The government of Maharashtra has been pondering over the hookah bars in the state of Maharashtra for quite some time now and now has finally come to a decision. The Times of India reports that on Tuesday the state government has passed a bill to amend the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA)’s application in the state and ban hookah parlours.
No More Hookah
After the fire that broke down in a restaurant in Kamala Mills last year, the primary cause being hookah embers, the government was contemplating the continuation of hookah bars. Now, the bill that has been passed, if comes into action, the person(s) found running hookah parlours can face a minimum one year of imprisonment which can extend up to three years with a minimum fine of Rs. 50,000 to maximum of Rs. 1 lakh.
“No person shall, either on his own or on behalf of any other person, open or run any hookah bar in any place including the eating house,” states the bill reports the Times of India. It also states that the police can also “seize any material or article used as a subject or means of hookah bar”. The government decision has also come from the hookah parlours growing in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and other cities and that it was being served in restaurants and along with public places.
“Minors and collegian are attracted to these bars. At present, there is no law in respect to hookah bars, therefore, no legal action can be taken. It is therefore necessary to regulate hookah bars by law,” reads the statement of objects and reasons as reported by the Times of India.