In order to put a check on mask violators across Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be increasing the number of marshals deployed in each ward levels.
These marshals are being assigned with the task of punishing mask violators by charging a fine and taking legal action against them.
Earlier this week, municipal chief Iqbal Singh Chahal held a meeting over video conference with senior BMC officials, emphasizing the need to regulate discipline across the city in order to avoid a second wave. In the meeting, officials also asserted the importance of wearing masks at public places in order to contain further spread of the virus.
Between November 3 and 11, the civic body has fined more than 600 Mumbaikars across 24 wards in Mumbai collecting a hefty fine amount exceeding Rs 1,20,000.
Senior civic officials stated the number of violators could be more considering there would have more marshals deployed.
"People roaming across city without masks is a common sight in Mumbai nowadays. With the relaxations of lockdown people have forgotten that the virus is still there so in order to restore discipline, we have increased the number of marshals in Mumbai," said a senior civic official of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department. The SWM department of BMC is involved with the process of collecting fines.
Presently there are 514 marshals deployed across 24 municipal wards, now according to civic officials the numbers will be tripled. Apart from fining mask violators, the marshals will also be given the task of monitoring crowd management at market areas.
"Considering the density of people thronging the streets we are falling short of people to penalise them which is why increasing the numbers are necessary," the official added.
Marshals deployed on duty informed that as the season of festivity is on the cards, the number of people hitting the roads have almost doubled.
"People in market areas don't wear mask when we approach them, they say its because of the crowd they feel suffocated," said a BMC marshal.
They also highlighted even though Mumbaikars carry a mask, most of them are seeing wearing them below their nose level.
"The pandemic is here for more than eight months now, its unfortunate educated people still takes the usage of masks lightly," said another marshal.