Jamshedpur, Sep 20: The district administration has intensified its drive against illegal sale of gutkha and tobacco products in the city. In a recent drive, kiosks selling products at the Circuit House area were raided and stocks were seized. The shop owners selling products were also fined by a team of Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee ( JNAC). Despite a ban on sale, manufacture, display and stocking of gutkha, cases of shops selling the product are being reported regularly.
The administration has also asked civic bodies to comply with the ban for use and sale of banned pan masala in urban and rural areas of the district.
Meanwhile, the district administration has also lined up for harsher penalties after a few days of educating the masses against ills of consumption of tobacco products.
Makeshift shops selling tobacco products (cigarette, beedi, gutkha, paan, khaini, among others) are found near majority of kiosks at Sakchi, Bistupur, Kadma, Sonari, Golmuri, Agrico, Burmamines and Telco.
Moreover, the proposed COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) Amendment Bill, 2020, also seeks to disallow retail sale of loose sticks of cigarettes, prohibits sale of tobacco products to persons below 21 years, put controls on in-shop advertising and promotion, among others.
“We have also warned the shopkeepers selling such products. There is a strong need to regulate the unorganised tobacco trade. We also need enabling laws and not punitive and aggressive legislations that can cause mental agony and depression, said an official.
Despite the 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 the city where the directive was being clearly violated.
“ We are acting tough against the violators. Raiding teams have been formed at the subdivision 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.