Covid-19 ‘infects’ administrations with new zeal, but for how long?

It took a pandemic to rouse the administration to act and ensure basic necessities for the marginalised | PTI Photo

A mini-truck carrying goods stops at a traffic signal in Kolkata. The driver pops his head out and spits a mouthful on the relatively empty road. Under normal circumstances, such misdemeanours on Indian roads would have gone unnoticed. But not in times of Covid-19.

Kolkata deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Rupesh Kumar immediately took note of the incident last week and warned denizens against spitting in public. He said the police are taking strong legal action against violators by identifying them through CCTV footage.

Although the West Bengal Prohibition of Smoking and Spitting and Protection of Health of Non-Smokers and Minors Act has been in existence for almost 19 years now, hardly anyone in the state was aware of it. The police too never bothered to enforce the prohibitory Act.

M for missing in action

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
plans start from Rs. 99
Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on