District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has constituted a District Level Coordination Committee (DLCC) for the implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act or COTPA 2003 – which prohibits the advertisement of and provides for the regulation of trade and commerce in production and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products – in Srinagar.
The committee comprises 15 members including the District Magistrate Srinagar as its chairman.
Other committee members include Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Additional Commissioner State Tax Department (AC STD), General Manager District Industries & Commerce (GM DIC), Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD), Additional Mission Director National Rural Livelihood Mission (AMD NRLM), Assistant Commissioner Drug & Food Control Organisation (AC DFCO), Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Chief Education Officer (CEO), Chief Sanitation Officer Srinagar Municipal Corporation (CSO SMC), District Information Officer (DIO), Principal Government Women’s College (GWC) MA Road, Principal Amar Singh College (ASC) Gogji Bagh and two members from two different NGOs to be nominated.
The CMO Srinagar will convene meetings of the committee besides being responsible for monitoring and supervision of the DTCP.
Different members of the committee have been assigned different roles and responsibilities for ensuring effective and functional application of tobacco control in the district.
The SSP will be responsible for enforcement of provisions of the COTPA and monitoring adherence thereto, AC STD and GM DIC for ensuring depiction of pictorial health warnings on tobacco products sold in markets, ACD and AMD NRLM for representing block-level administration and highlighting concerns about implementation at the said level and facilitation of those involved in it into alternative livelihood programmes, and AC DFCO for enforcement of relevant provisions of the FSS Act 2006 and ban on gutkha among other tobacco products and monitoring adherence thereto.
The CEO and Principals GWC MA Road and ASC Gogji Bagh will be responsible for implementation of guidelines for tobacco-free educational institutions, monitoring compliance with sections 4 and 6 of the COTPA and holding of awareness and campaign programmes in schools and communities to discourage tobacco use, CSO SMC for enforcement of provisions of COTPA through municipal ward committees and inclusion of compliance with COTPA in all licenses issued to eateries and shops, DIO for district-wide public awareness programmes on harmful effects of tobacco use and provisions of the COTPA and developing local Information Education Communication (IEC) campaign material for exhibition and dissemination at local events and NGOs to be nominated for integrating tobacco control in all their interventions, monitoring and reporting violations of relevant laws and collaboration with the government in awareness generation and planning of IEC strategies.