The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will soon crack a whip on restaurants serving food items in smoking enclosures. However,it has passed the buck on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that no hookahs are served in restaurants and bars.
Union Minister of Health,Dr Ambumani Ramadoss had said two days ago at the 14th World Conference for Tobacco or Health that hookahs in any form are illegal and should be banned.
However,the civic administration responsible for penalising the restaurants and bars for violating the licencing terms has said that it will be FDAs responsibility to ensure that hookah in any form is not served.
There were a total of 59 hookah bars in the city,of which 37 have shut since the BMC began taking action against them.
Executive officer of health,Dr Jairaj Thanekar said that the civic administration had already taken action against most of the hookah parlours.
There are a few hookah bars which are still functioning and the FDA and Mumbai Police have been instructed to take action. We also request citizens to come forward and complain about functional hookah parlours or restaurants serving hookahs, he said.
Dr Thanekar said that restaurants cannot serve food in smoking enclosures.
The smoking enclosure should be strictly maintained for smoking and no food items can be served here, he said. He added that a civic squad will be on the move to verify that no restaurants are serving hookahs,even at night.