The Delhi government has so far collected around ₹2.53 crore in fine by issuing over 51,600 challans from violators for flouting COVID-19 safety rules since June 13, said officials on Monday (September 29). Of this, nearly half, ₹1.19 crore, was collected from September 20 to 27.
The government deployed more than 180 teams across the city’s 11 districts to prosecute the violators, the officials said.
Data shared by the revenue department showed that from June 13 till September 17, 182 teams across 11 districts prosecuted 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. They collected ₹1.34 crore as fine.
The department also 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 ₹1.19 crore in fine.
Five FIRs were also registered, all on September 27.
On June 13, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had empowered enforcement officers to impose a fine of ₹500 each for flouting COVID management rules.
A Delhi government spokesperson said most prosecutions are linked to not wearing masks, followed by not maintaining social distancing. “We have also deployed thousands of civil defence volunteers across Delhi to ensure social rules are followed. These volunteers do not have prosecution powers, but since they are in khaki, their warnings largely work. A lot of them have been deployed at major bus stops,” the spokesperson said.
Till September 17, 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.
“Checking should not only be about whether masks are being worn. It should also be on checking if masks are being worn the right way. The enforcement teams need to be trained accordingly for this,” said Dr Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and infectious disease at ICMR.
Apart from the Delhi government, Delhi Police and the municipal corporations also are prosecuting people for similar violations.
Delhi Police formed teams in each police station to carry out such prosecutions. These teams are deployed at specific locations within the jurisdiction of each police station from 10 am to 6 pm to prosecute violators of hygiene norms.