Bengaluru: In an effort to deter people from urinating in public, the Bruhut Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) has installed mirrors on walls to help people “reflect on their actions before peeing”.
While hefty penalties or images of gods and goddess on walls have not stopped people from answering to nature’s call on the city streets, the civic agency hopes that holding up a mirror could do the job.
As part of the effort to improve its Swachh Survekshan ranking, the BBMP has installed five such mirrors at different corners across the city.
The mirror also has a QR code which when scanned will give citizens the location of the nearest public toilet. One would need to download the BBMP Sahaya App and scan the code.
“It is a good idea, where we thought that it would be better that we shame people, so that they will not repeat offences of using public spaces as urinals. The idea was also to encourage them to use public toilets that are located nearby,” said BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar.
He said people would have to switch on location settings on their smartphones and only then, would they be directed accurately. “I’m not saying public toilets are always located very nearby, but they may not be more than 600m. However, it will be something that will deter people from using this space and using public toilets instead.”
The mirrors are not made of glass, but a reflective material making it non-breakable. It can also be dismantled and shifted to other spots easily.
At present, the mirrors have been installed at KR Market, Indian Express Circle, ESI Compound in Indira Nagar, Jyoti Nivas College in Kormangala and Church Street. The BBMP has spent about Rs 2 lakh on the initiative.
On seeing the newly installed mirror, a passer-by said it was a good effort by the civic agency, but wasn't convinced if the message was targeting the right audience.
"To use a QR code, one needs to have a smartphone, but normally the people who actually pee in the open, are not smartphone users. They make not understand why this is here,” he added.
Another drawback was the fact that most of the instructions on the mirrors were written in English and not the local language. Also, the locations where they have been installed have not even been identified as “black” spots.
"We will have to gauge people’s response after a week or 15 days and accordingly, we will take a call whether to install more mirrors or shift the existing ones,” Kumar added.