The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hygiene tips by bucketful

P. Pramanik,

A token penalty is not enough for a lifetime lesson in cleanliness. The spoilers should be forced to wash/clean the spot. The offender should be kept confined till a heavy fine is realised and/or the area is cleaned by him. Such people should be treated just as those without ticket are.


Sujit De,

Yes. People should be made to wash the spot they dirty. This penalty is actually the extension of the rule we generally follow at home. When someone breaks a glass, it is supposed that the same person will pick up the pieces. This is a just exercise. Citizens should be taught to treat the city as an extended part of their home.

Debashish Chakraborty,

People are proud of Metro Rail. The rail authorities also keep a close watch over the commuters. If stern steps are taken against people who spit in public places, they will abstain from repeating such acts.

Arunava Bose Chowdhury,

It is a matter of shame that though we often boast of being conscious of hygiene, we prefer to spit wherever we like. Countless appeals have been proven futile in this regard. Hence, to drill into people the importance of keeping their surroundings clean, the idea is worth implementing. It may take time but if strictly and regularly maintained, this step is bound to yield results. But the question is, who will impose the penalty on the offenders' Do the authorities have so much manpower to keep a watch on potential offenders'

Diptimoy Ghosh,
Salt Lake City.

The efforts of Metro Rail are no doubt commendable. But it is possible only because its premises are confined and they have got their own watch-and-ward personnel. A similar penalty cannot be imposed in public places which are, perhaps, no man’s land. If someone spits or dirties a place, nobody comes forward to object to the misdeed. As such, to put an end to such habits, a fine of Rs 20 or Rs 50 will act better than the ‘water-and-bucket’ method. And this system can only succeed with awareness among citizens and sincere efforts from civic personnel. This system will fetch the government funds.

Kathakali Rahman,

The city will become a much better place to live in if the idea is implemented. People will become much more aware that “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. In every public place, including metro stations, bins should be placed in suitable places and a traffic constable in plain clothes should be deployed to catch people creating nuisance and impose the penalty on them so that next time they think twice before committing any such act. Imposition of a fine can also put a check on such nuisances. Either of the two is a must to promote civic awareness.

Mark Burbidge,

Public places belong to society. Why should a person spit, causing discomfort to others' Thanks to Metro Rail authorities for imposing a water-and-bucket penalty. Paying a fine for spitting can be easily forgotten, but washing one’s own spittle in public is embarrassing and something to be remembered forever.

Piyal Mukherjee,
Lake Town.

As the water-and-bucket penalty introduced at Metro Rail has yielded appreciable results and drastically reduced the number of offenders, the same measures should be adopted to effectively tackle the problem of spitting at public places.

Santosh Chakravarty,
Unique Park.

No such penalty should be imposed, even after legislation, until and unless there is adequate and extensive arrangement of spittoons. Even then it will be almost impossible to stop the habit due to lack of an enforcement agency and public awareness. After all, this metropolis is not a long tunnel closed at both ends.

Sushma Jalan,

It is a good idea to impose the penalty on people creating nuisance in public places. An awareness among people has to be created so that our environment is hygienic. Cleaning up your own spittle should not be taken as an insult but as a lesson to respect the sanctity of public places which are meant for the citizens’ own comfort.

Adarsh Jain,

It is a fantastic idea. It should be imposed on public places too. Our streets are in pathetic shape. If the idea works, the city will look much better.

Joydeep Chatterjee,

Spitting in public places is unhygienic and a nuisance. Hence, it’s strongly advisable to impose a water-and-bucket penalty to restrain the public from committing nuisance.

Sananda Sen,
New Alipore.

Some people lack civic sense and love to destroy well-maintained places by spitting. For these people we should introduce a water-and-bucket penalty. Recently, Metro Rail penalised a person in this way because he had spat on the platform. This should be introduced in public places, too.

Govind Das Dujari,

Do we spit here and there in our home or do we allow outsiders to do the same in our homes' Then why should we do so in public places, which are jointly owned by us all' Spitting in public places is certainly a great offence not only because it is an uncivilised habit but also from the hygienic point of view. Punishment is certainly necessary to hasten the process of creating awareness among people. But making a person clean up the place is a public humiliation and not advisable in a democratic set-up. This is why Supreme Court has stopped handcuffing of ordinary criminals in public. There should be choice of other punishments before the offender, like hours in a lock-up with petty criminals or a hefty fine.

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