A day after tobacco was banned in Sarfabad village by its panchayat,the district magistrate on Monday said his approval had not been sought.
The panchayat had on Sunday decided to ban sale and consumption of gutkha and other tobacco products in the village. The panchayat had also announced a fine of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 on those found selling or consuming tobacco in the village.
Nobody has approached me yet regarding this diktat. I came to know about this today. Without permission from the authorities,such diktats are unconstitutional, said M K S Sundaram,District Magistrate.
Asked if the district authorities will take any action,Sundaram said,We are still examining the matter. We will take a decision by tomorrow.
Sukhbir Singh,from Sarfabad village panchayat,said,This is for the common good. Today we had gone to submit an appeal to the city magistrate,but he was on leave. We will meet him day after tomorrow,and submit our letter.
Following Sarfabad,neighbouring villages,too,are contemplating a complete ban on gutkha and tobacco products.
Today,we had gone to meet the pradhan of Hoshiyarpur village. We spoke to the village elders and they all agreed to banning gutkha. The panchayat in Hoshiyarpur will be held tomorrow,in which the order will be passed to all villagers,
Sorkha village,too,is contemplating a ban on tobacco.
Various villages have shown interest in this endeavour. We will be discussing with Sorkha village elders day after tomorrow, Singh said.