Comments on: Man caught urinating kills girl as India deals with an eternal problem Perspectives on South Asian politics Thu, 02 Jun 2016 08:03:22 +0000 hourly 1 By: arttie Sun, 02 Dec 2012 22:11:14 +0000 Another thing I’d like to mention on this article, if I may; I see a lot of this ‘fines and penalties’ talk going on. How about instead of a penalty you institute a reward system for areas or neighborhoods that can enforce their own rules in keeping the areas clean of this filth. Encourage the citizens themselves to address the problem. Educate them locally on the dangers of the bacteria spread and infection increase. It could go a long way towards giving them a sense of pride, not only in their neighborhoods, but also in a personal sense. “We did it ourselves!”

By: arttie Sun, 02 Dec 2012 22:04:50 +0000 I agree that this seems to be endemic. You will necessarily have to find a way to change the people’s perception of the problem.
I mean, you allow people to actually float dead bodies down the River Ganges! Some of those bodies just lie there until they rot away!
Your society is in a big need of realizing that certain practices are just no longer acceptable.
Urinating in public is something you are probably not going to address by itself without addressing many other endemic habits also.
Uplifting and helping your poorest population would probably go a long way towards addressing the issue from the bottom up.
Good luck!

By: paintcan Sun, 02 Dec 2012 15:25:34 +0000 When was the last time anyone in the US has seen municipally maintained public rest rooms? Highway rest stops are the only facilities that seem to operate anymore. Elsewhere, in small towns and urban areas, they can only be found in some fast food restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores and usually with warnings that they are for patrons use only. The subway system in NYC has none I could ever find. There are a few in the Port Authority bus terminal. There might be one at the Times Square station and they are usually very seedy. They were notorious for being gay trysting places and may be why there are no public rest rooms. Boston has them at the major, newer MBTA stations.

No one wants to be a rest room attendant. Rest rooms here are mostly semi or completely “privatized”. And if they cost anything to use in India, I imagine many won’t.

The Indians should try something cheap and easy like the pissoir (vespasienne) that the Parisians used to use, at least for men. It’s a privacy screen and a hole in the pavement. They could be continually flushed with a low flow rinse. Or the Indians could be sensible and hose down frequently used areas at least until better methods are put in place. Women’s needs are harder to deal with but men tend to be freer with their hoses.

Cities don’t seem to do anything until it costs too much and because it costs too much to move the bureaucracies, they don’t do anything.

If the Indians start to have fully municipal controlled and maintained restrooms, they will actually be adopting a higher standard of urban comfort than applies here. Good for them, but they are also one of the more highly indebted national governments in the world. Their municipal governments may be in none to healthy condition either. Untouchables used to do the dirty work in Indian society so I suspect they will not be able to find employees willing to work at formerly “untouchable” tasks.

I have a hunch that sidewalks and walls in New Delhi are going to stink for a long time. Fines without alternatives, is just taking advantage of the situation, to make a little more tax money that may never build a single “potty”.

By: Train_Ryder Sun, 02 Dec 2012 12:20:34 +0000 why is it that the first solution is always based in punishment. the ONLY solution is clean public toilets in useful numbers. I remember my husband telling me about the public toilets in some European city 30 years ago with assertive women tending them. (you didn’t make a mess there!).

Provide the toilets FIRST. Then the behavior will begin to change. Until there is a facility the behavior can not change.

By: paintcan Sat, 01 Dec 2012 18:41:51 +0000 One thing the Indian municipal governments could do, immediately, is hose down areas that tend to be very ripe and regularly wash some of the stench away.

They might also adopt less costly methods of providing public facilities and use something like the “Vaspasiens” (not sure of the spellin) named for the Roman Emperor who introduced them into Rome and gave the contract for reclaiming the urine to the Tanners guild that needed it for treating leather. The Vespasiene was a simple privacy screen over a drain in the sidewalk. I saw them decades ago in Paris. You could see the man’s head and his legs from the knee down. It must have stunk something awful to live near a tannery in ancient Rome. Women’s needs are a bit more problematic. But it’s probably men, who always have their own hose, who make the biggest mess.

Pissing on sidewalks and walls in not new. Europe had the same problem until the 20th century. The US was none too sparkling clean either. Americans liked to chew tobacco, and every public building and hotel had a spittoon that was always surrounded by a spatter pattern of brown saliva stains. A former Aristocratic lady was once taken into the Palace of Versailles years after the Revolution, after the sales of the contents and the former occupants were all gone, and couldn’t recognize where she was in the building until she smelled a whiff of urine in a corridor or staircase that jogged her memory and she started to name the former occupants of the rooms.

By: JL4 Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:22:50 +0000 This is a cultural problem.

By: Ashok_Vaishnav Sat, 24 Nov 2012 03:34:05 +0000 We can not adopt lax attitude to maintenance of public places and utilities.
Governments or local bodies can easily provide required resources for revamping the facilties that have withered away or create new, adequate ones.
They also ahve to provide infrastructure amd self-regulating effective mechanism for upkeep as well, of which penalties can only be a small, but essential, sub-set.

By: Robert MacMillan Fri, 23 Nov 2012 15:13:57 +0000 Thanks for reading and offering your feedback and criticism. I think that we addressed your point here:

“How can we adopt those measures to the common spaces of Delhi? How can we make it easier for people to get access to toilets instead of using train tracks, open sewers, boundary walls and the street?

We cannot forget that poor people living in slums and homes without sanitation facilities, running water and so on, don’t have much of a choice about where to void themselves. Public facilities that do exist often are unusable because they are filthy.”

You will notice that we raise precisely this point. It will take more than penalties and shaming.

Having said that, there are plenty of people who have access to toilets who choose not to use them because they’re traveling, or because they decide that they just have to go. I know I’ve done it. Have you?

Thanks for reading,
Robert MacMillan
Editor, global editions

By: suryavnk Fri, 23 Nov 2012 15:09:20 +0000 With out providing facilities.. how can u ask to fine the people. Are you thinking Leaders and policy makers doesn’t know it? Are you thinking people have fun urinating in public places? Anyone can make allegations and anyone can condemn anything without knowing the root cause. I feel this article is a junk and your suggestion are immatured and silly.