New Year Eve: BMC marshals collect Rs 26.35 lakh from 13,000 unmasked men

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) clean-up marshals have collected Rs 26.35 lakh in the form of fine from 13,179 people who were roaming in public spaces without masks on New Year’s eve.

To ensure New Year revellers wear masks and maintain social distance, the civic body had deployed an additional team of marshals at a number of public spaces across the city. Nearly 1,200 clean-up marshals were deployed in all the 24 municipal wards and the maximum number of violators were fined in the K (West) ward, which covers the areas of Juhu, Ville Parle, Santacruz, and Andheri (East). These areas are known to have a significant number of pubs, restaurants, and clubs where revellers come for socialization on New Year's eve.

A total of 1,218 cases was reported from this ward and civic officials informed that most of the violators belonged to the younger age groups. “Most of the violators in these places were in their 20s and early 30s. Many of them were seen gathering outside at pubs in large numbers by violating social distancing norms,” said a senior official of BMC, Solid Waste Management (SWM) department. The official added, since the last week of December, they had received complaints about people roaming around freely in these areas without their masks. “Owing to the complaints, we had deployed an additional number of marshals in this ward,” the official added.

A significant number of violations were also reported from the wards that have beaches under their jurisdiction. According to the BMC data, marshals have fined a total of 452 people from Marine Drive, Gateway of India, Colaba, and Girgaon Chowpatty. Civic marshals stated most of the violators in these areas were tourists.

“People who came to the beaches were not local residents. Most of them had come from various satellite cities to celebrate New Year,” said a marshal. The marshals, however, informed, the footfall of people at beaches turned out to be lower than what they had expected.

“On normal days, we would find close to 150 to 175 people at the Marine Drive area. However, on December 31, our marshals were able to fine 123 people in the whole of A ward,” the marshal added. A total of 1,213 people were fined from Dadar and Worli, while 374 people were fined from Bandra, Khar, and Santacruz. Officials informed those living in Khar and Bandra have developed a sense of awareness in the past few months as marshals tend to fine heavily to the violators living in these places.

“In Dadar and Worli, most of the violators were reported from the promenade areas and almost every one of them was tourists,” said another civic official.

Clean-up marshals of the city have filed a total of 9.25 lakh people and have helped the BMC generate Rs 18.87 cr in a fine amount in 2020.

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