BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) intends to take up a drive to enforce the ban on smoking in pubs that do not have a no-objection certificate (NoC) for it. As per a circular issued in August-end, smoking was banned at all restaurants. As for pubs and bars, smoking could be allowed only at designated areas, and even that requires a NoC to be obtained from the BBMP.
Dr Thriveni BS, member of the state government task force on non-communicable diseases prevention, said so far only two pubs have applied for the NoCs. However, before the BBMP begins to crack down on the pubs, it intends to give them every chance to toe the line.
Thriveni said the form to apply for a NoC will be uploaded on the BBMP’s website, and once the pubs apply, the NoC will be granted within 10-15 days. “We want to make it very transparent, friendly and easily approachable for them. Shortly, we will get in touch with the bar, restaurants and hoteliers’ association and convey this to them. I have instructed that pubs should be able to fill the form completely online, and also upload photos. If the cell has difficulty in assessing the document, then they can visit the pub concerned,” she said.
Once the form is uploaded and enough time is provided to the pubs, BBMP will start carrying out raids to check if the rules were being adhered to, Thriveni said. The official added that most pubs which currently allow smoking are flouting the rules. She said as per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (COTPA) Act, the smoking zones should be closed spaces located in a corner and near the exit, and other visitors should not be exposed to it.
“In so many pubs, there are open smoking areas, usually on the upper floors. So that too will not be allowed anymore,” she said. As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) for 2017-18, Bengaluru has the highest prevalence of second-hand smoking in India, which is reported to be more harmful than first-hand smoking.