GUWAHATI, Oct 14 : It may be recalled that the Kamrup (M) Deputy Commissioner has already directed the Durga Puja committees to make the puja pandals tobacco-free zones. As per the DC’s directives, every puja pandal should put up at least two banners displaying “No smoking Zone – Smoking here is an offence,” and “Saradia Puja Dhopat Mukta Puja”.
However, despite the DC’s directive, many of the gates of puja mandals are laced with advertisements of tobacco-type brands being sponsored by such companies.
In this respect, a puja committee member has said that the committee is acutely short of fund and that a pan masala company is making handsome donation and that the same is being accepted.
Meanwhile, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation has fixed an advertising fee of up to Rs 1,00,000 per such gate for a 7-day display from commercial brands. However, the revenue is seemingly not collected officially and accounted for in its treasury for alleged corruption in the hoarding branch of the GMC which is headed by its collector.