&K Voluntary Health Association, a Non-Governmental Organisation for imposing a complete ban on smoking at all public places in the State. Executive Director J&K VHA, Mr. A.M.Mir (IAS Retd) has complimented the Police Officers for initiating the action.
Meanwhile, Food Safety Officer Srinagar, Mr. Shabir Ahmed Lone issued notice under Section-4 of COTPA to the owners of Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) and Akbar Hotel and Restaurant, Durga Nag, Srinagar for not restricting their customers from smoking in their restaurant. Customers had complained that the restaurant owner was allegedly encouraging smoking in her restaurant, thereby causing inconvenience to non-smokers. Under Section 4 of COTPA smoking is prohibited in all public places, including restaurants. In case of complaint is lodged, the restaurant owner is liable to pay fine of Rs. 200 for every person caught smoking in the restaurant. However, the Act also provides that hotels with capacity of 30 rooms or more and restaurants with 30 seating capacity or more and Airports may create a separate smoking area or space. The smoking area is required to be located away from the non-smokers space and should be properly ventilated. The action taken by Food Safety Officer has been highly appreciated by the non-smokers and people have urged administration to take similar action in all public places, especially restaurants of the State.
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