Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some more newspaper articles

Some newspaper articles I found in the papers. The first is from “The Australian” & the second is from “The Independent”:

Spit police battle to keep Mumbai clean

  • From: The Times
  • October 23, 2012 12:00AM
HIS cheeks bulging, Rajan Prasad looks furtively around as he sidles out of Bandra railway station. With a throaty roar, he fires out a jet of red liquid on to a nearby pillar, already stained dark red with chewing tobacco.

For Prasad, it's just another opportunity to clear his mouth of paan after his morning commute. Unluckily for him, Mumbai's spit police are watching. "Hey you," calls out Dilip Gavenkar, 50, a 15-year veteran of the force. "That's disgusting. Are you going to clean it up?"

A startled Prasad realises the game is up and reaches for his wallet to pay a 200 rupee ($3.50) fine.

In Mumbai, one of the world's dirtiest cities, the spit inspectors face a daunting task. Working for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, there are just 22 for a city of more than 20 million people.

Among these about half the male population chew paan, a mix of tobacco and areca nut handrolled by kerbside paanwallas who blend it with lime, spicy flavours and sometimes bhang, or cannabis. And an epidemic of spitting has been blamed for a surge in cases of tuberculosis.

Now the city is preparing to intensify its efforts, with a plan to expand the force to as many as 800 people who will form teams to fan out across all areas.

"It's a constant battle," said Bernard Wads, who runs the three-man anti-spitting team in Bandra, one of the city's 24 municipal wards.

"People here have no discipline, no sense of responsibility. They just spit everywhere."

In the year to July 2012, the city's inspectors collected 170,000 spitting fines.

"We do what we can, but Mumbai has such a big floating population," said Mr Wads.

"Many of them come from villages in other states, often for just a few weeks. They don't care about keeping the city clean."

Spitting in public in the city has been outlawed since 2006 but it is still commonplace.

Seema Redkar, an officer in Mumbai's Solid Waste Management Department, said the city had not given up. "Spitting is making the city very dirty, so we think with more people it will make a big difference," she said.

Raja Narasimhan, founder of the Spit Free India Campaign, welcomes the effort but warns: "It's very difficult to change the culture."


Bollywood's 'King of Romance' dies of dengue fever

Yash Chopra, the Bollywood movie mogul behind some of India's most successful and iconic films, died yesterday at the age of 80.

Doctors at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai said he died more than a week after contracting dengue fever.

Chopra, left, known as the "King of Romance", had a Hindi-language movie-making career that spanned five decades. His biggest hits included Deewar (Wall), Dil To Pagal Hai (Heart is Mad) and Chandni (Moonlight). His latest Hindi movie, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long As I Am Alive), is scheduled for release across India next month.



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