Delhi’s restaurants have been allowed to serve flavoured and herbal hookahs, but with certain conditions.
For instance, the bar owners will have to give an undertaking that they will not serve tobacco. Hookahs will be permitted only if the flavour to be used has been tested by the Central Tobacco Research Institute, Rajahmundry or the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, Delhi and does not contain any tar or nicotine.
Also, hookah cannot be served to persons below the age of 18.
The civic authorities had last year deemed hookah bars as illegal and had promised to form a policy for them separately. But on May 9, the Delhi police’s licensing branch issued an order to all the restaurant owners in the city, allowing them to serve flavoured hookah if they meet the conditions.
“An undertaking in the form of affidavit must be given by every licensee of restaurant/eating houses who wish to serve these herbal/flavoured hookahs,” reads the order.
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) had earlier asked Delhi Police to clear the confusion over serving hookahs at eating joints.
The latest order has been forwarded to all the districts.
According to sources, the civic agency is miffed with the Delhi Police’s decision.
It said such permissions should be granted only by the corporation as it is a health-related issue.
In Gurgaon, there is a ban on serving any kind of hookah.