Open urination unchecked, using footpaths troublesome

DH illustration/Prakash S

Despite efforts like Swachh Bharat (Clean India campaign), some parts of the city stink to high heavens as open urination goes on unchecked.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, which promised to penalise and shame men urinating in public, did not seem to have taken any concerted effort to stop the menace.

Following complaints from women that they find it too embarrassing to navigate the sidewalks of certain roads, where men openly urinate, the BBMP declared that it would penalise and shame those relieving themselves at street corners. But there seems to be little change in the situation.

"It's very difficult to navigate footpaths where men urinate on the walls. We're forced to look the other way or cross the road and avoid the stretch entirely," said Shubha K, a citizen who uses KG Road.

The stench along such footpaths are unbearable. Shubha points to the underpass near the city railway station, which stinks to the highest heavens.

The situation is no better in the other areas. "As if the foul odour of piled up garbage is not bad enough, we get the smell of urine as well. How can we walk in the city?" asked Rekha B, who frequents Shivajinagar.

Wanting to discourage open urination, the BBMP fixed Rs 100 as penalty for offenders. But implementing the ban is sloppy as the officials rarely monitor the streets.

"Last year, we could collect a mere Rs 25,000, while this year we could catch only five people until February. The drive stopped due to the elections and lack of enthusiasm among staff," said Sarfaraz Khan, BBMP's joint commissioner for health and solid waste management.

Khan said the BBMP has plans to involve residents welfare associations and NGOs to revive the watch and ward concept. "We'll target frequently used places, build urinals and penalise offenders. We'll ensure the practice is completely stopped," Khan said.

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