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10818Fwd: [karmayog] 70,000 people fined Rs 1.4 cr in a year for spitting on roads in Mumbai

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  • Thiagarajan Arunachalam
    Jan 7, 2014
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      From: Pearl - Karmayog <info@...>


      Source: The Times of India

      URL: articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-21/mumbai/40707966_1_clean-up-marshal-clean-up-mumbai-campaign-spitting

      Date: 21.7.13


      Drop in ocean? 70k fined Rs 1.4cr in a year for spitting on roads in Mumbai


      (More than 70,000 people…)

      MUMBAI: Taking a cue from British lawmakers , if the state government were to make spitting a criminal offence in Mumbai , it would prove to be a near-impossible task to prosecute offenders given the colossal numbers fined each year for spitting in public.


      More than 70,000 people in the city have been fined for spitting in public places between August 2011 and July 2012, according to an estimate by BMC officials , bringing in upwards of Rs 1.4 crore in fines .


      Not surprisingly, the plan to make spitting in public , a common practice in the South Asian community in theUK , by a London borough has made headlines inIndia .


      The BMC officials who have led the Clean-Up Mumbai campaign believe this number is just the tip of the iceberg . "For one, a large part of Mumbai's spitting corridors the railway tracks— have not been covered by the campaign. And, even on the streets, the frequent scraps between Clean-U p marshals and offenders actually dissuaded an overwhelming majority of these marshals from doing their job. Otherwise , the figures would have been manifold," an official said .


      'Rs 200 fine too little for spitting'


      The city is reeling under the public nuisances of spitting and littering, but is yet to have a stiff deterrent in place. The 'Clean-Up Marshal' scheme suspended in 2012 on allegations of corruption, was revived only last month.


      "Most fines collected every day are either for littering and spitting," said a senior civic official . The ruling Shiv Sena last year had announced a plan to ban spitting in public and had also appointed a committee to deliberate over this, but a year on, there is no update on the proposal.


      Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman said the BMC will try and find ways to ban spitting in the city.


      The BMC, during the drive, categorised littering, spitting and relieving-in-public offences under one head. Official figures show the number was between 1.3 lakh and 1.4 lakh. Solid waste management officials , who have interacted with the marshals and devised the campaign, say that more than half of these - around 70,000 - are spitting offences. The total fine collected during the drive was more than Rs 7 crore. Spitting offences were followed by dumping debris and medical waste in the city.


      Activists feel the fine of Rs 200 is too little for public nuisance and should be increased manifold to act as a real deterrent , given the prevalence of tuberculosis - one of the more serious diseases that can spread from spitting - in Mumbai.


      The Clean-Up marshal scheme launched in 2007, put 700 marshals on the streets of Mumbai, authorized to fine those who litter or spit on roads or public places like malls, commercial establishments.