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Spit and wash under ground

Next time you spit gutkha or pan masala on the Metro Railway premises, you’ll be handed a bucket of water to wash the mess.

Buoyed by their success in the cleanliness drive, the Metro authorities plan to strengthen the rules. Apart from paying a fine or facing a magistrate, passengers caught committing any nuisance will also have to clean up the place.

“We have already made a few passengers wash away their own spit on the platform,” said Vinod Kumar, Metro general manager. “Those who refuse to pay the fine are being handed a bucketful of water and told to wash the spot they dirty. If they refuse, we call in the police,” Kumar said.

Officials said such steps would help curb the tendency to dirty the stations. The cleanliness drive was launched in January this year, “to ensure that Calcutta’s Metro remains one of the cleanest in the world”.

It was decided then that a fine of Rs 250 would be imposed on those who dirty the platforms. In the initial months, there weren’t too many cases. The upswing started in May. From January to March, three passengers were penalised. In April, six. In May, it shot up to 139. It crossed the 150-mark in June, officials said. The total number of people fined since January is 300-plus. “We have earned nearly Rs 1 lakh as fines,” an official said. Only three passengers were handed over to the police.

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