Gutkha pouches dangle no more at paan shops
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The small gallawalas of the city said their business was ruined as the state government's ban on sale of gutkha came into force from Tuesday onwards. However, big paan shop owners said the ban was unlikely to affect their clients.
The long dangling rolls of gutkha pouches disappeared from gallas and paan shops since morning as the prohibition order took effect. However, many customers, who did not know about the ban, were heard asking stall owners as to why the pouches were not available. Others were discussing the possible aftermath of the state government's decision.
"Almost 25 customers today asked for gutkha pouches and I had to say them they were no longer available. I used to earn
Rs 500 per day from their sale and it was my main business," a stallwalla in a corner of Illora Park area said.
However, he said the ban was welcomed and that people would change their habit gradually. "So far as my business is concerned, I hope that sale of paan and masala (betel nuts mixed with tobacco and lime) picks up," he said adding he had returned old stock of pouches to his dealer friend.
But an owner of a popular paan shop in posh on RC Dutt road said he was not worried over the ban. "Gutkha sale was just 10 per cent of our daily turn over. We are more known for our paan and now customers will have to change their habit," he said, adding the decision was in the greater interest of public health.
The paan shop owner said he had stopped taking his daily delivery of gutkha from Monday. Both the owners said nobody had come to check their outlets.
On the other hand, those who are in the habit of chewing gutkha, expressed mixed sentiments.
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