DUE TO the non-compliance of the order following the complaint against Haryana Roadways (HR) bus drivers, found smoking in buses, the Consumer Forum has directed the HR Managing Director-cum-Commissioner and the Haryana health secretary to appear in person during the next hearing on April 23. The order was passed by the bench of Rajan Dewan (President) and Priti Malhotra (Member) of Consumer Forum-II, after a complaint was lodged by Ashok Kumar Prajapat (35), who had complained to the Forum about an HR bus driver smoking while driving and did not stop despite Prajapat’s intervention. In the complaint, Prajapat also stated that the driver smoked three times due to which he felt uneasy and requested the latter to stop smoking as it was banned in public places and transport, but the driver misbehaved with him.
After the final arguments over Prajapat’s complaint, the Forum directed the Panchkula district magistrate and civil surgeon to invite Prajapat to district level committee meetings on the eradication of smoking and tobacco. The Forum, in its order, also directed the HR general manager to take strict action and issue directions to all supervisory staff to brief the field staff, especially drivers and conductors, to behave properly and desist from using tobacco and smoking in public as well as on the bus during duty. Now, two months after the order was passed, the Forum found that the authorities had not done anything concrete following which the Forum asked the HR MD-cum-Commissioner and the health secretary to appear in person.
Also, in the interim order, the Forum directed the concerned authorities to clarify what steps they have taken to prevent smoking on buses.
Meanwhile, Rajpal Sekhon, Nodal Officer of the Haryana health department, said, “The officials have been directed to appear at the Forum concerning the matter. However, we are working to comply with the order of the Forum and the file for inviting Ashok Prajapat to the meetings of district level committees is in process and sent to the senior authorities for consideration. We will apprise the Forum of the steps taken as well.”