BMC hikes marshals’ strength at rly stations to nab errant commuters

In order to keep tabs on people who are flouting COVID-19 norms including using masks in local trains and public places, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has upped the number of civic marshals being deployed outside local railway stations in the city.

A significant number of civic marshals have now been deployed outside the railway stations at Dadar, Andheri, Ghatkopar, Mumbai Central, Byculla and CSMT, which have been recording a heavy footfall of passengers daily since local trains resumed operations on February 1.

In every ward, there are at least 60 marshals deployed depending on the population density and floating population of the area. Now most of these marshals have been assigned to duty just outside railway stations.

Between February 1 and 4, BMC marshals have slapped penalties on 51,175 violators across all the 24 municipal wards and have earned Rs 1.02 crore in fines. Senior civic officials have stated that between 55-60 per cent of these violators were fined outside the railway stations.

"A lot of people are now being fined regularly for not wearing their masks outside the station areas of Dadar and Andheri, many people have this mentality that now that train services have resumed, the pandemic is over," a senior official of the BMC Solid Waste Management department (SWM) told FPJ.

The official also said that the number of marshals in a ward has not been increased, only more people have been assigned near station areas.

He also stated that at stations like Dadar, which have market areas just outside it, remains heavily crowded throughout the day, for which many of the violators keep their masks below their nose level.

"In case of senior citizens carrying any load, we don't fine them directly, rather request them to pull up their mask once," said the official.

Marshals also stated, now that trains have resumed, more people are now being fined at the commercial districts of the city.

"In places like Colaba, Grant Road, Parel and Sandhurst Road, the number of violators have increased, after trains resumed," said another official.

Till February 4, BMC has fined total 13.71 lakh violators and have earned Rs 27.79 crore in the form of penalties.

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