Govt imposes complete ban on hookah parlours in State

Neha Basudkar
Sunday, 7 October 2018

The Maharashtra government has released a notification on the blanket ban on hookah parlours across the State. After Gujarat, Maharashtra is the second State to impose such a ban which will come into effect immediately. 

Pune: The Maharashtra government has released a notification on the blanket ban on hookah parlours across the State. After Gujarat, Maharashtra is the second State to impose such a ban which will come into effect immediately. 

The amended Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003, includes a fine of Rs 1 lakh besides imprisonment up to three years for any violations of the law. 

It will be the responsibility of the police officials to ensure that the ban is implemented effectively. After the fire at Kamala Mills in December 2017 which was caused by a hookah parlour, in which 14 people died of suffocation, the Home Department was planning to regulate hookah parlours. But, the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis insisted on a blanket ban on hookah parlours across the State.

Ganesh Shetty, President of Pune Hoteliers Association, said, “There were laws made earlier to ban hookah, but restaurant owners were not following it and they use to run it despite being banned. These hookah parlours are mostly situated in the outskirts of the city. Now, this ban should be implemented strictly.”

Nitin Kumar, President of Wagholi Residents Association, said, “In Wagholi, there are many hookah parlours and the biggest one is near Ivy Estate, but we are unable to raise voice against it as the hookah parlour belongs to a politician of the area. Once we had tried to raise voice against it but the politicians rejected our plea. It will be a great relief for us if all the hookah parlours are shut.”

Vaibhav Mane, President of Fosh (Hadapsar) Residents Association, said, “There were hookah parlours earlier in Hadapsar but we raised our voices and closed them.”

Excellent step, say cops
 Pune Police Commissioner Dr Venkatesham, “This is an excellent step and need of the hour. We are already taking strict action against hookah parlours’ closure and this law will strengthen the police further.”
 Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner RK Padmanabhan, “It is a very welcome notification and we will implement it in letter and spirit.”

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