By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The East Khasi Hills district administration is determined to enforce the tobacco control in the district in a big way starting with regular checking in all the public places including public conveyances such as Taxi, Sumo, buses, etc and impose fine of Rs 200 to offenders relating to smoking in public places and sale of tobacco products to minor.
This decision was taken at a meeting held in connection with the National Tobacco Control Programme and Enforcement of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) under the chairmanship of EKH Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal at his office on Wednesday.
The meeting, which was attended by officers from various District offices, representatives from NEHU, colleges, Taxi Drivers Association and cinema operators in Shillong, discussed at length on the notification from the Ministry of Health and family Welfare, Government of India issued on May 30, 2008.
The notification prohibits smoking in public places or any place to which the public have access, whether as of right or not, and includes, Hotels, Restaurants, coffee houses, pubs, bars, airport lounges, auditorium, hospitals, stadium, public offices, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, public conveyances, railway station, bus stop/stand and other such places visited by the general public.
Further, the cigarettes and other tobacco products Act-2003 (COTPA) was also discussed concerning sections prohibiting sale of tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution.
To ensure proper enforcement of the Act, the district administration have urged the the public to cooperate with the district authorities by reporting to the number 100 of the police, 2222277 (police control), 2223451 (Sadar traffic) if they found any taxi’s driver including sumo and buses are smoking while conveying passengers or in public places.