ISLAMABAD: The district administration of Islamabad on Friday imposed a ban on the sale of fizzy, soft and sugary drinks along with gola gandas in and around educational institutions in the federal capital due to health concerns, officials told Dawn.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat imposed the ban under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Mr Shafqaat said the ban was imposed taking health concerns into consideration.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), all such drinks are injurious to the health of children around the world, he added.

“The capital administration received a number of complaints from parents about the sale of these drinks in the federal capital,” he said, adding a majority of the complainants were parents of school-going children.

In response to the complaints from the citizens, a poll was conducted on social media inquiring about public opinion on imposing a ban on the sale of soft drinks in and around educational institutions.

Govt will be approached to make a law for permanent restriction on sale of such drinks due to health concerns, DC says

The deputy commissioner said over 20,000 people took part in the social media poll and 91pc of them were in favour of the ban.

The health department was also against the sale of fizzy drinks in schools, he said.

The ban would remain imposed in the capital territory for two months.

During this period, the capital administration would approach the government with a recommendation to make a proper law to permanently ban such products in an around educational institutes in order to protect the health of children, he added.

The capital administration will also launch an awareness campaign against these products, he added.

Directives have been issued to assistant commissioners, magistrates, superintendents of police, subdivisional police officers and station house officers in the capital territory to strictly implement the ban.

They were also asked to keep a check on educational institutions in their jurisdictions and take strict action against those found violating the ban and selling such drinks.

The order issued from the DC office stated: “It has been brought to my notice that fizzy, soft and sugary drinks are being sold in canteens and cafes of educational institutions without observing hygienic requirements.”

Earlier, the Punjab government had also imposed a ban on the sale of such products in all educational institutions in the province, said the DC.

The ban was imposed in all government and private schools, colleges, universities and religious seminaries.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2020