Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has penalized 14,207 persons across the city for not wearing facemasks while stepping out between April 20 and September 26 and collected Rs 52.76 lakh in fine. Over 36 per cent of the total fine — Rs 19,07,700 — was collected in the last thirteen days.
The violation which attracted Rs 1,000 fine until September 12 was brought down to Rs 200 starting September 13. BMC has offered its staff an incentive of 10 per cent of the total fine they collect each day.
According to BMC officials, R south ward (Kandivali), R Central ward (Borivali), B ward (Dongri, Bhendi Bazaar, Masjid Bunder, Mohammed Ali Road), C ward (Kalbadevi, Pydhonie) saw the highest number of offenders during the drive.
Between April 20 and September 26, 1,331 offenders were booked in R south ward, 1,084 in R central, 1,169 in C ward and 1,053 in B ward.
While C and B wards have registered lowest cases of Covid 19 across the city, R central and R south are among the worst affected wards with more than 11,000 cumulative cases each.
Between April 20 to September 12 when the fine was Rs 1000, the civic body penalised 4989 people from across the city and collected Rs 33,68,500.
However between September13 to September 26, when the fine was reduced to Rs 200, the civic body penalised 9,218 people and collected Rs 19,07,700.
"It is shocking to see that despite reducing the fine amount, the number of offenders has only increased. Cases where people have ignored safety measures such as wearing a mask and wearing it properly while going out have witnessed a high growth rate of infection. We have also started an awareness campaign under "My family, My responsibility" campaign across the city," said a senior BMC official.
The BMC has yet again appealed to citizens to wear a mask every time they were in a public place, so as to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The new data, released on Sunday, has underlined the critical need for the public to comply with the use of face masks, maintain social distancing norms and other Covid-19 guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of the contagion.