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Amritsar

Posted at: Feb 21, 2017, 1:46 AM; last updated: Feb 21, 2017, 1:46 AM (IST)

Smoke-free city status, a far off dream

Smoke-free city status, a far off dream
A view of a cigarette vend in Amritsar. photo: sunil kumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 20

While the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products is banned in the 100-metre periphery of educational institutes along with smoking at public places, in the absence of any check, this is being done openly.

The large number of cigarette vends can be seen in the periphery of many schools and colleges. At some places, children can be seen running these shops. Residents have been demanding that the ‘smoke-free city’ status should be implemented with sincerity, as the city is considered a holy city.

The smoke-free status accorded to the city around four years ago too has not helped in creating awareness among the general public and people can still be seen smoking at public places.

Further, as none of the government departments except the health and the traffic police has ever shown any enthusiasm in issuing challans to violators, the desired implementation has not been done.

After according the smoke-free status, the administration had issued challan books to all government departments to issue challans to violators of ban on smoking at public places. However, as the money thus collected is required to be deposited with the Treasury Department, none of the departments is in a mood to take on the new job.

A Health Department official said, “Smoking at public places can be checked only if the residents are aware and every government department takes the responsibility. Considering health officials responsible for it is not justified as we do not have sufficient manpower.”

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