The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kulgam, Dr. Bilal Mohi-Ud-Din Bhat today chaired a meeting of District Level Coordination Committee for National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) and reviewed measures for implementation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) -2003 in the district.
Addressing the meeting, the DC directed the concerned officers to ensure strict implementation of the provisions of COTPA-2003 across the district.
Besides, he stressed to conduct surveys of shops selling tobacco products around health and educational institutions within a radius of 100 yards so that a strategy for their control is devised.
The DC directed the enforcement teams to intensify the drives for imposition of fine on the offenders in and around the hospitals, educational institutions, Government offices etc adding that this shall give a strong message to the offenders to refrain from such activity.
He also instructed NIC and Health authorities to Introduce Tobacco Vendor Licence, which can be availed through a dedicated online portal wherein only license holders shall be authorized for sale of tobacco products.
During the meeting, Nodal Officer for Enforcement of the COTPA in the district was directed to ensure imposition of challans on the offenders who smoke at public places. It was intimated that 849 challans, and an amount of Rs 78530 has been realized as fine from offenders during the ensuing year.
He was also directed to submit a monthly report regarding the number of challans made and fine recovered besides other controlling measures.
To ensure tobacco free educational institutions, college Principals, Chief Education Officer & Zonal Education Officers were directed to ensure that no sale of tobacco products/cigarettes is made within 100 yards of college and school premises in the district.
The meeting discussed the removal of advertisements from public places especially in towns so as to convey one and all, its importance. The district has taken the lead in removal of advertisements from main town Kulgam, it was intimated and called for cent percent removal.
Earlier, Dr. Mir Mushtaq, State Nodal Officer, Tobacco Control Program at Directorate Health Services Kashmir gave a detailed presentation about the provisions of COTPA-2003 and overview of National Tobacco Control programme.
The meeting was attended by ADDC Showkat Ahmad Rather; ADC, Viqar Ahmed Giri; SDM Bashir Ul Hassan, Principals of GDCs, CMO, Tehsildars, CEO, BMOs, EOs besides officials from State Tobacco Control Cell DHSK and other concerned also attended the meeting.