BHOPAL: On the one hand, the number of Covid cases has spiked in Bhopal, and, on the other, the number of challans made out for people not wearing masks is falling every day. To stop the spread of the virus, masks have been suggested as a solution and anyone not wearing a mask should face action.
Spot fines for masks were stopped in December, but, due to a surge in the number of cases, Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) resumed the action. The civic body had resumed the imposition of fines on persons not wearing masks on February 24 and had made 290 spot fines on that day. The figure shrank to 67 spot fines on Monday. Also, action is taken randomly and no spot fine was imposed for over four days before Monday.
This is happening at a time when the government has to impose night curfew in Bhopal to check the rise in the number of corona cases. This slackening by the civic body in dealing with violators of corona norms, such as masks, social distancing and sanitisers, may, literally, prove to be a ‘fatal’ mistake. Also, the amount of fine has constantly been kept at a low level of Rs 100, while the administration had ordered that the amount be raised to Rs 500.
All the major markets of Bhopal are now crowded with hardly any visitor following the guidelines of social distancing. Not only masks, but also sanitisers and social distancing are now forgotten rules.
Shrinking spot fines
On February 24, 290 spot fines were made, while the next day 282 violators were fined.
The following day, 245 were made to pay fines, while, on February 27, 202 people found not wearing masks were fined.
But, the figure shrank to 141 on March 1 and came down to 94 on March 4. No spot fine was made between March 5 and March 9.
On March 9, the figure was 59 spot fines.
On March 10, 69 fines were imposed, no one was fined until March 15 when 67 people were fined for not wearing masks.
‘Strict orders issued’
Additional commissioner, health, BMC, MP Singh said he had instructed officials to impose fines on anyone not wearing masks in Bhopal.