The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Reform lesson writ in water

Sandipan Dutta,
Sukanta Pally.

Spitting in public places is a nuisance. It is also a social crime which poses a risk to people. Thatís why this act deserves a fitting punishment, like having to clean oneís own spittle.

Tapan Pal,

Mere undoing of the act of nuisance will have no deterrent effect. It should involve some punishment, too, so that the violator never repeats the act.

Madhusree Gupta,
Anil Roy Road.

The water-and-bucket policy at the Metro stations is a fine idea because Calcuttans with a complete lack of civic sense would always prefer getting away by paying a fine after dirtying the spot. But public humiliation will teach them a lesson that will never be erased from their memory. We will never learn to keep the city clean until and unless we clean the cityís soiled stretches with our own hands, with our own toils. I intensely hope that this water-and-bucket policy be extended to the city streets as well because only then can we boast of a clean city.

Virendra Shah,
Amratalla Lane.

This is the only way to make our people get rid of their mistakes. These nasty habits are rising at an alarming rate in all public places. This practice can easily be adopted in parks, theatres, railways stations and other public places. Even during morning walks at Victoria Memorial, it is noticed that some people spit and blow their nose. They should be pulled up.

Mahasweta Saha,

There are people who spit here and there and make the place dirty. To check this, a fine must be imposed. A tug at their pockets will surely make them conscious. The guards on duty must also be alerted to keep an eye on these irresponsible people.

Deborna Bhattacharyya,
Rashtraguru Avenue.

The measure adopted by Metro Rail authorities seems to be unique. The offenders should be legally compelled to clean the spot soiled by them.

Rounak Paul,

If the penalty is implemented, conscious citizens will heave a great sigh of relief. Why should this punitive measure be imposed' A few months ago, the spectre of SARS was looming large on us. The SARS virus as well as that of many other diseases could be spread by spitting. This can easily get a person infected. Spitting, along with other dirty habits like urinating and blowing oneís nose, has become common practice. This has resulted in degeneration of the city in the eyes of visitors. The civic bodies and the state government should work in tandem to banish this bad habit from the city.

Naren Sen,

The efforts of the Metro authorities are laudable. But it is successful because of its limited confines. They also have their own watch-and-ward staff. If someone spits on or dirties the streets, then nobody objects to the misdeed. As such, to put an end to such habits, a fine of Rs 50 or Rs 100 can be imposed. This can be put into effect after awareness is created among citizens. The initiative should come from the government.

Aklank Jain,

Yes, a water-and-bucket penalty, a la Metro Rail, must be imposed for spitting in public places. It would be a very humiliating experience. Once one goes through this, one will never repeat such actions.

Neera Fogla,
Upper Chitpur Road.

This system must be imposed immediately on public places like railway stations and hospitals for maintaining cleanliness. In foreign countries such penalties are imposed even on roads. India is such a beautiful country but because of these ridiculous habits, its image is tarnished. Let us all get together and take it upon ourselves to impose this hard step.

Indraneel Mukherjee,

Because of some people, the entire city gets a bad name. If the Metro Rail can impose the water and bucket penalty, why canít the other public departments initiate it as well' When repeated requests fall on deaf ears, it is strict penalty (in whatever form) that does the trick.

But even for these issues we need a proper law to be enacted or else the culprits will go scot-free. Also, sufficient police personnel have to be posted at every junction whose main task would be to keep a vigil on such practices. More than anything else, the common people have to come forward and co-operate with the administration.

Avishek Ganguly,

The water-and-bucket penalty is not a feasible idea to tackle the problem. There are many people who lack the sense of self-respect and so even if they are made to suffer the penalty, they will repeat their coarse act elsewhere. Moreover, the water-and-bucket penalty cannot be implemented on a large scale. Rather, stringent fines should be imposed on the guilty to bring an end to this problem.

Dinabandhu Mukherjee,

It is our duty to keep our city clean. For committing nuisance in public places, a penalty needs to be imposed on the offenders. But the nature of penalty should not be indecent. So the water-and-bucket penalty for spitting in Metro rail stations cannot be justified. Enforcing this mode of punishment is troublesome also. Sufficient buckets should be kept ready. Water taps should be available nearby. It is better to impose a monetary fine.

Abul Fateh Kamruddin,
Chandni Chowk.

It is known that most Calcuttans have no civic sense. But this punishment of forcing the offenders to clean up the place (with water and broom) is humiliating. Instead, I suggest that a spot fine be imposed on spitting.

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