Spit and pay: Kerala municipal body to go after offenders
Most municipal bodies and corporations prohibit spitting and prescribe penalties but the prohibition remains only on papers.Updated: Jan 21, 2020 01:13 IST
Fed up with the nuisance of people spitting in public places, a civic body in north Kerala’s Wayanad district has decided to go after them, officials said Monday.
The Sulthan Bathery Municipality has decided to impose a fine of Rs 500 on first time offenders and formed special squads to detect them. Repeat offenders will be booked under the civic law with a fine and jail term, said municipal chairman T L Sabu
“We are serious. First time offenders will be fined Rs 500 and later cases will be slapped on them. We have already warned paan-wallhas and others that they will be booked if we spot stain marks near their outlets. We have already cleaned many spitting spots and installed boards warning them,” said Sabu.
Most municipal bodies and corporations prohibit spitting and prescribe penalties but the prohibition remains only on papers. In Kerala spitting and blowing nose in public places were banned following the intervention of the High Court in 2006 but the menace is still rampant in many parts of the state.
“Many offenders are aware of the law but they flout it with much impunity as there are no effective implementing agencies. In metro trains and stations we can see there are no violations. So is the case with airports and then why dirty public places? If we implement the law effectively we can get rid of this,” he said.
Spitting from buses and other moving vehicles also cause innumerable problems to pedestrians and two-wheeler rider Sabu said. Special squads comprising health inspectors, community police officers and activists have been formed to check this menace. Sulthan Bathery forms part of Wayanad parliamentary constituency represented by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Health experts say besides pollution, spitting poses a serious health hazard especially in transmission of many communicable diseases. Many major diseases that spread through saliva include TB, hepatitis, meningitis and others.