Hookah bars banned again, owners set to move court
Taking cognizance of a HT report, the district administration once again invoked Section 144 of the CrPC to ban hookah bars in Gurgaon on Tuesday.
HT had reported how hookah bars had started operating by claiming that the two-month statutory period of the ban had expired and the government had not issued any fresh directive.
Citing health hazards due to tobacco and nicotine, deputy commissioner-cum-district magistrate PC Meena said hookah bars have been prohibited in the entire district with immediate effect.
The orders state that hookah bars were serving tobacco molasses, containing nicotine, which was injurious to the health of the people, especially college students and youth, who frequent these places.
Earlier, the order was invoked on November 28 last year.
Meena said a notice has been sent to the district police and health authorities for strict compliance.
Besides, all SDMs, district revenue officers, Huda estate officers, tehsildars, naib tehsildars, block development and panchayat officers and other officers have been asked to enforce the orders in their respective areas.
Those found violating these orders will be dealt with seriously and strict legal action will be taken against them, he added.
Gurgaon civil surgeon Dr Parveen Garg said joint teams of the health department and police would start raiding joints to ensure complete adherence of the directive issued under Section 144 of CrPC.
“It is a nuisance and blot on the society. It is harmful for health, especially to the younger generation. We will ensure that rules are implemented in true spirit,” Garg said.
Meanwhile, hookah bar owners have threatened to move court and blamed the state government for not regulating the activity.
Ankit Bahadur of Café Mocha said they were left with no option but to move court. “We waited patiently for two months when Section 144 was invoked and did not serve hookahs. We had expected that the government would come up with some regulation mechanism. The government is still to come clean on the tobacco molasses samples collected from our joints four months back. It has just been sitting on the reports,” he added.
Other owners said they do not mind paying licence fee if the government came out with a licence policy on lines of liquor bars.