States Current Affairs
Punjab becomes third state in the country after Maharashtra and Gujarat to ban hookah bars or lounges. The ban was announced through law after President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018. The objective of this law is to check use of tobacco in various forms and prevent diseases caused by use of the tobacco products.
The Bill was Punjab state assembly in March this year with an aim to bring the law in force to check the use of tobacco in various forms and prevent diseases caused by the use of tobacco. The law was enacted due check unregulated growth these hookah parlours and rapid increase in trend of ‘hookah-sheesha’ smoking in the state. Moreover, there were complaints of drug consumption in these hookah bars across the state.
Impact on Health
Smoking of hookah increases health risks, which includes exposure to toxic chemicals that are not filtered out by water. It also results in transmission or risk of infectious disease like tuberculosis (TB) from sharing a hookah. As per study, an hour’s average of hookah includes 20-200 puffs, delivering 50 litres of smoke contain, hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals.
Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated 2nd Mega Food Park in Maharashtra, in Wahegaon and Dhangaon village in Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district. It was launched under Mega Food Park Scheme and is promoted by Paithan Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd. The first park was inaugurated in Satara district in March 2018. Third mega foodpark has been sanctioned by Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries in Maharashtra in Wardha district.
Paithan Mega Food Park
It has been set up in 102 acre of land at cost of Rs 124.52 crore. The facilities at Central Processing Centre (CPC) of this mega food park include dry warehouse of 10,000 metric tonne (MT), cold storage (1,000 MT), pre-cooling facility (10 MT), ripening chambers (400 MT), individual quick freezing (IQF) facility (1.5 metric tonne per hour).
It also has freezer room (1,000 MT), five MTPH juice line (1.5 MTPH each) of aseptic packaging line, steam sterilisation and generation unit of 4 MTPH, food testing labs reefer vans of 30 MT and milk tankers of 50 MT, milk processing facility of 1,00,000 litre per day (LPD) with bulk milk chilling of 20,000 litre and other food processing facilities.
The modern infrastructure for food processing created at mega food park will benefit the farmers, growers, processors and consumers of Maharashtra and adjoining areas immensely and prove to be big boost to growth of food processing sector in Maharashtra.
This mega food park will benefit the people of Aurangabad district as well as nearby districts of Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Buldhana, Jalna, Bid and Ahmednagar. It will provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers in CPC catchment areas.
Mega Food Park Scheme
It is implemented by Ministry of Food Processing Industries to give major fillip to food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of supply chain with particular focus on perishables. It aims to create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through cluster based approach.
Projects under it are merged under comphrehensive flagship scheme of ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana’. Under it, common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre (CPCs) and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near farm in form of PPCs and CCs. For it, Government provides financial assistance upto Rs. 50.00 Crore per Mega Food Park project.