RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh government has decided to impose a permanent ban on hookah bars across the state and will soon declare the license issued for running hookah centres “illegal”. Taking a decision the Bhupesh Baghel cabinet stated that the order on issuing ban will soon be taken by the urban administration department.
In recent years the Chhattisgarh state has witnessed a substantial increase in the hookah bars coming up in different towns. According to the officials, over a thousand hookah centres are run merely on the basis of Gumasta license in the state.
The Chhattisgarh police had earlier written to promulgate Section 144 CrPc against hookah bars in the state as prevalent in some states to facilitate the execution of Sections 4 and 6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA).
“There were complaints on school students, children and youths, ignorant about the deleterious side effects, found hooked to the hookah bars, most of them operating illegally. The state government took cognisance and decided to ban it”, the official spokesperson told TNIE.
The state government’s move is seen as an attempt to check the rising trend of hookah bars as also to discourage the use of tobacco among youngsters.
The state government is likely to enact a law against illegal hookah bars to check the rapid flourishing of hookah parlours in the state. There is no specific law in Chattisgarh to monitor or prevent the functioning of hookah bars.
The state cabinet has also decided to close 49 liquor shops- a move the state government hints on gradual prohibition.