Smokers, beware. Delhi police have launched a crackdown on smoking in public places and has over the last four days booked 6,941 people in south Delhi for lighting up in public
New Delhi, 10.01.18: Smokers, beware. Delhi police have launched a crackdown on smoking in public places and has over the last four days booked 6,941 people in south Delhi for lighting up in public.
Police teams are keeping a watch at markets, Metro stations and bus stops, where the maximum violations are detected. Women constituted about 30% of violators. The police drive against smoking in public is strongest between 6pm and 9pm when the most number of people are found to be violating norms.
Police officers say 95% of the challans were issued against smokers and 5% against sellers vending tobacco products near educational institutions. “We have also been educating people about the hazards of smoking while challaning them. In one instance we challaned a person three times,” said DCP (south-east) Chinmoy Biswal.
Police officers said that more challans had been issued for drinking publicly and that people were challaned for smoking only when caught red-handed. Rules governing the sale of tobacco products are enforced strictly outside hospitals and policemen have been deployed outside schools to enforce the ban on sale of tobacco within 100 metres of the establishment. “We have been issuing challans under Sections 4 and 6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). Apart from challaning people, we also felt the need to sensitise them about the discomfort caused to others while they are smoking in public.
Such drives will continue in future, till the time we see a perceptible change,” said DCP (south) Romil Baaniya. Apart from the police, a team from the tobacco control cell has been deployed to a keep a check on the sale of tobacoo to minors. Police officers say issuing a direct challan under COTPA has proven effective. Earlier, challans were issued under proceedings of kalandra where an officer would issue a challan that would be payable in the presence of a magistrate. Police sources said that system had proved less effective as violators did not provide I-cards or turn up to pay the fine.