Mayor seeks ban on hookah parlours

Meets Police Commissioner, submits letter demanding action

Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar on Wednesday met Police Commissioner D.D. Padsalgikar and submitted a letter seeking a ban on hookah parlours in the city.

According to sources, Mr. Mahadeshwar met Mr. Padsalgikar at his office in Crawford Market at 3 p.m. The letter states that hookah parlours in the city encourage underage smoking and consumption of intoxicating substances among the youth.

The Mayor’s letter says, “Consumption of intoxicating substances makes a person lose their self control, leading to incidents like assault and murder. I would like to cite the example of a murder that occurred in a hookah parlour in Goregaon recently.”

In October, Goregaon police arrested five people for allegedly stabbing 26-year-old Mayur Panchal to death in a brawl at a hookah parlour where they met to celebrate his birthday.

The letter also states, “A lot of hookah parlours are in close vicinity of educational institutions like schools and colleges. Considering the issue of public safety, it is extremely important for authorities to enforce a ban on hookah parlours. I urge you to take strong steps for the sake of the well-being of our future generations.”

The Social Service Branch of the Mumbai Police, which is tasked with cracking down on errant hookah parlours, said that the parlours were allowed to operate only after they adhered to laws such as the Bombay Police Act, the Municipal Corporation Act and the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act.

An officer with the Social Service Branch said, “A hookah parlour has to adhere to all the rules followed by restaurant or bar to create smoking zones on their premises. No food or beverage, except water, can be served in a smoking zone. Minors also cannot be allowed into such areas. The hookahs cannot contain anything other than flavoured smoke.”

Another officer said that in most raids, hookahs were found to contain tobacco and other intoxicating substances. The officer said that if minors were found smoking hookahs, the parlours are liable to be prosecuted under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act.

Another officer said, “A strict check on whether the existing laws are being followed, or a stronger law, is a better solution than a blanket ban on hookah parlours.”

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 1:13:14 PM |

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