Maha state excise department imposes Rs 2.30 lakh fine on 23 hotels for Covid-19 norm violations
An aggregate fine of Rs 10,000 each has been imposed on these establishments. State excise department officials during their surprise raids on the establishments found that the norms were being flouted openlyUpdated: Oct 12, 2020, 16:30 IST
The Pune unit of the Maharashtra state excise department has taken action against 23 establishments, including 21 hotels, one wine shop and a countrymade liquor shop, for violating social distancing guidelines and endangering the lives of customers amidst the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the past 48 hours.
An aggregate fine of Rs 10,000 each has been imposed on these establishments. The total fine is estimated to be worth Rs 2.30 lakh and it will be deposited in the state treasury soon, Pune excise department officials said.
State excise SP Santosh Zagade said that the action was taken as per the directions of the district collector who had issued a set of safety guidelines to be followed by such establishments. “We will be taking more such action based on the state government public health and safety guidelines. The establishment owners must adhere to the law and ensure that necessary physical distance and other safety measures are in place while they are operating.”
State excise department officials during their surprise raids on the establishments found that the norms were being flouted openly. The officials observed and recorded that the social distancing norms were being violated by all establishments which prompted them to take action.
The state exercise department has issued a written notice to the hotel and bar owners stating that in the first instance they will be fined up to an amount of Rs 10,000, for the second and third instance the fine amount will be Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. If the violations continue after three warnings, then their licences would be suspended, said Zagade. Meanwhile, district collector’s office has backed the excise department and maintained that crackdown on violators must continue to protect citizens health.
The Maharashtra government permitted hotels, beer bars, food malls and restaurants to reopen from October 5. The state government made it mandatory for these establishments to follow public safety norms related to the Covid-19 and accordingly issued guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection due to unnecessary crowding of citizens during normal business activities. All hotels and other hospitality units have been instructed to take suitable measures to restrict any further transmission of Covid-19 while providing the services. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) aims to minimise all possible physical contact between staff and guests and maintain social distancing and other preventive and safety measures against Covid-19.
The Pune district administration officials issued guidelines on October 7 which state that the establishments have to ensure only 50 per cent customer seating inside the premises, strictly follow social distancing norms, wearing of masks, using sanitisers, hygienic housekeeping practices and temperature screening of all by using thermal guns and special care must be taken to ensure that the physical distance is maintained.