Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s personal appeal yesterday to Odias to stop spitting paan in view of the COVID-19 outbreak seems to have caught up with the paan chewing people of this temple city.
While sellers have reported a drop-in sales of this mouth freshener ever since the Chief Minister’s appeal, paan lovers too feel that there is some reason in Patnaik’s words to contain the scourge of COVID-19 that is spreading like wildfire and has killed almost 5,000 worldwide.
OMMCOM NEWS did a reality check-in Bhubaneswar here are the excerpts:
“People have stopped taking paan, our business is down by half. We are advising people not to spit here and there. Doesn’t matter if paan doesn’t sell but coronavirus should not spread,” said Ranjan Patra, a paan seller in BJB Nagar Area.
“People are scared to take paan. Business is down by two-third. Look at the road it’s deserted, there is no one, no buyers, people are scared. It doesn’t matter if my business is affected but the people should survive there should not be a corona outbreak,” said Bijay Sahoo, a paan seller of Rasulgarh.
“Spitting here and thereafter chewing paan is not proper. I do admit that I too spit here and there at times but it’s not proper. We should be careful while spitting. It’s true that once there is an outbreak it can’t be controlled. So all of us should avoid spitting in the public if not quit the habit altogether,” said Pratap Kishore Das, a paan lover of Bomikhal area.
Following the Chief Minister’s appeal, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a notice that any of it’s employees found spitting paan in the office premises will be fined Rs 500.
“In BDA and BMC if anyone is found chewing paan a fine of Rs 500 will be imposed on him/her. This is our internal arrangement,” said BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Choudhury.
Choudhury said that though there is no fine for the public as of now, awareness level among the public is being raised since the Chief Minister has made the appeal.
“Let’s adhere to it,” he added.