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Spitting fine = Rs 1,000

Great news, folks! The Times of India reports that if you are caught spitting in the city of Pune, India, you will now have to shell out a fine of Rs 1,000/-. This is a whopping hike from the earlier levels of Rs 25. It is sad that the authorities took this step to spread the awareness of swine flu when the nuisance of spitting has been around for decades and ages and is one of the most shameful acts seen on Indian roads, but whatever be the intent, the ultimate action counts. So it is a great move, in my books.

Now the only thing we have to see is how well it is implemented. I think if fines for such common nuisance such a spitting are increased manifold to justify the seriousness of its intent- the way they ought to- I think the government can easily find enough resources to fund their many welfare programs. All they need to do is position the cleaning squads on railway platforms. People keep spitting whilst waiting for the train, sometimes with such ridiculous regularity that it seems they are merely passing time by spitting.

We keep blaming the government for every little shortcoming but I think as responsible citizens we too should own it up. I mean just imagine how impossible a task it is to regulate a billion people and to inculcate basic civic sense. I have seen my own colleague from my MBA college days (an educated youth, therefore) peeing on the road when our college facility was merely a few feet away! If educated people behave like this, what can we expect from the BPL familes? For them atleast, we could say that the lack of adequate sanitation is one of the biggest problems. One block of, say, 6-7 toilets to be used by a whole colony of hutments and lack of public WCs elsewhere too builds up the problem. I think the cleaning squads though are doing a great job. I have seen them nabbing people and bringing them to book. So this latest rule shouldn't be very hard to implement. Next step: Increase the spitting fine to Rs 5,000.

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