Dharampur, India – Himachal Pradesh Police are dealing with pollution of a different kind – tourists who urinate in the open despite the existence of washrooms.
The roadsides along the hills have become happy easing grounds for tourists, who routinely disembark from their vehicles to answer the nature’s call.
To deal with the menace and avoid embarrassment for the locals, police have put up signboards along the national highway running through the state.
A number of such boards can be seen around popular ‘dhabas’ or eateries in this town of Solan district that lies on the Kalka-Shimla highway.
The notices warn the visitors against urinating in the open and urge them to use the washrooms instead.
“Open spaces around the popular eateries, where the long-route buses halt, have become favourite places for the passengers to urinate. We are getting a number of complaints from the locals. We have started imposing a fine of Rs.100 on the violators,” police Officer Jagdish Kanwar told IANS here.
He said that on an average, five to six people were fined daily.
Lucky, who works in one of the eating joints located on the outskirts of this town, said the police are maintaining a strict vigil around the place.
He said that cops manage to lay their hands on one or two violators every day.
Kanwar said the problem of people urinating in the open is more acute in this town because of the presence of a number of popular eateries.
“It’s both aesthetically or ethically incorrect, particularly when you have washrooms in the area. We have also directed the eateries to maintain their toilets,” he said.
However, Atul Bhatia, a tourist, said the police are implementing the ban without ensuring proper facilities of public washrooms.
“Even the toilets of the eateries are in a pathetic condition,” he added.
The highway is dotted with a number of ‘dhabas’ and restaurants. Many people, especially on weekends, travel uphill from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana for a long drive.