Hookah bars in dock for flouting norms
After raiding two outlets last week, the Haryana Food and Drugs Administration department has identified six more joints in Gurgaon where raids will be carried out in the first week of November.india Updated: Oct 28, 2011 01:31 IST
Hookah bars, which are a favourite haunt for youngsters in the city, are under fire for licence norms violation.
After raiding two outlets last week, the Haryana Food and Drugs Administration department has identified six more joints in Gurgaon where raids will be carried out in the first week of November.
In a two-day anti-nicotine drive launched on October 19, officials had swooped down on two hookah bars in DLF City (Phase 4) and seized eight samples of Indian and imported molasses tobacco that allegedly contained high nicotine content (0.5%).
Officials claimed that under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, only a person with a licence can sell flavoured tobacco. They suspected the bars may be violating rules on this count.
Naripam Goyal, drugs inspector, Gurgaon, said the drive was suspended temporarily as police personnel had to be diverted for heightened Diwali security arrangements.
“We have identified six more joints across the city. They are located in Sahara Mall, DLF Phase 2, other malls on MG Road and one in Old DLF Colony in Sector 14. We will restart the drive in the first week of November when we have sufficient police force to accompany our team,” he added.
Similar raids are also being conducted in neighbouring Faridabad and other cities of Haryana.
The action comes after the Punjab and Haryana high court recently issued directions to the state government on a petition filed by an NGO that claimed that a number of hookah bars in Gurgaon were serving nicotine youngsters and misusing the molasses tobacco making them addicted.
“Any product containing above 0.5 % nicotine needs to be sold by a licensed outlet under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. If these bars want to serve flavoured tobacco, they need to acquire a license as it comes under the category of drugs,” Goyal added.