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Spit and Pee in Public - Civic Sense of Bengaluru!

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"Spit and pee in public, flyovers are more important". Yes, this is the title of the interesting article published in "Citizen Matters" by Vaishnavi Vittal.

I remember one of the Praja member VVR had once remarked on this habits of ours "...So, I say just provide a long wall in one corner of the parking lot where we Bengaluru males can do our spitting and whatever else we Bengalurians do when we see walls (for some reason Bengaluru women do not seem to have these urges)...". 

That was a comment made in the context of clean toilets at BIAL.

Vaishnavi writes "..Almost every other week, outside my office on Sarjapur Road, I see an elderly gentleman stopping by a tree in the morning, to relieve himself.  A Nirmala Shauchalaya stands barely 100 metres away from this recipient tree.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget ambitiously speaks about a lot that the city needs - storm water drains, flyovers, underpasses, parks, playgrounds - so on and so forth. A lot of criticism has gone the way of the budget, pooh-poohing the amount of loans that the corporation is planning to take and slamming the massive revenue projections.

Plans have been made for magnanimous projects, but the city corporation seems to have completely ignored some very important and absolutely basic aspects of public health, sanitation and hygiene...."

She ends here article with a suggestion "...When there's talk about encouraging more people to use public transport, why not encourage people not to spit on streets, urinate in public or litter the road? Penalising them is the only way to get started.

Holding awareness campaigns or putting up boards that simply say, 'Don't Spit Here' haven't worked in the past. Take the ban on smoking in public places for starters. Neither have signages helped, nor has the law been strictly enforced. At a recent BBMP council meeting, I saw two corporators, Manjunath Reddy (Madiwala, Ward 172) and Mohammad Rizwan (Guruppanapalya - Ward 171), smoking inside the council building.

Slapping fines is the only way to 'encourage' people to spot dirtying public places. 'Classical conditioning' with a twist you can say.The toughest part is to get the public to sit up, notice and realise. This can only be done by strict enforcement of bans/fining...."

Really look forward to somehot discussions and a praja style campaign, however small it may be.



murali772's picture

courts alone seem to hold hope

111 users have liked.

unhygienic public toilets

outsource maintenance - check this

And there's also the issue of widespread use of paan, ghutka, betel leaves and other tobacco products, which increases the number of people spitting and the amount of spitting itself.

SC tells govt to ban gutka sachets - says Centre more interested in revenue by the ‘poison’ than citizens’ health - check this TOI report.

Muralidhar Rao
ears_bangalore's picture

Nirmal shauchalayas

108 users have liked.

Where does the money for construction of these buildings come from? And who maintains them?

One was constructed in the Nettakallappa Circle, Basavangudi and it has been now walled up completely. The corner opposite it stinks. True, this would be the condition even if the convenience were in use, as the corner is used by auto drivers and construction workers.

vvr's picture

It is reaching epidemic levels

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I have lived in the city for a little over 4 years and I suspect that the problem has become more severe in this time. And now I am afraid of catching this disease just by coming into physical contact with someone afflicted with it. In the past I have made light of it here (e.g. the article you have quoted) and in other forums but I seriously think this has become a quality of life issue for me. On an average morning commute to my office, I see at least a dozen instances of this malady. This and the lack of proper garbage disposal are my two big issues with our fair city.

What do we do about this? I do not even know where to start on either one. When I first saw religious symbols painted on walls, I thought it was an ingenious idea (and thus the reference to that in my aforementioned article) but lately I find that even these sacred symbols are not a deterrent (it is sort of like giving the middle finger sign to our chosen gods)

I have often thought about this problem. We have an interesting relationship with the toilet. Many of us would like to pretend it does not exist and so the thought of cleaning it does not even occur to us. Also, being essentially pastoral people, we would prefer to perform these bodily functions out in the open. The village where I do some community work (I spend at least one full day every month there) is the only one among a cluster of villages west of Mysore that has proper toilets, thanks to a generous contribution from a Canadian-Indian doctor. Even here, there is great reluctance to embrace the idea of using a closet to do your thing.  We bring this rural mindset to crowded urban areas. I have actually seen some call center guys working at RMZ Miilenia (formerly, the Philips Innovation campus) near Ulsoor lake get off their company transport on the main road, get a smoke from a roadside stall, head to the nearest wall to pee before walking off to their offices.

The point is, how do we fix something that is coded into our DNA? Enforcement may or may not work. Privatization of public toilets may or may not work. Education may or may nor work. Perhaps a combination of all three might make a small dent.

The puzzling thing for me though is why don't we see women do this? Therein may lie the answer to this vexing problem.

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