The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) collected over Rs 3.49 crore in 212 days from 1.51 lakh people in the form of penalty for not wearing a mask in public places. The violation attracts a penalty of Rs 200 or police action if the offenders refuse to pay the fine.
BMC Commissioner IS Chahal had last month asked officials to “aggressively” penalise those who are not wearing masks and also set a daily target to book 20,000 offenders. Not only this, but the civic body has started making violators do community services in form of sweeping roads for an hour or cleaning graffiti on the city walls if they argue with authorities against fine or refuse to pay Rs 200 fine after being caught for not wearing masks in public places.
The civic body had warned of action under Section 188 (disobedience to the order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code if people are found roaming without wearing masks in public places like streets, hospitals, markets, offices among others. An FIR was also registered on October 13 against a 28-year-old man from Govandi for failing to wear a mask at a public place.
The BMC made wearing of face masks/cover compulsory from April 8 given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
Since April 9, when the BMC began the drive, it has collected Rs 3,49,34,800 from 1,51,172 offenders.
The BMC officials said people have become more careless in maintaining distance and wearing masks. The solid waste management department has been entrusted with penalising people for not wearing masks, and 960 staff members have been deputed for the same.