Told to submit list of restaurants, bars allowing hookah in 10 days.
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday pulled up the Delhi government for not furnishing a list of restaurants and bars in the city which permit hookah smoking on their premises and slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on it.
A bench headed by acting NGT chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim also directed the AAP government to submit the data within 10 days.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Manjinder Singh Sirsa, a BJP legislator from Rajouri Garden, seeking immediate ban on hookah bars in the capital.
During the hearing, advocate S.S. Ahluwalia, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench that neither has the government carried out any searches nor has it produced the list of restaurants serving hookahs, as per the December 12, 2017 order of the tribunal.
The bench asked the government counsel as to why it had failed to submit the data. He sought more time to furnish the information, but the bench said that it would have to do the same in 10 days
The matter has been posted for next hearing on May 18. Sirsa had contended that the ambient air quality standards in public places such as restaurants and bars were higher than prescribed norms.
Referring to the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules 2008, the plea had said these rules are being flouted by various restaurants and hookah bars in Delhi wherein hookah, as a tobacco product, is being permitted to be smoked in open spaces without assigning a smoking area.
“Direct Union environment and forests ministry to issue directions under Section 5 of Environment Protection Act, 1986, against such person or entities who have been polluting indoor air in restaurants and bars by selling hookah,” the plea stated.