Transport sector in Jammu to be made ‘smoke free’

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Transport associations across Jammu today started a vigorous campaign to end tobacco use in all public vehicles. On the occasion, President All Mishriwala Group, Vijay Singh said, “We have around 4, 000 members and all our members will ensure that their vehicles are declared as ‘no smoking zones’ and the relevant signages disallowing passengers to smoke are installed in the vehicles.”
“The menace of tobacco use is not only affecting the health of the people in the state but our tourism Industry as well is taking a hit as tourists who throng the state in large numbers feel irritated by the use of tobacco and other products by the transporters as well as the general public during travel,” he said. “We have given ten days’ time to all the members to get ‘no smoking signages’ installed in their vehicles. We have already printed 4000 plus stickers and these are being forwarded to all the members for putting them to use in their vehicles,” Anil Chopra, Chairman, Mini Bus Operators Union, Jammu said. Importantly, the lead associations call of ensuring a ‘smoke free’ transport sector is being taken seriously by other associations as well.
The Jammu-Banihal-Basholi bus service and the Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch bus service too have installed ‘no smoking’ signages in their vehicles and are disallowing passengers from smoking in the vehicles during travel. Interesting, the auto operators in the region too have decided to make their vehicles as ‘no smoking’ zones by not allowing passengers to smoke during travel. “We have already made it a point with the regional transport office that no auto rickshaw should be passed during the annual inspection if it does not have a ‘no smoking’ signage installed in the vehicle,” Shanti Singh, President Jammu Auto Operators Association, said.
Pertinently, the government has already asked the officials of the state Transport Department to take necessary steps for making public places like bus stands, commercial vehicles and all public conveyances including Transport offices as ‘No Smoking Areas and Zones’.
“All officials are directed to implement Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) in the department and to strictly enforce anti-tobacco laws in the public transport system of the state,” an order issued by Commissioner Transport, Parvez Iqbal Khateeb
earlier said.

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