BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike council banned smoking hookah in public places in March last year.
Since then, the BBMP has carried out extensive raids on cafes and other hookah joints in the city.
Citing that hookah was ‘not part of our culture,’ Yediyur ward corporator, N R Ramesh had raised the issue in the council and said that the habit was turning into an addiction among many college and school students in the city and this had an adverse effect on their health. It is a very unhealthy habit and the coal used for burning it is very dangerous when inhaled, he further stated.
“Many places in the city sell marijuana, opium and other narcotics,” he alleged and had demanded that hookah bars be banned.
Stating that there was only one hookah joint in Istanbul that followed the traditions and practices of the culture, he said that no other hookah joint had adhered to their norms.
College and school students thronged hookah joints and Ramesh had alleged that owners of such places had opened such outlets close to college and school campus to attract student crowd.
But the predicament seemed different for deputy commissioner (Health) Ramchandra Murthy, who said that hookah joints did not come under the list of trades in the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976.