Shimla : Opposing the setting up 80 tobacco units in Hamirpur district , the Himachal Pradesh Voluntary Health Health Association(HPVHA) said Wednesday it would fight against this move by the state government .
â€œNaturally , we oppose the setting up of 80 bidi units in Hamirpur . We will first speak at the state government and then decide the exact course of action and stop the entry of the tobacco industry in the hill state,â€ said P.R. Ramesh , president HPVHA .
â€œIf the response isnâ€™t positive from the government we will go to the public and campaign against this move , we donâ€™t rule out going to court as well,â€ Ramesh told the Hill Post .
The state cabinet last week gave its nod to West End Tobacco Pvt Ltd to set up 80 bidi units across Hamirpur district , the home district of chief minister P.K.Dhumal .
The company has promised to provide a whopping 40,100 jobs in these units .
This move has been criticised by many , saying while the state government talks about making the entire state smoke free but on the other hand it is bringing in the tobacco industry in a big way to the hill state .
Talking about the future plans S.N.Joshi , Consultant HPVHA said , â€œWe intend to make Himachal smoke-free by 2013 . In the next few months we will campaign against smoking in 52 blocks and all district towns .â€
The HPVHA is funded by an international organisation to make the state smoke free . The campaign was launched in the state capital Shimla last year.
Photo credit: Lalit Kumar