Mumbai’s mask violators double in two weeks

Mumbai: Owing to relaxations on the restrictions that were imposed to curb the Covid-19 spread, the number of violators fined by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) marshals has increased two-fold in just two weeks.

On the first day after the state government's five-level unlock plan came into action, the BMC marshals have fined total of 3,434 violators on Monday and collected Rs 6.86 lakh in fine. As per the BMC data, a total of 353 violators were fined and Rs 70,600 was collected from F-North (Sion, Wadala) ward, which is the highest, followed by 308 violators and Rs 61,600 from K-West (Andheri west, Juhu, Versova) ward and 220 violators and Rs 44,000 from L ward (Ghatkopar, Vidyavihar).

"As per our marshals, most of the violators were those who had gone out for their daily errands. Now that public transports are operating in a phased manner, most of these violators are local people," said a senior official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department. The SWM department has been given the authority of fining violators for not covering their face.

"Many violators were also being fined inside private and public vehicles who had their mask below their nose level," the official said.

Earlier on May 23 when the lockdown like restrictions were in action, the BMC had fined around 1,828 individuals. The officials also maintained that when the restrictions were there around 1,500-1,800 violators could be fined each day. The officials also maintained that with easing of restrictions more and more people will start coming out.

"When the lockdown for the second wave was imposed, only 50-70 violators were fined per ward, now it was increased to around 140. After the first wave receded and before the second wave came, we were fining 300-400 violators daily from each ward," said another civic official.

Meanwhile, the marshals said that most of the violators are being fined at market areas and places of gathering. They said when local trains were operational, more than 60 percent of the violators were fined outside stations.

"It has been more than one year now, that the pandemic is there but people still continue to flout rules. When we tell them to wear their masks, they argue with us, forgetting the fact that we are doing it for their safety," said the marshal.

Alongside the BMC, the Mumbai Police had also fined 1,521 individuals and collected ₹ 3.04 lakhs in fine amount.

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