The ban on smoking in public that was implemented on October 2, 2008, may not have completely curbed the habit in Haryana, but the authorities this year were far more alert in taking action against violators compared to the year before.
As per information revealed by an RTI, fines collected by penalising offenders across the state this year was three times more than the amount collected last year.
The total fine collected this year till October 2015 was Rs 1,33,763 as compared to Rs 55,104 collected in 2014.
Though the number of people fined for smoking in public increased three times, the number of vendors who were challaned remained less.
The number of public places inspected by authorities in 2015 were 1,046. A total of 328 public service vehicles were checked and 2,180 persons were challaned in public places, whereas only 266 vendors were fined.
The assistant state information officer of the health directorate department, Panchkula, further revealed that directions have been passed to all heads of departments to curb public smoking in offices and public service vehicles.
RTI activist JP Walia, who had filed the application with the health department, said he had sought information because the ban has not been very effective. “The authorities need to be serious in implementing the ban as smoking has a very debilitating impact on health,” Walia said.