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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 May 2005, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Public relief no longer tolerated
By Narayan Bareth
BBC News, Jaipur

The municipal corporation in the western Indian city of Jaipur has announced a bold initiative to prevent urination on the streets.

It is all set to impose fines of 20 rupees (50 US cents), more than an average day's wages for many Indians.

"It will be taken as a charge for clearing up the mess," said Jaipur's Mayor Ashok Parnmi.

The civic body has also amended its rules to increase fines in cases related to the clearing of dirt.


"The new steps are taken to keep the pink city of Jaipur clean," said Mr Parnmi.

He said that under the new scheme, city corporation officials would roam the streets and impose an on-the-spot fine on anyone found urinating in public.

The offenders are overwhelmingly men who are also inclined to spit in public as well. But so far there are no signs that they will also be penalised for this habit.

He said the money collected by the anti public urination drive would be used to clean and beautify the city.

But local people are not happy with new rules in a country where the authorities often cast a blind eye on males relieving themselves in public.

Local resident Sharad Bhardwaj said the corporation should first develop a better toilet infrastructure and build more urinals. He complains that the existing ones are over-used and filthy.

"If there are no urinals, where do you expect us to go?" he asked.

Mr Parnmi agreed that public toilets were scarce but he said this should not be used as an excuse to urinate on pavements.

He said the corporation plans to build more public toilets in the coming days.

If there are no urinal, where do you expect us to go?
Jaipur resident Sharad Bhardwaj

He said shopkeepers and restaurant owners would also be targeted with fines of up to 500 rupees ($10) if they were caught discarding litter on the streets.

He said a stiff penalty of 1,500 rupees ($30) would also be imposed on those who attempt to deface historical buildings or monuments in the city.

About two years ago, a similar drive against public urination was launched in the Indian capital, Delhi.

Sanitation magistrates were appointed to drive around the city in mobile courts to dispense justice on "litter louts".

But the move had only limited success.

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