Mumbai: Over 13K people fined in single day for not wearing a mask

Over 13,000 people have been penalised in a single day by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not wearing facemask in public place despite the number of COVID cases rising steadily in the city.

According action take report (ATR) shared by the civic body on Wednesday, total Rs 30.96 crore has been collected as fine from 15.29 lakh people who were caught without face mask till February 16.

Concerned over the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked citizens to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and physical distancing or be prepared to face another round of lockdown. Shockingly BMC collected 27.11 lakh from 13,557 people in a single day on Tuesday, February 16.

In less than three months, number of violators caught without face masks in public places has increased three times. Till November 28, 2020 BMC collected a fine amount of Rs.10,07,81,600 from 4,85,737 violators. The fine amount up to February 16 has increased to Rs 30.96 crore that was collected from 15,29,955 lakh violators.

The violation which attracted Rs 1,000 fine until September 12 was brought down to Rs 200 fine starting September 13. The BMC has offered its staff incentive of 10 per cent of the total fine they collect each day. "We have been appealing to the citizens to follow the COVID-19 safety protocol. We have no intention of declaring a lockdown, but we want citizens to cooperated and adopt 'COVID appropriate behaviour'. Face mask is compulsory since the pandemic was on peak and even now. Anybody who violates the norm will be penalised," said Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health).

As per the BMC data, the highest number of 1,08,069 people were caught without face masks in Mumbai's K-West ward which comprises Juhu, Andheri (West), Versova. The lowest number of violators - 25,847 - were caught in M-East ward, which comprises DeonarAnushakti 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 highest number of violators (2.79 lakh) among all seven zones. The civic body collected 5.61 crores from Zones 2.

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