Over 46,000 fined in Delhi for smoking in public places
Oct 1, 2009 - 9:04:15 PM
New Delhi, Oct 1 - While Delhi has fined over 46,000 people for smoking in public, Tamil Nadu has earned over Rs.12 million in smoking fines, the highest among all the states after implementing the ban, the health ministry said Thursday.
The smoking ban in public places was a brainchild of former health minister Anbumani Ramadoss and came into effect on Oct 2, 2008. According to government statistics, the national capital has reported 11,362 cases of violation from which the state government has collected Rs.1.07 million in fines till July.
In reply to a Right to Information - application filed by the Voluntary Health Association of India -, the Delhi government Thursday said it had fined 46,531 people and institutions from Oct 2, 2008 to early September 2009.
While smoking in public can cost up to Rs.200 per person, the fine is more for an institutional offender.
The RTI reply from the state government also said the earning from fines in Delhi has been more than Rs.4 million.
Though Delhi is the number one state in terms of fining the most people, it is Tamil Nadu that has earned the most - over Rs.12.6 million - by fining 10,979 offenders both in the individual and institutional categories.
'Maybe Tamil Nadu has fined more institutions than individuals,' a health ministry official told IANS, while explaining the revenue gap between the two states. The statistics refer to fines collection between October 2008 and July 2009.
Karnataka has earned Rs.1.15 million by fining around 2,500 offenders and Mizoram has fined around 1,200 people for violating the smoking ban.
Rajasthan seems to be not taking the regulation seriously as it has fined only nine people between October 2008 and April 2009. Uttar Pradesh is number two from the bottom in implementing the law - it has fined only 21 offenders.
While Goa has fined 250 people, Kerala has caught 1,173 breaking the law.
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