After spike in cases, Delhi amps up Covid-19 norms enforcement

In North district, as on Saturday, 1,495 were penalised in the 24 hours after more enforcement teams were deployed.
Delhi Police personnel checks a commuter for violating rules by not wearing face mask in public, at India Gate, in New Delhi.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Delhi Police personnel checks a commuter for violating rules by not wearing face mask in public, at India Gate, in New Delhi.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 30, 2020 05:01 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Following a spike in Covid-19 cases, the Delhi government has started deploying additional enforcement teams in all 11 revenue districts to ensure people follow safety guidelines, and impose fines in the event of violations. This has led to penalties for violations going up by 10 times in some districts, officials said.

Previously, police officers and officials engaged by sub-divisional magistrates were already enforcing Covid-19 guidelines and penalising people for not wearing masks or violating social distancing norms.

On Thursday, HT had reported that since June 14, the police alone had penalised more than 188,000 people for not wearing masks. Government officials said the revenue districts penalised around 41,000 people in the same period norms violations.

The additional deployment is part of a strategy for stricter norms enforcement after an announcement by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier this week in light of a rise in daily recorded infections. This week, Delhi has recorded an average of 1,621 cases.

On Friday, additional teams of between eight and 20 officers were deployed in all districts, depending on the region’s size and population density, a senior government official said.

Each enforcement team will comprise an executive magistrate, and revenue and police personnel, an official said, adding that awareness teams have also been formed to encourage people to follow anti-Covid measures.

“There has been a significant increase in fines after the additional deployment. It also suggests that people have started taking things casually, when they should be more alert,” said an official in the north district.

North district data as on Saturday showed that 1,495 people were penalised in the 24 hours after the deployment, as against 146 penalties a day recorded in the district between June 1 and 15, when the Covid-19 situation in the city was at its peak.

Similarly, central district data showed that 2,101 people were penalised for not wearing masks and violating social distancing norms, as against 168 penalties recorded per day in the district between June 1 and 15.

The penalty for not wearing a mask is a Rs 500 spot fine.Social distancing guidelines violations can attract a penalty up to Rs 1,000.

Other districts are yet to collate data and send reports to the chief secretary’s office, a government official said on Saturday.

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