After a terrifying second wave of the pandemic that saw Bengaluru come to a near standstill in May, some level of normality will be restored from Monday, with malls, prayer halls and temples, offices, and shops re-opening. To ensure that this does not trigger an increase in the positivity rate, 54 COVID-19-appropriate behaviour (CAB) enforcement teams, each with four marshals and one Home Guard or police constable, have been constituted by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
The lockdown over the past few months has helped bring down the number of positive cases in the city from over 20,000 a day to around 700. Enforcement agencies are hoping to keep it that way.
On Saturday, a joint meeting between BBMP officials and senior police personnel was held at Town Hall, chaired by both BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and Police Commissioner Kamal Pant to discuss the way forward.
CAB enforcement teams, which will have a total of 216 marshals, will work in two shifts — 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Marshals deployed in Indira Canteens and ward marshals have been redeployed for CAB duties, said Mr. Gupta in an order.
Teams will be deployed in markets, malls, main roads, junctions, religious places, crowded areas and low-income areas, and parks. A penalty of ₹250 will be levied on violators.
Senior zonal officials, accompanied by health officials, have been directed to visit and monitor areas where the most number of violations are reported. If necessary, notices will be issued and such places locked.
For enforcement of social distancing, the police may use provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, stated the guidelines issued by the State government for Unlock 3.0.
Mr. Pant told reporters later that instances of citizens attacking or misbehaving with the enforcement teams would not be tolerated. The police would register cases under non-bailable sections against such persons, he warned.
In the coordination meeting, the civic chief directed BBMP officials to coordinate with police personnel to clear footpaths where vehicles have been parked, occupied by street vendors or where construction materials have been dumped. Police personnel would provide support to the civic officials in ensuring the footpaths are obstruction-free.