Mumbai: The city’s civic administration will launch a caller tune to tackle the menace of spitting in public places and has collected over Rs 38 lakh in fines till August 2, it informed the Bombay high court in an affidavit.
In it affidavit, the BMC annexed posters and its public notices in English, Marathi and Hindi, saying people will have to fork out Rs 1,200 for spitting in public places and any failure to do so would make the defaulter liable to do at least one hour of community service.
The August 5 reply by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in an anti-spitting public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Armin Wandrewala, listed a slew of steps it has taken, including on suggesstions that she made.
Spitting is prohibited as it is one of the reasons attributed to the spread of Covid-19, said the BMC, and the affidavit says regarding its increase of fine from Rs 200 to Rs 1,200, the “file is put up before the chief account officer (revenue) for scrutiny.”
The caller tune and television messages will spread awareness against the dangers of spitting and persuade people not to spit. There are 52 nuisance detectors and 30 marshalls per ward, across the city.
The BMC said a mobile van to spread awareness in slums and crowded places, a helpline number 1916 to receive complaints of public spitting from citizens, and a ‘do not spit’ drive, posters on public toilets and walls, complaint boxes, instructions to the BEST undertaking that runs the public buses and various taxi unions to ensure no people spit are some of the steps to show its sincere efforts to sensitize people.
On July 7, a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni had directed the BMC to create awareness against the perils of spitting in public through the audio-visual medium. The bench asked the government and police authorities to apprise their personnel on the need to implement civic discipline, so that it would deter the general public. The matter is to be heard next week.