THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state police have made a killing by slapping a fine of Rs 72.5 lakh on those who smoked in public in a six-month period. As per official statistics, a total of 41,639 people were booked and Rs 72,52,000 collected as fine from ‘public smokers’ between January and June this year.
Those booked under section 4 of Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) which bans smoking in public places is double the last year’s figure, thanks to a rigorous drive by the police. “Smoking in public tops the list among COTPA violations and a special drive is on, to those putting others’ lives at risk,” said South Zone ADGP K Padmakumar.
As many as 43,639 people were booked and fined under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) till June 2014, against 23,727 cases registered during the corresponding period last year. A significant increase was registered in the number of cases registered under section 4 of COTPA which penalises those smoking in the public. The total number booked under the same section, during the period from January to June 2013, was 21,923. A total of ` 28,46,400 was collected as fine during that period.
South zone ADGP K Padmakumar said that the raids conducted on daily basis after monitoring the suspected areas, is the modus operandi to track down offenders who smoke at public places. “ Action will be initiated against offenders following tip-offs from the informers. As a result, shadow police officials will be deployed there and the spot will come under our scanner. If we ascertain that the received information is true, we would proceed with further action,” said the ADGP.
As part of the ‘Safe Campus, Clean Campus’ project, around 3,297 were nabbed after 18,918 raids were conducted.