Public can now report smoking ban violations by dialing 100 in the south Indian city of Bangalore.
At a recent meeting of the Home Department of the Karnataka state government, it was decided that public can call the police control room (100) to lodge complaints against anyone violating provisions of smoking ban. The control room will in turn alert police stations or patrolling vehicles.
The police will act on the complaint to trace the violators and fine them. Media reports quoting an official from the Home Department said a circular in this regard will be issued in a week.
Bangalore city has a larger smoking population. According to the city based study, “Second Hand Smoke in public places,” around one million deaths occur every year in India due to tobacco consumption, imposing a heavy burden on the economy and society.
According to section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), smoking in public places is prohibited. In compliance with the COTPA many state governments in the country, institutions, and autonomous bodies started taking concrete action to implement its provisions for public benefit.
In Karnataka, the authorities of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation have earlier taken action to strictly prohibit smoking in their premises.
However, as larger implementation always remained a challenge, providing public the opportunity to report on smoking ban violations from anywhere in the city could help in effective implementation of the COTPA in the city.
A senior official from Home department said people can lodge complaint to the higher authorities if harassed.
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