Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to initiate a joint action involving local and traffic police against those found roaming in public places without wearing a facemask. In a meeting held via video conference on Tuesday afternoon, the civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal directed all ward officers to initiate joint action involving police against the offenders.
"Experts across the globe have repeatedly said that wearing a mask in public is the most effective way to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In this regard we have been raising awareness about the use of 'masks', have been encouraging people to wear masks whenever they step out. At the same time, a fine of Rs. 200 is being levied on those caught in public places without masks. However, looking at the amount of fine we are collecting and the rising number of offenders I have instructed assistant Municipal Commissioners of all wards to intensify the action against the offenders. We will now work with local police and traffic police to act against offenders," said Chahal.
The move, Chahal informed will help impose the rule effectively across the city. Officials present at the meeting were Additional Municipal Commissioner (Eastern Suburbs) Ashwini Bhide, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Western Suburbs) Suresh Kakani, all the Joint Municipal Commissioners, Deputy Municipal Commissionerrs, Assistant Commissioner, Superintendent of Municipal Hospitals, Medical Officers of Public Health Department and even representatives from Mumbai Police.
The civic body has so far collected Rs. 1.5 crore by penalising around 40,000 people under this campaign. During the meeting, instructions were given to ward officers to prepare and implement the 'Joint Action Plan' at the level of all 24 divisions involving Mumbai Police and Traffic Police. Instructions were given to ward officers and zonal deputy municipal commissioners to take action against shopkeepers, vendors, vendors and employees working in shops, restaurants, citizens going for morning walk, etc without wearing a mask. "We are considering initiating legal action against repeat offenders," said a senior BMC official.