Concerned over the sharp rise in infectious disease like tuberculosis, Maharashtra government will introduce a bill banning spitting in public places in the upcoming state Legislature Budget session scheduled next month.
State Health Minister Deepak Sawant had last year at a function on World Cancer Day mooted the idea of a law banning spitting in public places besides the proposed law banning chewing of tobacco in public. The minister in a series of tweets yesterday said the proposed law aims at discouraging people from spitting in public places.
He said along with imposing heavy fines, government also plans to make the offenders to do social services such as cleaning public places. "We are discussing with Law and Judiciary department officials to fine tune the legalities. After seeing a sharp rise of infectious diseases across the state, we have decided to bring in the Anti-spitting law. It is expected to be tabled in the Assembly session that begins on March 9," Sawant said.
Meanwhile, Secretary, Law and Judiciary department N J Jamadar said that he will have a look at the department note which must have been forwarded by the minister.
According to the proposed legislation, offenders spitting for the first time will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 and also do a day of community service at public places or at government offices. If caught second time, the offender will be slapped a fine of Rs 3,000 and do three days of community service.
For repeated offence, the offenders will have to pay Rs 5,000 fine and do five days of community service. "Simply paying a paltry fine is not enough and so the government has decided to provide for compulsory community service. The offender will be given a broom and asked to do community service by sweeping public places and government offices," Sawant said.
He added that the aim is to hurt the ego of the offender and desist him from repeating the act.