Bengalur: The sale of cigarettes and tobacco products near educational institution has been banned for a long time now, but yet shops have cropped up violating the rule, which states that such shops cannot be located within 100 metres of educational institutions.
The BBMP is now thinking of penalising the owners of properties where the shops are located. The owners will be slapped with fines the first-time, and for subsequent violations, FIRs will be registered against them.
A senior officer from the health department of the BBMP said, “During a recent meeting, we discussed about shops selling cigarettes and tobacco products near educational institutions and how raids have remained ineffective, which were carried out eight months ago. We had identified shops located within 100 metres of educational institutions and seized tobacco products. They had stopped selling for a while, but resumed again.”
He said, “This has become a constant menace. Every time a school or college complains, we take action, but it has had no lasting effect. Now, we are planning to penalise the owner who has rented out the space. We will issue a warning too that they cannot rent the space for someone who sells tobacco-related products. If shops are found selling tobacco products again, the entire shop will be seized.”
The plan will be presented before the BBMP Council and after approval, action will be initiated.
There was also an idea to introduce a special licence, which needs to be bought by shopkeepers to sell tobacco products. Another officer from the health department said that the idea was floated, but it is still being discussed. “Many officials opposed it as it would lead to corruption in the BBMP. So it was put on hold,” he said.
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