Ban is not a problem for gutka in North Andhra
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
Southern Odisha and parts of North Andhra were the sole suppliers of the banned tobacco product to the whole of AP.
(Photo: File/PTI) (Representational image)
VISAKHAPATNAM: Sale of pan masala (khaini, gutka and others) has been banned in Andhra Pradesh, but cancer-causing tobacco product is available everywhere in the state. Southern Odisha and parts of North Andhra were the sole suppliers of the banned tobacco product to the whole of AP, Telangana and also a few parts of Tamil Nadu.
"As Odisha is our neighbouring state, which has the highest number of tobacco chewers, some traders in Vizag region have been procuring the banned tobacco products illegally and they are supplying to shops, who used to sell the khaini, gutka at high prices," said ACP (Task Force) Mr I. Chitti Babu.
"We learnt that cigarettes and pan masala were being sold to minors (students) and this is illegal. There were also reports that some people in the schools encouraged the students to buy pan-masala and cigarettes," he added.
Cashing in on the demand for the gutka and khaini, some traders have been running the gutka manufacturing industries (mini-industries) at the isolated places in Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) areas and are supplying the banned tobacco products to businessmen, students and few others. Despite the seizure of huge quantity of gutka and khaini in the past few years, the gutka companies in Southern Odisha have been manufacturing the tobacco products in large-scale and the porous road check-posts are allowing the contraband to flow liberally into Andhra Pradesh, said the police officers.