Despite complaints, no action taken to close tobacco vends near college, school

  • Vandana Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Mar 08, 2015 07:42 IST

Though the district administration and health department had invited a team from the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh and State Tobacco Control Programme to get the status of smoke/tobacco free city for Ludhiana, the very basic rule of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) is being violated.

There are two tobacco vends near SCD Government College, Civil Lines, which fall in the 100m radius of the college. One tobacco vend is near the college parking and the other one is outside the Rose Garden. The tobacco vend outside the Rose Garden also falls in the 100m radius of Government Meritorious School, which is near SCD Government College.

According to the COTPA rules, all educational and religious institutes are declared smoke-free zone within 100m radius, which means there can't be a tobacco shop within 100m radius area of an educational institute.

SCD Government College principal Dharam Pal Singh had already written a letter to the deputy commissioner, requesting him to close the tobacco vends near college.

The letter was written on February 7 by the principal that was forwarded to the civil surgeon office on February 16, but no action has been taken yet.

Singh said, “I have registered the complaint with the authorities concerned and hope they will act as per the laws. A tobacco vend near college is harmful for the students and it must be closed.”

On the other side, district health officer (DHO) Dr Abnash Kumar claimed that he did not receive any complaint for the same.

Kumar said, “There cannot be a tobacco vend near an educational institute in the radius of 100m. I haven't received any complaint yet, but will check it and take the action accordingly.”

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