Jamshedpur, July 12: District administration has lined up for harsher penalties for violators of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003.
�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 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. Under Section 4 of the COTPA smoking is prohibited in all public places. Violations will invite a fine up to Rs 200. Public places will have mandatory no-smoking signs in prescribed size and format.
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.
Despite Jharkhand government banning sale of tobacco products near educational institutions (within a radius of 100 yards or 91 metres) there are over a dozen such spots in city where the directive was being clearly violated.
Concerned over the situation the administration conducted raids. A team led by additional district magistrate (law and order), Subodh Kumar, launched a drive against violators of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 across the city.
A fine of Rs 200 each was imposed on several hotels and restaurants for not installing �No Smoking� sign boards. Shopkeepers selling tobacco products were also fined, while four hotel managers and seven persons found smoking in public.
The anti-tobacco flying squad comprised of the district civil surgeon Dr S K Jha, and the officer in-charge of local police stations.
Makeshift shops selling tobacco products like cigarette, beedi, gutkha, paan, khaini, among others were found near majority of private cradles at Sakchi, Bistupur, Kadma, Sonari, Golmuri, and Agrico.
It is a clear violation of Section 6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA).
Incidentally, as per Section 6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within a 100-yard radius of educational institutions is illegal.