Smoking and use of tobacco at public places continues in Patiala even as the health department officials have been imposing fines on violators.
Despite ban on smoking at public places, people can be seen smoking at various locations in the city, including bus stand, railway station, Sanouri Adda and Qila Chowk.
As per Section 4 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), smoking at all public places is prohibited. Also, direct and indirect advertisement of tobacco products is prohibited in audio, video and print media. But the violation of these sections continues in Patiala.
However, civil surgeon Rajeev Bhalla claimed that the health department had been implementing the law effectively, especially the areas surrounding educational institutions and religious places.
He said during the past four months, the officials had challaned 551 people for violating the law till April this year and also collected Rs 62,402 fine.
He said that during 2014, the department had collected fine worth Rs 1.50 lakh from 1,441 offenders and in 2013, `1.12 lakh from 1,259 offenders.
Bhalla said that the state government has already issued a notification to cancel the licence of the industrial units which will not follow the rules and regulation related to the COTPA.
To ensure effective implementation of the Act, he said, nodal officers from various government departments would be responsible for curbing the smoking and use of tobacco at public places in their respective areas.
He said that the health department had been organising awareness programmes make people aware of sections 4 and 6 of the COTPA. "There is complete ban on the sale of loose cigarettes and sale of flavoured and scented tobacco," he added.
He said that after appointing nodal officers in various areas, all government and private educational institutions had been directed to display the names and contact details of the nodal officers in their respective areas.
DATA OF OFFENDERS
Year Number of challans Fine collected
2013 1,259 Rs 1.2 lakh
2014 1,441 Rs 1.5 lakh
2015 551 Rs 62,402