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Delhi government bans sale of all forms of chewable tobacco for 1 year

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has banned for one year the sale, purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco, including “guktha, pan masala, khaini and zarda”, in the national capital.

The Department of Food Safety on Wednesday issued a notification in this regard.

According to the notification, unpackaged products of chewable tobacco, too, are covered under the ambit of the ban.

“The manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco which is either flavoured, scented or mixed… and whether going by the name or form of gutka, pan, masala, flavoured/scented tobacco, kharra, or otherwise… whether packaged or unpackaged and/or sold as one product, or though packaged as separate products, sold or distributed in such manner so as to easily facilitate mixing by the consumer” is prohibited for a period of one year, the notification stated.

Health department officials said a notification was issued by Delhi government in September, 2012, in pursuance of a series of directions from Supreme Court for a ban on ‘gutkha’ in the city.

But since the term ‘gutkha’ was used in that notification, tobacco retailers started selling the components of ‘gutkha’ (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches, thus defeating the purpose behind the ban on gutkha.

The health department had, therefore, come up with a new proposal for banning all raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi, a senior official said.
Source: TOI-Delhi

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Odd-even phase 2 returns, govt to turn on heat with more boots on ground

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New Delhi: Aware that summer heat and functioning schools are likely to dampen enthusiasm for the second phase of odd-even traffic restrictions beginning on Friday, the Delhi government is pulling out all stops to enforce the rule. Riding on the success of this 16-day road-rationing plan is the AAP government’s ambition to make odd-even a permanent fixture in Delhi.

The government has decided to deploy 120 challan teams compared with 110 in the first trial period in January. There will also be around 1,000 more volunteers than the 4,300 put on the ground last time to spread awareness and cajole Delhiites into following the rule.

The 120 teams for this phase will also have 400 ex-servicemen who have been specially hired by the transport department as traffic inspectors. The teams this time around will consist of 180 personnel from the enforcement wing of the transport department, ex-servicemen and volunteers. The enforcement apparatus will be backed by the prospect of a steep challan of Rs 2,000 for violating the rule.

The weather, which is totally different from that in the the first phase, is expected to play spoiler, as it is likely to make people mull taking out the car instead of taking public transport.

Transport minister Gopal Rai has been acknowledging the difficulties in implementing odd-even this time around. “It will be more difficult because of the weather, but we have faith in the people of the city,” said Rai recently, adding that the Delhi government will be ramping up its enforcement to help people follow the rule.

“The city has been divided into 11 zones, consisting of 10 sectors. Each enforcement team will be monitoring a sector from different spots. These teams will be mobile, and will be inspecting different areas each day,” said Rai.

A task force consisting of representatives from all the agencies concerned will be coordinating the entire city, to ensure that movement of traffic and transport vehicles is smooth.

The Delhi government has also signed on 5,331 volunteers this time around. These volunteers will be deployed at 205 spots, and will be primarily be for awareness and Gandhigiri, said Rai.

Making an appeal to Delhiites, Rai added, “Citizens also need to be proactive. If they see someone violating the rule, they should go over and appeal to the person to think about the future of Delhi and its children.”

Besides the 6,000-odd buses and Delhi Metro, the Delhi government has also tweaked its Poochh-O app. The app, which has segments on carpooling, taxis and autorickshaws, already has 8,730 users who have registered for the carpool option. The app has been downloaded by 81,295 people till date, said Rai, adding that 2,162 drivers are also part of the app for direct calling. There are 40,000 autorickshaws on the app as well.

The transport minister added that 2,000 cops will be on roads from Friday onwards for odd-even phase II.
Source: TOI-Delhi

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‘Delhi, for me, is Gwal Pahari – a village in Gurgaon’

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Source: TOI-Delhi

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