₹14 crore collected in fines since last May

Masks will continue to be mandatory, contrary to rumours stating otherwise, say civic officials

Published - October 26, 2021 12:53 am IST - Bengaluru

BBMP Marshals collecting fine from people not wearing masks at K.R. Market BMTC bus stand junction in Bengaluru.

BBMP Marshals collecting fine from people not wearing masks at K.R. Market BMTC bus stand junction in Bengaluru.

From May 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, to date, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has collected around ₹14.1 crore as fines from citizens for either failing to wear masks or violating social distancing norms.

Since July this year, after the peak of the second wave of the pandemic, to September, Marshals have collected fines ranging from ₹60.29 lakh to ₹63.81 lakh per month from citizens for not wearing masks. For October (till October 22), ₹39.84 lakh has been collected for the same offence.

On the other hand, the number of cases against people violating social distancing has been steadily dropping from 1,214 in July to barely 506 in September. Fine collection has also reduced from ₹2.99 lakh in July to just ₹1.2 lakh in September.

Though the number of COVID-19 cases have reduced in the city, the wearing of masks will continue to be mandatory, warn civic officials.

Over the past few days, messages claiming that wearing masks was optional have been doing the rounds. However, civic officials have confirmed that no such decision had been taken either by the BBMP or the State Government.

According to BBMP’s Chief Marshal Col. Rajbir Singh (retd), the enforcement of wearing masks and maintaining social distance by Marshals continues, with fines being levied on violators across the city. “Though certain relaxations have been introduced and there is better awareness about wearing masks and maintaining social distance, there still are violators,” he said.

Marshal teams

He also said that the Marshal teams have identified areas where violations happen routinely. “For instance, we have noticed that in market areas, especially K.R. Market, and slum areas, the violations are more among vendors and slum residents. We first warn them and then levy the fines,” he said.

BBMP’s Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said that wearing masks and good vaccination record have helped control the spread of COVID-19. Nearly 86% of the eligible population have already received the first dose and 52% have received both doses.

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