The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected fine amount of Rs 97.27 lakh between November 9 and 12 from 48,639 people who were not wearing a mask in public places.
According to officials, this has been the highest amount of fine the civic body has collected in such a short period by fining mask violators. “Most of these violators were fined at the market areas. People started to come out for Diwali shopping and most of them were found without masks," a senior official of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department told FPJ.
The SWM department has been assigned the task of collecting fines and maintaining records of violators. On an average, BMC marshals have fined around 12,150 people each day between November 9 and 12 in Mumbai. On November 1 the average number of violators in each ward in a single day was 222, while on November 12 the average number of violators in each ward in a day was 510.
"On regular days our marshals used to fine around 5,000-7000 violators throughout Mumbai but this week the number of violators increased by 60 per cent," the official said.
In November so far, the civic body has collected around Rs 4.28 crore in fine amount, of which 25 per cent was collected in this week. According to the figures the areas - Andheri East and West, Ghatkopar, Dadar, Chembur, Malad, Goregaon, Kandivli, Borivali and Kurla have a maximum of violators. The marshals also stated that many of the violators were outsiders and not local residents.
“Almot everyone we had fined had come to Andheri and Dadar either for Diwali shopping or for their occupation" said a marshal.
The marshals also informed that while the pandemic has been here for eight months now, Mumbaikars still don't understand the importance of wearing masks. “People nowadays carry their masks but don’t wear them, when we ask them questions, they say that they feel suffocated," the marshal added.
"More than 70 per cent of the people walking on roads wear their masks below their nose. Even people coming to markets with family and children are often being seen without masks" stated another marshal.
"Often the violators behave adamantly and abuse us. We fail to make them understand that we are doing this for the collective good" he pointed out. This week, the civic body has also increased the number of marshals by three times. Earlier there were nearly 500 marshals, presently around 1,500 marshals are being deployed across all the 24 municipal wards.