In a bid to keep Pune streets clean, the city civic body has started punishing people spitting on roads by making them clean the spit, besides levying a fine on offenders, an official said Sunday.
The decision was taken after authorities found that only monetary fine was not adequate to check the menace of spitting, Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) solid waste management department chief Dnyaneshwar Molak said.
The initiative was launched last week in five wards of Bibwewadi, Aundh, Yerawada, Kasba and Ghole Road, he said. "In the last eight days, PMC sanitation inspectors caught around 156 people while they were spitting on streets. All of them were made to clean their spit immediately and a fine of Rs 150 was imposed on each of them," he said.
The objective behind the punishment is to send across a message to people that when offenders are made to clean their own spit, they feel ashamed, and that next time, they will think twice before spitting on streets, he said.
Molak noted that in the 2018 cleanliness survey, Pune was at the 10th position whereas the Indore city of Madhya Pradesh was on the top. "This time, we are aiming for the number one position. The latest drive is one of the initiatives taken by the civic body ahead of the Swachh Survekshan (survey) 2019," he said.
In the past, the civic body used to observe the Anti- Spitting Day every Wednesday, but it got discontinued, Molak said, adding that their aim is to resume it now. "The drive will initially start on a daily basis but once sufficient awareness is created, it can be limited to one particular day," he added.
Spitting in public places in a common nuisance in India. Walls, corners of streets, dust bins are often stained in deep red of the Beetle leaf juice, which is often chewed and spat off.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched in 2014 since BJP led government came to power. PM Modi has often campaigned for the Abhiyan and the movement has celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Priyanka Chopra promoting it.