COVID-19 in Mumbai: Number of offenders not wearing face-mask stagnates
COVID-19 in Mumbai: Number of offenders not wearing face-mask stagnates
FPJ

As the Covid19 situation in the city gets grimmer with the rapidly rising number of cases, voluntary compliance to safety protocol remains our best defence against the deadly infection. Despite this, the BMC, Mumbai Police and volunteers at Railways stations have collected ₹44.49 crores till March 20 from over 22.06 lakh offenders, people who did not wear masks.

The Mumbai civic body on March 20 collected a total fine of ₹42.84 lakh in a single day from 21,420 violators who were caught without face masks in public spaces.

From making masks mandatory to restricting crowds and large gatherings, the BMC has beefed up surveillance and enforcement measures to contain the virus spread. However, the number of offenders that increased is now seen stagnated and hovering between 21,000 to 22,000.

Till February 22, 2021, a total of ₹ 33.06 crores had been collected from 16.35 lakh violators penalised by BMC, police and marshals at various railway stations. The fine amount has increased to ₹ 44.49 crores in just 26 days.

"This shows how citizens are neglecting their own safety and even putting others at risk. If we impose a harsher penalty, people criticise us, if reduce the fine amount people still criticise us. However, they fail to understand that only covid appropriate behaviour is their best defence against covid19. We have been appealing to the citizen about the same time and again," said Suresh Kakani, Additional BMC Commissioner (Health).

According to an action taken report (ATR) shared by the civic body on Sunday, on March 20, 2021, around 14,142 people were penalised by the BMC clean up marshals and an amount of ₹ 28,28,400 was collected, another 6789 violators were penalised by Mumbai police and a total fine of ₹ 13,57,800 was collected. Meanwhile, a total of ₹ 97,809 were collected from 489 violators that were caught on various railway stations.

This points out that despite the BMC’s appeals and warnings to follow 'Covid Appropriate Behaviour’ amid rising Covid-19 cases in the city, the number of people caught not wearing a mask in public places have stagnated instead of declining.

As per the BMC data from April 20, 2020, to March 20, 2021, the highest number of 1,60,188 people were caught without face masks in Mumbai's K-West ward which comprises Juhu, Andheri (West), Versova, followed by 1,18,205 violators caught in K (east) ward (Andheri East, Jogeshwari, Vile parle). Whereas the lowest number of violators - 31,766 were caught in the M-East ward, which comprises Deonar, Anushakti Nagar, Shivaji Nagar.

Meanwhile, Zone 2 of Mumbai which comprises of F (north) ward (Matunga, Sion), F (south) ward, G north (Dharavi, Mahim, Dadar), G (south)ward (Prabhadevi, Worli, Lower Parel) has the highest number of violators (3.55 lakh) among all seven zones. The civic body collected ₹7.14 crores from Zones 2 alone till March 20, 2021. Whereas Zone 5 comprises of 'N' ward (Ghatkopar, Vikhroli west), 'S 'ward (Bhandup, Kanjurmarg, Powai) and T ward (Mulund, Nahur) has the lowest number of violators (2.25 lakh). The BMC has so far collected ₹ 4.52 crore from zone 5.

Fine collected:

. BMC collected ₹ 44,49,71,600 between April 20, 2020 to March 20, 2021

. BMC collected ₹11,43,38,200 crore in just 26 days from February 22 , 2021 to March 20, 2021.

· BMC, city police and marshals at railways stations have collected ₹44.49 crores till March 20 from over 22.06 lakh offenders.

· Highest number of people without face masks (1,60,188) were caught in Mumbai's K-West ward (i.e. Andheri (West), Versova; followed by 1,18,205 in K (east) ward (Andheri East, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle).

· Lowest number of violators -- 31,766 were caught in the M-East ward, which comprises Deonar, Anushakti Nagar, Shivaji Nagar.

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