Despite State-Wide Ban, Gutka Business Continues To Flourish In Odisha

**Bhubaneswar:** Even after four years of the state-wide ban on the manufacture of ‘gutka’ imposed by the Odisha Government, sale and consumption of gutka and chewing of tobacco containing nicotine, the restriction seems to have little impact.

A case in point is the recent seizure by the Commissionerate Police exposes how tobacco mafias are continuing to manufacture and smuggle gutka across the state with impunity.

The Commissionerate Police personnel on Thursday seized 12 bags of gutka from the Baramunda bus stand, one of the most crowded places in the capital city here.

The cost of the seized gutka is estimated to be around Rs 5 lakhs.

The police has also arrested two persons in this case.

Briefing the newsmen, DCP Satyabrata Bhoi said, “Bhubaneswar is considered to be transit place for these products. They usually bring these products here and smuggle them to other places. We are investigating into the case and will try to get more information on this.”

When asked about how this gutka business is continuing to operate with impunity, the top cop said, “Gutka with tobacco products are banned in the State. We need to find out which packets contain nicotine and which packets don’t. So we are conducting the raids at selective places.”