Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief secretary BK Patnaik on Thursday asked all the district collectors and SPs to intensify enforcement on ban on gutkha. Interacting with the officials on videoconferencing at the secretariat, Patnaik directed them to conduct frequent raids to reduce availability of these ‘life-killing’ products in the market.

The Collectors were also asked to set up co-ordination committees and special cells on district level to expedite the enforcement on ban.

According to sources, supply inspectors, forest range officers, executive officers of urban local bodies and revenue inspectors would soon be authorised with enforcement powers to make the drive more effective.

All the districts, to build information, education and communication activities, would be given Rs 1 lakh each, Patnaik said.

The state government on January 4 issued a notification slapping ban on manufacture, sale and use of gutkha in the state.

The government invoked Regulation 2.3.4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulation-2011, to effect the ban on manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of gutkha and panmasala containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients.