Now, spitting on Pune Roads can cost your upto Rs 150, and throwing garbage Rs 180 – and not just that you might as well have to clean it up!
Sanitary inspector Shivaji Gaikwad told Indian Express, “One will have to dish out Rs 150, if he spits on that road, and it is not negotiable.” Challans are also being handed out for that. A college student, who was caught spitting on the road on Saturday by the anti-spitting squad had to mope the stains left by him on the roadside and tried looking away, while Gaikwad took his photo.
Zubair Patel, the student requested the anti-spitting squad to take Rs 100 fine from him as he was not aware of the rule. But the sanitary inspector was unforgiving. “Do you spit anywhere in your home? then how can you do it anywhere on road? Since you have made the mess, you have to clean it,” says Gaikwad.
The anti-spitting squad – Gaikwad and his colleagues work with the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Solid Waste Management department, who have been trying to check the habit of spitting in public spaces. The squad under leadership of divisional sanitary inspector Sunil Kamble is armed with buckets and mops and can be seen in bus stops and traffic signals hawking for those who spit on road.
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Last month, the Maharashtra government had allowed local municipalities and corporations to fine people creating such nuisances. This drive was launched during Diwali as a pilot project, and most people have welcomed it and wants it to continue for long.
“Many people are appreciating our work, some even comes and shakes hand with us for the work we do,” Gaikwad said Indian Express. People are slowly getting aware of the campaign through the widely spread images and videos in the social media platforms. “So they are now thinking twice before spitting,” he said.
The goal is to maintain the ‘clean’ image of the city for next year’s Swachh Survekshan campaign. The squad is not just looking out for public offenders, but they also track the operations of the ‘ghanta gaadis’ that collect waste and sanitary workers who sweep the roads to ensure smooth functioning in the morning. And, then they set out for their anti-spitting mission.
However, not every offender is like Patel, who would actually clean up his mess. Many of them do get defensive or into argument with the officers.
“For some people, it is unbelievable to pay fine for spitting on the road or to clean it up,” said Gaikwad. The team wraps up their drive around afternoon and assemble under the flyover near Pune University circle, to submit the fines collected along with the list of offenders.