Mumbai: Mayor asks marshals not to harass citizens for COVID norm violations after video goes viral

A day after reports of Clean Up marshals manhandling Mumbaikars emerged on social media, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Sunday urged the civic marshals to not misbehave with the people and deal with them with utmost courtesy.

On Saturday, a video footage had gone viral on social media showing a Clean Up marshal misbehaving with a Mumbaikar who had refused to pay fine amount.

On Sunday afternoon, Pednekar called a review meeting at her Byculla residence where she interacted with the civic marshals deployed in the city.

"Our objective behind imposing the fines is not about earning money but to increase awareness and protect Mumbaikars. If someone behaves badly, then make them understand that what you are doing is for the greater good," Pednekar said in the meeting.

"The entire BMC administration gets defamed if one single marshal misbehaves and the people are also disturbed with restrictions everywhere. We will have to maintain a balance," the mayor added. She also stated, if anyone refuses to cooperate then they should record videos and send it to their superior for further action.

Meanwhile, as per the BMC data, the highest number of violations has been reported from four municipal wards of the island city. The wards F South (Parel, Sewri), F North (Matunga, Wadala, Sion), G South (Worli, Prabhadevi) and G North (Mahim, Dadar, Dharavi) fall under Zone 2 of the municipal jurisdiction and account approximately 20 per cent of the total violators of the city.

On an average, the civic marshals are fining 12,500-13,000 violators each day of which 2,300-2,500 violators belong to these four wards.

As per the latest civic data, total 16,154 violators were fined on February 20, of which 2,686 violators were from these four wards.

Civic officials stated being business districts most of the violators belong to the floating population who come to these areas for occupational purpose and are not local residents.

"The number of marshals in these areas has also been increased and a lot of people are being filed in the industrial areas of Dadar and Wadala who mostly come to these areas for work," said a senior civic official.

The official added, often Mumbaikars harass the marshals and refrain from paying them the fine amount.

"To avoid these problems we are accompanied by police officials now," the official added.

The official also maintained, alongside these wards, the Ghatkopar nd Andheri records a significant number of violators daily.

"The areas - Andheri West, Ghatkopar and Kurla are heavily congested, a significant amount of people from these areas also roam around without their masks," the official said.

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