With the notification prohibiting the selling or manufacturing of ghutka, pan masala and other products containing tobacco and nicotine having been issued, Food Safety officials in the district are all set to enforce the ban announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Assembly on May 8.
Official sources told The Hindu here on Thursday that teams would be constituted to inspect shops and other places where the products were likely to be sold.
To monitor the implementation, sources said that a district level committee would be constituted with Collector as the chairperson. Other members include the Superintendent of Police, District Commercial Tax Officer, Deputy Director of Health Services, Chief Educational Officer, Corporation, and Regional Transport Officer besides the Designated Officer.
During the first meeting of this committee, sources said, the modalities for implementing the ban at the district level must be worked out. The Committee must appraise the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Commissioner of the proposed course of action in their city.
Further, all the check posts operated by the Departments of Commercial Tax, Motor Vehicles and the police would be immediately alerted to prevent vehicles carrying tobacco products.
In a circular dated May 28, Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Commissioner, Kumar Jayant, has directed the Designated Officers in all districts to immediately notify all food business operators to remove these banned products within a month, failing which the stocks would be seized and destroyed.
Besides educating all local food business operators on this ban and its provisions, the Commissioner had also directed all the Designated Officers of the Administration to prepare a list of all the places were these banned products were manufactured, stored, distributed and sold.
Mr. Jayant also warned the Designated Officers not to harass the food business operators or misuse the provisions of the ban and implement it smoothly.