Bhopal: Smoking is all set to become costly in the city of lakes. Smokers will now have to shell out Rs 200 for every puff they wish to enjoy in a public place.

After the successful drive of making helmets compulsory for two-wheeler riders, the district administration has tightened its seatbelts to make public places a smoke-free zone. A public enlightment programme will also be carried out to spread awareness on the issue.

District Magistrate Nikunj Srivastav said, “Those who are found smoking in public will be charged Rs 200 as fine. For the first three weeks, posters will be displayed in public places and government offices informing people to prohibit smoking. Also, they will be stopped from smoking when caught. Thereafter, the practice of implementing fine will be put to use."

This initiative by the district administration has come as a welcome step for the city-dwellers. It’s previous drive of making helmets compulsory for two- wheeler riders went down well as 80 percent of the drivers adhere to this practice now.