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Restaurants out of bounds for smokers

Delhi Police will now make sure that the Capital's restaurants display a ‘No Smoking’ board and charge a Rs 500 fine for the same. Earlier, the Govt had agreed for separate ‘smoking’ and ‘non-smoking’ areas. HT reports.
None | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2008 03:40 AM IST

Delhi Police have decided to strictly check that restaurant and guesthouses display the ‘No Smoking’ board and charge a fine of up to Rs 500 for flouting the rule.

The warning was originally issued to eating houses, restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and cinema halls in the city under the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act 1996.

Section 10 of this Act makes it mandatory for the owner/manager to display and exhibit the ‘No Smoking Zone’ and ‘Smoking is an offence’ boards at conspicuous places in and outside the premises.

“This is one of the conditions for issuing a license to an eatery or a guesthouse. Earlier, we used to check this once in a year, now we plan to check this out more often,” said a senior police official. The department plans to be strict about it, he said.

According to the provisions of the Act, it is mandatory for the owners to display signboards inside the premises or face punishment. Anyone contravening the provisions may be fined up to Rs.100 and, in case of second or subsequent offence, Rs.200 extending to Rs.500.

Secretary-general of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of North India Deepak Sharma said they will follow all the guidelines and provisions issued by the government.

Earlier, after an appeal, the government had agreed for separate ‘smoking’ and ‘non-smoking’ areas in such places.

“The association does support ‘No Smoking’, but for foreign tourists, who may be ignorant of the laws here, we would like the competent authorities to keep in mind that aspect too,” Sharma said.

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