The Chandigarh administration, planning to make the city 'smoke-free' from July, Wednesday proposed an on-the-spot penalty on the offenders.
At a meeting of the committee set up to work out details of implementing the proposal for a 'smoke-free' city, it was decided to empower police officials of the rank of sub-inspector to compound the offence of smoking in public places by recovering the penalty from the offender on the spot.
The penalty amount is yet to be decided, though it is expected to be Rs.100 for the first offence.
If the offender does not pay, he will have to present himself before a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM).
The administration had recently announced that Chandigarh will be the first 'smoke-free' city in the country.
From July, Chandigarh will have designated smoking areas in all public places and buildings to ensure that non-smoking public is not exposed to passive smoking.
"Besides protecting children, women and non-smokers from the harmful consequences of tobacco and smoking, such an initiative will improve the global image of Chandigarh," the union territory's Home Secretary Krishna Mohan said.
He said that the Chandigarh police have already written to traders' organisations and auto and taxi drivers' unions to comply with provisions of the new policy.
The administration is also planning to launch a drive against unauthorised vendors selling tobacco products.