Chennai

Commuters fined for flouting COVID-19 rules on trains

Important message: An awareness drive under way at the Mambalam railway station recently.  

Until last week, the Southern Railway, one of the popular public transport facilities in the city, had been going soft on commuters not following COVID-19 protocols.

Despite organising awareness programmes at important railway stations and making announcements on suburban trains on the need for wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, the Chennai Division of the Southern Railway found that a majority of commuters were not adhering to the rules.

As a result, the Southern Railway, based on the Railway Board’s recommendations, announced that a fine of ₹500 would be imposed on commuters not wearing masks.

The collection of penalty was effected from April 17 under the Indian Railway Rules (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises), under which a group of railway officials, including the Station Master/Manager, Railway Protection Force personnel and commercial staff, were empowered to enforce it.

A senior official of Southern Railway said that since the announcement on fines was made, more than ₹2.5 lakh had been collected from 500 passengers. More than ₹1.5 lakh was collected on Sunday alone.

Fines were collected from commuters who were found not wearing masks at railway stations and on trains (both express and suburban). The Southern Railway has also formed a special squad to inspect and penalise non-compliant commuters.

The official said the penalty drive was implemented only to educate and make the commuters aware of the importance of following COVID-19-appropriate behaviour on railway premises, and not with the intention of collecting fines as a source of income.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 2:03:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/commuters-fined-for-flouting-covid-19-rules-on-trains/article34371356.ece

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