Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Walls are not for soiling, pee-ople!

The German city of Hamburg has found just the weapon Calcutta would love to use in the fight to save its walls from the pee brigade: a reactive paint that splashes urine back on the offender's feet.

By Tamaghna Banerjee
  • Published 19.03.15
  •  
IF ONLY CALCUTTA COULD ‘BOUNCE BACK’ LIKE HAMBURG DID

 

TOILET TOWN
ttFORcity
The paint’s base is made of organic solvents like manganese oxide polystyrene, zinc oxide polystyrene, precipitated calcium carbonate and silica, all of which have water repellent properties
• When applied on a surface, it forms a gel-based coating that creates micro-sized air structures on the wall surface which acts as a reflector and has super repelling properties
• The coating creates a contact angle of 100-150 degrees between the surface and the water droplets, resulting in the urine bouncing back at the person at a certain angle
• The technology is like the microstructure of hairs on a lily leaf that make water roll off
• The paint has lesser durability when applied on wood or a brick surface. If applied on house walls, they would need a repaint in three or four months for best performance

The German city of Hamburg has found just the weapon Calcutta would love to use in the fight to save its walls from the pee brigade: a reactive paint that splashes urine back on the offender's feet.

In Calcutta, the only deterrent to soiling a public or private wall is Section 68A of the Calcutta Police Act 1866, which carries a fine of Rs 10 for urinating in public. If the fine is a paltry amount, the police's record of invoking this little-known provision is pathetic.

Metro went around the city looking for places and pee-ople to find out whether urinating in public is a habit or a compulsion.

Swapan Naskar

Resident of Batanagar, works in the conservancy department of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation

Spotted: Targeting the boundary wall of a residence opposite Nature Study Park on the Loudon Street-Robinson Street crossing

Nearest public toilet: Around 600 metres away, near the Mullickbazar-Park Street crossing

Why did you urinate on a wall?

I have seen others do the same on many occasions; so I did the same.

But you are an employee of the civic body and you shouldn't be doing anything like this...

I am sorry. I didn't know if there was a public toilet nearby. I won't urinate here again.

 

Lal Bahadur Mahato

Resident of Behala, trades in scrap iron

Spotted: Parking his motorbike beside the narrow but busy Ray Street in Bhowanipore before soiling a wall

Nearest public toilet: Less than 100 metres away, on Ramesh Dutta Road

You just urinated in public?

I couldn't hold back any longer.

Do you know it's an offence?

I am not sure. I generally don't pee in public. Today, I had to.

 

Sheikh Shamim

Lives near Tollygunge Phari, autorickshaw driver

Spotted: Relieving himself on a wall of a CMC compactor station on Alipore Road

Nearest public toilet: Less than 15 metres away

Why did you urinate in public?

I always do so here.

But there is a public toilet right beside this building...

Nobody goes there.

 

Jay Pandey

Resident of New Alipore, owns a used car showroom

Spotted: Stopping his scooty beside a footpath near the entrance to Alipore court and urinating on a boundary wall

Nearest public toilet: Less than 50 metres away

Why did you do what you just did?

I have seen many people urinating here. Since I had to relieve myself, I stopped by.

Do you know it is unhygienic as well as unlawful to urinate in a public place?

For men, it is okay to urinate in the open. But I didn't know it is illegal. At least I have never been penalised.

 

Goutam Bose

Lives near Tollygunge Phari, works in the medical division of Alipore court

Spotted: Relieving himself on a boundary wall within the court premises

Nearest toilet: Inside his office, less than 100 metres away

Why did you urinate in public?

What is the matter? Why are you asking?

There is a public toilet outside the court and there must be one in your office too...

I would have had to walk back to my office just to pee. Since I was already near the exit, I decided to do it here.

 

Sanjay Chatterjee

Resident of Amtala, runs a grocery shop near his home

Spotted: Walking along the footpath of Southern Avenue, stopping suddenly and urinating on the boundary wall of Nazrul Mancha

Nearest toilet: Barely 100 metres away

Why did you urinate here?

I am a diabetic and I need to relieve myself twice an hour.

Is that an excuse to pee in public?

This place was stinking; so I decided to relieve myself here.

There is a public toilet a few blocks away...

I am new to this place. I wasn't aware of that.

 

Saidul Islam

Resident of Bangur Avenue, garments trader

Spotted: Stepping out of the Alipore judges' court, sneaking through the gap between a parked vehicle and the boundary wall and relieving himself there

Nearest public toilet: Less than 50 metres away, within the court premises

Why did you urinate here?

So what?

Don't you know you shouldn't urinate in a public place?

How does it matter? Let me go. I have work.

Will you do this again?

If I feel the urge to urinate on the road, I will do it once again. Everyone does the same.

 

Debasis Chanda

Lives near Rashbehari Avenue, runs a sari business

Spotted: Walking along the footpath from New Alipore towards Alipore court, stopping and urinating on the boundary wall of the Hastings women's hostel

Nearest public toilet: Less than 50 metres away

Why did you urinate here?

I felt I needed to relieve myself on seeing a public toilet at the previous crossing. I knew people urinate here; so I chose this spot.

Don't you know you shouldn't urinate in a public place?

Why didn't you stop me the moment you saw what I was doing? Had you stopped me, I would have moved away.

What about obeying rules without being forced to?

Let's wait here for another hour and you will see how many people stop to do what I did. Stop them first, then I will also stop peeing here.

 

Sujay Mistry & Sankar Kundu

Residents of Dakshineswar and Naihati ; both are drivers

Spotted: Walking around 100 metres from the State Bank of India branch on Alipore Road, crossing a pay-and-use toilet and urinating on the wall of a nearby garbage vat

Nearest public toilet: Less than 15 metres away.

Why did you urinate here?

What can we do? We are poor people.... We cannot afford to use pay-and-use toilets.

But a visit costs only it pays only Re 1?

That's a lot. If we need to use the toilet 10 times a day, it adds up to Rs 10, which is a lot of money.

But does that give you the licence to urinate in a public place?

Nobody had ever stopped us from urinating here. If the authorities want to keep the place clean, they should put up a board prohibiting people from relieving themselves.

 

Rajib Dey

Resident of Bhowanipore, taxi driver

Spotted: Urinating on a wall of Esplanade Metro station along with two other men. A man in a blue shirt zipped up and ran on realising he was being photographed, The other man walked away.

Nearest public toilet: Just beside the Metro station, barely 10 steps away

Why would you choose to urinate in a place like this?

So what? I am a driver.

But how does that give you a licence to soil a Metro station wall?

I saw others urinating here; so I joined in.

But there is a toilet just beside the station...

I know there is a toilet. But it was an emergency for me; so I urinated here. Now what will you do? Hang me for it?