<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Restaurant owners in the National Capital Region (NCR) are up in arms against the Delhi government’s move of imposing a blanket ban on serving hookahs. Calling the decision draconian, they rued that instead of suggesting measures and taking a prudent stance, the government is browbeating them into following its diktats.Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, on Tuesday, had directed all the municipal corporations and the police to cancel licenses of outlets that served hookahs. Arguing that it was a health hazard worse than cigarettes, the minister had deplored the civic body and the police for letting hookah bars flourish with impunity. He also said the health department found “high quantity” of nicotine in hookahs during surprise raids conducted at these places.Restaurateurs, however, denied the allegations, saying the government wanted them to run in losses instead of resolving the matter. Talking to DNA, Umang Tewari, owner of Vault Cafe, said: “As responsible businessmen, we have always followed the government rules. We only serve herbal hookahs that are not harmful to health in any way.”Kanishk Tuteja, owner of Nukkad Cafe & Bar, said the ban was unfair. He reasoned that they went through a lot of stringent checks and inspections while setting up their business and no one objected at the time. ” We aren’t serving anything illegal. The government should probably suggest some more guidelines, instead of banning it completely,” he added.Priyank Sukhija, owner of the Lord of the Drinks, minced no words while expressing his view on the “draconian” regulation. “I think we should make peace with the fact that in our business, something or the other will keep getting banned. This has become a regular feature now. I just feel that instead of banning hookahs, there are better solutions for having a healthy environment.”

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Cafe owners up in arms against ‘draconian’ hookah ban