No record of persons fined for smoking in public or throwing garbage in UP
Smoking in public places was prohibited with effect from October 2008 under the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008 and Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). Across the nation, the ban on smoking was effective include small cafes, restaurants, pubs or discotheques, public offices, educational institutions, airports, hospitals, railway stations and bus stands.
RTI activist Urvashi Sharma filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking the number of people on whom a fine was imposed for smoking in public in Uttar Pradesh. She sought the data district wise in the state for the last five years. The reply received by her from the Directorate of local bodies of Uttar Pradesh states that no such information is available in their records.
As per a recent bill seeking an amendment in the anti-smoking law, the fine on smoking in public places is proposed to be raised from Rs 1,000 from Rs 200. The bill also proposed a ban on sale of loose cigarettes, raising the minimum age of a person buying tobacco products to 21 years from existing 18 years, and increasing the maximum fine to Rs 1 lakh from the existing Rs 10,000.
Reply to the application filed under the RTI Act also reveals that there is no record of persons found littering at public places. With the "swachch bharat" campaign in full speed mode, the departments need to keep a record of the number of people fined, if any, and the quantum of fine imposed for throwing garbage in open at public places as the record keeping in other states is not likely to be nay different.