Mangaluru: Smoking in public places has been banned by the Union government for many years for now. The law seems to be seen more in breach than observance.
But its implementation appears to be a big headache for the government. Different departments may try to pass the buck, while the government itself is not sure where to pinpoint and place the responsibility. No one is sure as to which is the right agency to keep track – whether the MCC health department, government health department or the police.
A meeting was held in the DC’s office regarding the tobacco control measures. He has issued instructions to have the display boards in front of shops which advertised tobacco products like bidis and cigarettes dismantled.
He has also instructed the health officials to monitor public places like railway station, bus-stands and shops, hospital environs and also conduct raids at these places at least once in 15 days.
It was informed that under the jurisdiction of the supeintendent of police, 274 cases had been registered and 977 cases within the commissionerate, with levying of Rs 40,600 and Rs 1,16,395 as fines under the anti-tobacco laws. The tobacco control cell has filed 14 cases and collected Rs 2,330 in fines.
Many citizens are cynical about the effect of this order. Many of the MCC personnel themselves and also many policemen are regular smokers, according to them. And the chain-smokers keep smoking to glory, with least care and regard for the healh of others.
Readers write: Readers have repeatedly complained about the smoking menace in the vicinity of KSRTC bus stand, Kankanady market, central market, Colaco hospital surroundings and old bus stand in Hampankatta.
Passersby, pedestrians and college students have said that it is very difficult to pass in front of Colaco hospital without holding one’s nose. Minister U T Khader has to pay special attention to this matter, they have said.