Urinating in the open- especially outside the major welcome points of the city, the railway station and bus stand- has become a common sight. Shockingly, despite provision of toilets at both these places, most individuals prefer urinating in the open which not only proves the old adage 'common sense is not so common' but also gives rise to highly unhygienic surroundings from where even passing by becomes an arduous task due to a strong stench.
Strangely, the authorities concerned are in a slumber to this gross menace that is a huge blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cleanliness campaign- Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. According to nearby vendors, more than 200 people pee on the walls everyday at these two places.
“No one has any fear of urinating here. At times, even policemen on duty can be seen urinating. Not just drivers of autos, vans, rickshaws, but also commuters are not shy to relieve themselves in public,” said a vendor at the railway station.
Denizens, especially the youngsters, feel that if the municipal corporation wants, it can put a big full stop on this practice. “Why can't MC slap heavy fines? This is the only solution as common in most western countries. On the other hand, those who urinate in the open should also have shame to use the toilets for the same,” echoed various city students as one.
It is pertinent to mention here that the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a government agency, that aims for environmental protection has already begun with imposing fines of Rs 5, 000 in the NCR region since this April if anyone will be found burning garbage and leaves. This example has also been quoted by many denizens who want the MC to take lesson from it.
Other than railway stations and bus stands, walls of BSNL office building located at the Bharat Nagar Chowk are also not spared followed by various other walls in different nooks of the city. Some residents also feel that not all public places have provision of toilets and if they are there, they are not hygienic enough. Even MC's municipal commissioner GK Singh conceded with this view but said the MC rather than imposing fines would chalk out ways to come up with more toilets and ensure that they are clean enough.
“I must say as of now public toilets are not enough and are not hygienic due to which many avoid using them but we have plans to firstly, increase the number of toilets at all public places and secondly, to ensure that they are hygienic round the clock. This will be our immediate priority and I agree urinating in open is very shameful and unhygienic too.” GK Singh, municipal commissioner
“The MC must come up with the fine policy as without it, no one will give up this practice. These days, people learn everything through a lesson. I feel cleanliness campaign will also be successful just through imposing fines.” Swaranjeet Singh, student
“Those who urinate should also have sense to avoid this practice and the MC must ensure that all public places have enough toilets separately for both men and women. Keeping them clean is another must.”
NS Tasneem, writer and retired professor