Karnataka deliberates on ban imposed on hookah bars

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Basavaraj Bommai, the state law and home minister had on Tuesday revealed that the state government is seriously deliberating on imposing a ban on hookah bars in Bengaluru and the other important cities.

During the Question Hour, Bommai revealed to the Legislative Assembly, “Some hookah bars are in restaurants whereas some are standalone in cities such as Bengaluru and Mysuru. Youngsters throng these places. We are seriously considering banning hookah bars.”

He further said, “We are studying other states that have banned hookah bars. We will need the cooperation of urban local bodies such as BBMP as they are the licensing authorities.” The authorities have heard around 70 cases against hookah bars in Bengaluru for this year, Bommai added.

It was Bommai’s answer to the question presented by Congress’ Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy. Reddy said, “Drugs are still available in hookah bars and cafes. We need sustained action against drugs. It shouldn’t become seasonal when it gets media coverage only once in a while.”

JD(S) Magadi MLA A Manjunath also put forth the complaint about his constituency having hookah bars and cafes post the police’s probe into the drugs in Bengaluru.

Bommai ensured to the Assembly that the government is on the way to battle with the drugs. He said, “Drug abuse is present from slums to the elites, educated to the illiterates.” He further added, “Earlier, only ganja was seized. But, we’re going after synthetic drugs in the form of tablets and chocolates,” further adding that there has been an increase in the cases against drugs from 127 in 2016 to 2,786 in 2020.

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