POM betel nut debate continues

The debate overthe ban of betelnut inthe capital city continues…reports of clash between vendors and city rangers are becoming a common siting in public places.

Governor Powes Parkop’says it’s notthe intention ofthe city council to put a blanket ban onthe sale and consumption of betel nut but to regulate this fast growing commercialised informal business.

Andthe approach here is to control its transportation and carriage routes withthe carriers to bethe ones facingthe brunt ofthe law.

Yes! That isthe word fromthe head ofthe city council;the carrier owners, ether it be land, sea or air arethe target here. This is one effective way of getting transportation owners to feel responsible inthe regulation of commercialised betel nut supply inthe capital.

Andthe fines for transport owners facilitatingthe freight of betel nut will be high: K10 thousand per bag of betel nuts on airlines; K10 thousand kina per bag of betel nuts on merchant ships or costal vessels; and K1 thousand per bag found on anPM’s and dinghies.

This is apart fromthe set spot-fines for littering and vending in public places.

The governor saysthe vendors have turned to usingthe phrase: “livelihood and custom” as a common defence againstthe new set of law.

Governor Parkop was quick with this reply when asked what he thought. 

The city hall plans to instill discipline among vendors and consumers as this fast growing commercialised business isthe major cause to littering andthe spread of airborne diseases like Tuberculosis that’s seen a rise inthe last two years. 

Festus Maiginap, National EMTV News

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