Considering the Kamala Mills fire tragedy which killed 14 and the fire was caused by an ember from a hookah, the Maharashtra government has banned hookah parlours across the State.
The government has issued a notification, introducing the blanket ban on hookah parlours in the state. The ban will come in to force with immediate effect. It will be the responsibility of the police officials to ensure that the ban is implemented effectively.
The notification was issued by the government after the President assented to the bill passed by state legislature in April this year. Maharashtra is the second state after Gujarat to impose such a ban, which will come into effect immediately.
The amended Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003, imposes a fine of Rs 1 lakh and imprisonment of up to three years for violations. The amendment has also made the offence non cognisable.
The home department had been planning to regulate hookah parlours, but chief minister Devendra Fadnavis insisted on a blanket ban after the fire at Kamala Mills in December 2017, in which 14 people died of suffocation. The demand for banning the hookah parlour was a long pending one as it is a health hazard as well as an issue of fire safety. (PenNews with input from UNI)