Mask violations net Rs 8 lakh in fines in Ranchi in five days
Police collected over Rs 8 lakh in fines from nearly 1,800 people in Ranchi over five days for not wearing masks during a special campaign to enforce Covid safety norms in the wake of the recent spike in cases in parts of the state.
An official of the police traffic department confirmed that anyone without a mask was slapped a fine of Rs 500 under section 179 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act in the campaign that began on March 18.
Figures procured from traffic police till Monday night suggest that 415 people were issued challans and fined Rs 2.5 lakh on March 18. The next day, 304 people were caught without masks and Rs 1.1 lakh in fines was collected from them. On March 20, 436 people were fined and Rs 2.18 lakh collected from them. On March 21, 300 people were slapped penalties worth Rs 1.50 lakh, while on March 22, Rs 1.5 lakh was collected from another 300 people in fines.
On the other hand, various teams of the district administration conducted surprise inspections at markets, namely, Pandra, Chutia, Jagannathpur, and Namkum among others, and issed notices to 34 shops and business establishments for violation of norms. “The notices were to serve as the first warning for those not adhereing to Covid safety norms. If they repeat such behaviour, we will then seal their shops,” said an official belonging to the district administration.
Of the total 796 active cases in the state, Ranchi alone accounts for 406. The district currently has a positivity rate of 6.48 per cent. Ahead of the Holi festival, the local administration is taking all measures to curb a further rise in cases.
Deputy commissioner Chhavi Ranjan said that the special drive to ensure people wore masks would continue daily across public places as a part of the administration’s plan of action to prevent the spread of the virus. “The drive will be intensified in the coming days if things don’t improve. Individual precaution is the first step towards curbing the pandemic. Hence, all are requested to comply with the prescribed guidelines such as use of masks, maintaining social distancing, among others, while moving out,” he said.
The administration, he added, was also trying to focus on increasing the vaccination coverage through special drives among the vulnerable population.