The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pune division, in collaboration with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), has collected Rs 1.30 lakh in fines in the last one year from people smoking in public places.
Though the FDA claims that its office has been taking proactive measures in penalising people flouting Section 4 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, the figures state otherwise.
In the last one year, the FDA has managed to collect just
Rs 26,084 from the entire district, including the city.
“The PMC conducts such drives at irregular intervals, rather than throughout the year. An amount of Rs 1,02,335 was collected from 810 offenders from November 30, 2011 to January 10, 2012. Though we are authorised to levy fines up to Rs 200, one can’t expect a bidi smoker to pay more than Rs 10 to Rs 20,” said Vaishali Jadhav, assistant medical officer, PMC.
In the last one week, the civic body has collected approximately Rs 1,600 in fines from hookah parlours in the city.
“It is not just the responsibility of ther FDA to fine people smoking in public places. All gazetted departments and officers are allowed to take action, but no one wants to take the responsibility,” said Chandrakant Salunkhe, assistant commissioner, FDA (Pune division).
The Social Security Cell of the Crime Branch on Friday filed cases under COPTA against 28 offenders, including hookah parlour owners, managers, employees and customers, and seized equipment worth Rs 13,725 from several hookah joints located on MG Road.
Did you know?
Smoking in public places is banned under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, which came into effect on October 2, 2008