'Free' mask, ₹200 fine in Mumbai for rule violators: BMC

To encourage COVID-19-appropriate behaviour among residents of Mumbai, the city civic body has decided to provide 'free' masks to those found without face cover in public and also collect a fine of Rs 200 from them.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in a release on Sunday said from April till November 28, it took action against 4.85 lakh citizens for not wearing masks in public places and collected over Rs 10.7 crore as fine from them.

The BMC said when an offender, after being fined, goes ahead without a face mask, the objective of implementing the COVID-19 prevention protocol remains unfulfilled.

"Therefore, in order to fulfill the objective, the citizen concerned will be provided a free mask and charged a penalty of Rs 200," it said.

The relevant penalty receipt will also mention about the free mask, it said.

To curb the spread of infection in the post-Diwali season, the civic body has increased inspection drives in the city, with the violation of mask rule attracting a penalty of Rs 200.

From April till November 28, the maximum number of 32,010 citizens without masks were fined in the K-west ward, which includes areas like Juhu and Versova, a BMC official said, adding that Rs 63.39 lakh was collected as fine from them.

Besides sanitisation of hands and maintaining social distance, regular use of mask is necessary for controlling the spread of coronavirus infection, he added.

Till Sunday, Mumbai city reported a total of 2,82,821 COVID-19 cases and 10,865 deaths due to the disease, as per official figures.

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