It is a common sight in India to see people lowering down their car windows or slow down the two-wheelers to spit paan, gutka on the roads, walls, dividers or any other public property.
The newly-painted road dividers on the busy GS Road in Guwahati are splattered with red stains once again. Commuters seem to care two hoots about spitting paan, gutka, paan masala. Half-chewed mouthfuls of betel leaf, areca nut and slaked lime spat out by pedestrians were spotted on the road dividers.
A few days back, photos of freshly-painted dividers wrapped with plastic went viral on social media. Surprisingly, the people of the city also didn’t even leave the plastic cover. The authorities in a way failed to discourage the spitters as red stains were seen on the plastic covers too.
Guwahati is being decked up ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe’s visit to the city for the annual Indo-Japan Annual Summit scheduled for December 15th-16th, 2019.
“The road dividers were covered with plastic to protect them from getting stained. But city people lack civic sense. People don’t think twice before spitting on the street, public property after chewing gutkha or paan. This is extremely embarrassing,” said Ruby Dey, a localite.
Paan-tamul with a dash of lime is an integral part of Assamese culture. And consuming gutka is common in Assam despite numerous anti-tobacco campaigns here.
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