51k fined, Rs2.53cr collected as fine for violating Covid-19 protocols in Delhi
The Delhi government has so far issued more than 51,600 challans and collected around Rs 2.53 crore in fine from people for flouting Covid-19 safety rules even since a crackdown began on violators on June 13, according to data shared by officials on Monday. Of this, Rs 1.19 crore was collected in just the past eight days, from September 20 to 27.
The government deployed more than 180 teams across the city’s 11 districts to prosecute violators of Covid rules, the officials said.
Data shared by the revenue department showed that from June 13 till September 17, a total of 182 teams across 11 districts prosecuted as many as 27,678 people for different violations under five categories -- not wearing a mask, no social distancing, spitting in public, being part of large gatherings and consuming liquor or tobacco in public places -- collecting Rs 1.34 crore as fine.
A separate data set shared by the department showed that the government intensified the drive from September 20. Between September 20 and 27, the government issued as many as 23,925 challans, including 22,570 for not wearing masks and 1,050 for not maintaining social distancing, amounting to a total of Rs 1.19 crore in fine.
Five FIRs were also registered, all on September 27.
No numbers were available for two days -- September 18 and 19.
On June 13, lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal had empowered enforcement officers to impose a fine of Rs 500 each for flouting these Covid management rules.
A Delhi government spokesperson said majority of the prosecutions are for not wearing masks, followed by not maintaining social distancing. “Apart from enforcement officials, we have deployed thousands of civil defence volunteers across Delhi to ensure Covid-19 social rules are followed by people. These volunteers do not have prosecution powers but since they are in khaki uniform, their warnings work to a large extent. A lot of them have been deployed at major bus stops in the city,” the spokesperson said.
Till September 17, as many as 25,957 challans were issued for not wearing masks, the highest among all five categories. This was followed by 1,140 for not maintaining social distancing and 501 for spitting in public.
If seen district-wise, the west district with 13 enforcement teams made the maximum prosecutions (5,650), till September 17.
Neha Bansal, district magistrate (west), said apart from containment activities, testing and surveillance, the administration increased its Covid-19 behaviour activities with special focus on hot spots. West Delhi has three hot spots -- Paschim Vihar, Hari Nagar and Tilak Nagar (including Vishnu Garden).
The West district was followed by Central district with 3,759 prosecutions and Southwest district with 5,650 challans till September 17.
Dr Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and infectious disease at ICMR said enforcement should be further tightened. “Checking should not only be about whether masks are being worn or not. It should also be on checking if masks are being worn the right way. The enforcement teams need to be trained accordingly for this,” he said.
Apart from the Delhi government, Delhi Police and the municipal corporations also are prosecuting people for similar violations.
Delhi Police constituted dedicated teams in each police station to carry out such prosecutions. Teams are deployed at specific locations within the jurisdiction of each police station from 10am to 6pm daily to prosecute violators of hygiene norms.
Since March till September 8, Delhi Police issued more than 306,693 fines for violations of various hygiene rules. These include over 277,131 for not wearing masks, 27,116 for violating social distancing rules and over 2,434 for spitting in public.
No information was readily available on what action was taken by the municipal corporations.