Under the recently amended Bombay Police Act, it is an offence to litter the streets or to spit in any public place. Violators are liable to arrest and prosecution, penalty for the offence being a fine up to Rs 100.

The municipality has placed dustbins along the roads and very thoughtfully clamped on spittoons to selected lamp-posts. But whether due to thoughtlessness or sheer cussedness, the citizen considers the streets to be one vast dustbin-cum-spittoon. Bits of paper, cigarette stubs, banana skins and groundnut shell form a familiar – and sometimes disastrous – carpet for the pedestrian.

Some housewives painstakingly clean the home only to dump the refuse over the balcony and on to the head of some unwary pedestrian. Then there are those who apparently believe that spitting is the best part of chewing ‘paan.’ The gory result is splashed across innumerable walls. It is welcome news indeed that the Bombay police intend to take a stern view of much violations of the law, though the manner in which this determination has been announced is rather strange. The public was informed yesterday through a press note that the police will launch a sanitary drive, ‘particularly in the Fort area, from March 15.’….

We must commend the police for their sense of fair play. But was it really necessary to inform the public that the police drive will be largely restricted to the Fort area?……There is the further possibility that the desire of the police to give the public what it obviously considers “adequate” warning, will be self-defeating. In the hurly-burly of the election campaign when dire warnings are being hurled at the voter by rival candidates, it is unlikely that the police warning will be remembered when March 15 dawns.

(EDIT, March 15, 1957.)

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