Public spitting is a nuisance and Indian Railways has to spend around Rs 1,200 crore and a lot of water annually to clean the stains and marks caused by spitting on its premises, especially by paan and tobacco users. To discourage passengers from spitting on railway premises, vending machines or kiosks are being set up at 42 stations to provide the spittoon pouch for as little as Rs 5 to Rs 10. These spittoons can be easily carried in pockets and enable passengers to spit whenever they want and wherever they want while leaving the rail premises without ugly stains.
The product features macromolecule pulp technology and is equipped with a material that locks in bacteria and viruses present in saliva, according to its manufacturer. Three railway zones – Western, Northern and Central– have awarded contracts to a startup, EzySpit, for this.
These biodegradable pouches, which come in different sizes and are reusable up to 15 to 20 times, also contain seeds along with a material that absorbs the spit and turns them into a solid. Once used, these pouches when disposed of in mud or soil, encourage plant growth.
The Nagpur-based company has already started installing EzySpit vending machines at stations. They have also entered into contract with Nagpur Municipal Corporation and Aurangabad Municipal Corporation.
The spittoons are available in three varieties – pocket pouches (reusable 10 to 15 times), mobile containers (reusable 20,30,40 times) and spit bins. “There are passengers, especially the elderly, who will be greatly benefited from this. To top all this, this innovation also discourages people from spitting on rail premises which in itself is a huge gain for us.” a Railway official said.