John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Don't be caught with your pants down by the "Pissing Tanker."
Here's one way to get public urinators to clean up their act: give them a dose of their own medicine via a firehose's devastating blast.
A group calling itself "The Clean Indian" has done just that using a roving tanker-truck equipped with water cannons. The yellow behemoth, emblazoned with crossed-out peeing stick figures and the warning "You Stop, We Stop," patrols city streets looking for men splashing on walls. Then, with a surprise attack from behind, the truck's camo-clad operators unleash powerful jets that send the miscreants running or flying to the (urine-soaked) pavement.
It's a nasty tactic, and you've got to feel a little sorry for the men who might not have an easy place to relieve themselves. Almost half of India's 1.2 billion people don't have a toilet in their home, and public bathrooms tend to be scarce and frequently filthy. Still, if it makes guys nervous enough that they'll move to a slightly less visible spot to pee, it can't be all bad.
Warning: Video contains pee.