Hookah ban: Patrons fume but residents loving it | india | Hindustan Times
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Hookah ban: Patrons fume but residents loving it

india Updated: Dec 05, 2011 01:16 IST
Leena Dhankhar

The recent ban on hookahs in the city has been a party pooper for most youngsters, but locals see it as an end to the nuisance created by tipsy youth.

Mocha in DLF phase 4, which used to teem with hookah patrons, is now a quiet coffee shop. The always-full parking lot, which gave sleepless nights to nearby residents, now wears a deserted look. Mahesh Arora, who stays in I block next to the vacant plot which was used for parking, said, "I am very happy that administration has taken this step otherwise it was difficult for us to park our cars in our own area. Also, the youth used to create a lot of nuisance at odd hours and used this area for alcohol consumption."

Most residents are happy after the ban was enforced since traffic was often disrupted by cars parked by guests outside the coffee shop.

Senior drug control officer Lalit Kumar Goel, who met the HT team here, said, "This is a good way to control the spread of nicotine addiction among youngsters who fail to realise its ill-effects."

Mocha was the first hookah bar to come up in Gurgaon about five years ago and it has been a rage among the youth since then. However, their business has been severely hit now.

"People still approach us for hookahs but we don't want to violate rules. It has affected our business but we don't want to spoil our reputation by going against the administration," said Ashish Thakur, manager, Mocha.

Regular hookah bar visitors, however, criticise the ban.

Akshay Gupta, who came all the way from Delhi to Mocha's Gurgaon outlet, felt disappointed. "I find all this very strange. The authorities have failed to close down liquor vends that provide a daily dose of addiction. They remain open as they generate revenue. Do you think this is fair?"

"I feel that all this was not required. The authorities are taking this too seriously. A nicotine ban is of no use as we are not addicted to it. We just spend some time here to unwind," said Ishank Gupta, an engineering student.

Shashank Malhyal, another student who used to frequent hookah bars, said, "This was one of the few places where our gang of friends used to hang out. I wonder why elders don't understand our interests and feel we would get addicted."