The 16 Metro Police Stations will be having the responsibility to implement this drive. They will be undertaking the drive at all the 236 Metro stations.
The Delhi Metro Police is all set to strictly implement the drive against smoking at all station premises by imposing penalties on violators. The areas where smoking will be prohibited are gates of the stations and parking areas. The violators will be fined Rs 200 for the offense.
This move came after the police were sensitised about various provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 and health hazards related to smoking. A workshop was held by the NGO Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) at Rajouri Garden on Thursday.
The idea behind the prohibition is to protect smokers and non-smokers from the health hazards. The rampant use of cigarettes just outside the station gates is a common site and the passive smokers suffer badly due to it. The police will be working in the interest of the passive smokers.
The drive is part of a campaign launched by the Delhi Police in association with SHF and Max India Foundation. The 16 Metro Police Stations will be having the responsibility to implement this drive. They will be undertaking the drive at all the 236 Metro stations.
“Like the Railway Police, the Metro Police will also take action against smokers who cause inconvenience to others through passive smoking in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Dinesh Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Railways, who also holds the additional charge of the Metro Police.
Gupta also apprised that ‘No Smoking’ boards will be placed at many places to dissuade the use of cigarettes.
However, there are serious questions against the effective implementation of the drive. The cigarette vendors can be frequently seen outside the station gates. This is in violation of the already devised rules that vendors will not be allowed outside station in the diameter of 100 meters.
These vendors operate just outside the Metro gates at most of the stations. The police have failed to keep them away. There have been rare actions against them. Police do force them to leave the place from time to time. But, it is also failure on police’s part that they again come back at their places in few days.
When City Spidey asked how this drive would be successful when vendors are already operating within 100 meters from the station gates, Gupta said, “Our teams would be restricting and penalising the violators but the removal of vendors comes under the jurisdiction of the local police.”
A commuter, Ramesh Pandya said, “Smokers cause inconvenience to people outside the stations. Vendors have been selling cigarettes without any fear despite the restrictions. I fear this new drive will also be difficult to implement and people would continue to smoke outside the stations. However, if it is implemented successfully then nothing like it.”