Although open defecation has reduced in the country, thousands of people, especially in urban areas, still engage in open defecation not only in the absence of public toilets but also for the vice and culture.
Many commuters and pedestrians face bitter experiences at public toilets in urban areas due to lack of the public toilets and their poor state. For this reason, many of them are forced to use the roadside, footpaths, parks, open fields and places and other public places for defecation.
However, pedestrians use urinating in open spaces next to roads, parks and other open places due to bad practice. Alongside the defecation in open places, smoking in public places in the urban areas is also a great problem.
Against this backdrop, a writ petition has been filed with the High Court seeking its directive to stop smoking in public places and open defecation everywhere, including the urban areas.
The writ petition has sought directions to implement the existing Police Act to stop smoking in the public places and to stop open defecation everywhere. The petition has also sought framing of law and code of conduct against spitting and expeling cough in public.
Advocate Md. Golam Rahman Bhuiyan, chairman of Human Rights and Social Development Organization, filed the writ petition on Thursday. He confirmed the matter on Sunday (March 12).
The health secretary, the local government secretary, authorities concerned of all the city corporations of the country and others concerned have been made respondents to the writ petition.
Earlier, legal notices were sent to the authorities concerned to implement relevant laws to prevent smoking in public places and defecation in open spaces.
Advocate Md. Golam Rahman Bhuiyan said that spitting in public places and defecating is one of the most annoying problems. Singapore, Malaysia and parts of India have provisions for fines for spitting. There is no such law universally in Bangladesh. There is no realistic effort to create awareness, he said in the legal notices.
“Realizing the importance of the matter, I am appealing to enact a universal anti-spitting and phlegming law and code of conduct. As per the prevailing Police Act, I request the authorities concerned to execute the punishment of smoking, defecating and spitting at all levels,” he said.
The lawyer said that the writ petition was filed as the authorities concerned have not responded to the legal notice.