Tamilnadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian, in a press release on Friday said the government would shut the shops that sell the contraband items even after notices were served to them.
The Minister said if a complaint is received against a shop that was selling ‘gutka’ or ‘paan’, the health authorities would serve a notice to them and if such shops again sell the items, then fines would be levied.
The shops that indulge in selling gutka and paan items even after fines are levied would be shut. Subramanian said if livelihoods were affected, the shop owners would understand the gravity of the situation.
The state government, according to the Minister, would act strictly against the erring officials and action would be taken against those officials who fail to conduct inspection of these shops and prevent the sale of the banned items.
Ma Subramanian spoke to IANS and said, “If 10 shops in a district of Tamil Nadu are shut in this manner, the gutka and paan menace in the state would end then and there. Chief Minister has already directed the ministers in charge of the districts to be vigilant against such shops and take immediate action by alerting the district officials.”
The district food safety officials who work to convert their districts into tobacco-free zones will be awarded by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. The Minister said these officials will receive a letter of appreciation and a prize from the Chief Minister.