No fine for not wearing masks in private vehicles in Mumbai

Updated on Jan 17, 2021 06:09 PM IST

The decision has been taken following several complaints by the citizens.

Image for representation. (AP)
Image for representation. (AP)
BySagar Pillai, Mumbai

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), civic body of Mumbai, on Sunday directed its cleanup marshals not to fine citizens for not wearing masks inside their private vehicles. The exemption, however, excludes those travelling in public transport services such as taxis, rickshaws, trucks and tempos. As of now, 200 fine per person is being imposed for not wearing masks in public places. The new rules have been imposed with immediate effect.

The decision has been taken following several complaints by the citizens.

The BMC had set the fines for skipping out on masks as well as spitting in public places at 1,000 in April. Later, the amount was reduced to 200 in September after citizens complained of the fine being too stringent.

Recently, motorists had complained to the BMC about marshals fining them while they were inside their car. Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal directed all cleanup marshals to stop fining people for violating mask rules if they are in their private vehicles.

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A senior civic official said, “Implementation of new directives has been started from Sunday afternoon. However, marshals will continue fining people not wearing masks in public places. The ones travelling in public transport will also be fined."

In October, the BMC had launched a massive drive with a target of penalising 20,000 citizens daily for not wearing a mask. On October 12, when the drive was launched, nearly 40,000 citizens were penalised. In ten days, as of October 21, additional 60,000 citizens were penalised for not wearing a mask.

Apart from collecting fines, the BMC has also started making violators perform community services, such as sweeping roads for an hour or cleaning graffiti, if they argue or refuse to pay the fine amount of 200 for not wearing masks. This punishment is being implemented as per the BMC’s solid waste management by-laws which empowers the civic body to make citizens perform community services for spitting on roads.

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