The residents’ defiance of Covid-19 protocols of social distancing and wearing masks has yielded the police department ₹1.23 crore from fine collection so far this year.
Since January, 20,802 residents have been challaned. A major chunk of these challans, however, were issued in April itself: till April 28, 10,843 challans have been issued and ₹60.94 lakh collected as fine, the highest monthly figures since June 2020, when the drive was started.
Between June 2020 and December 2020, the police had collected ₹1.01 crore through 18,954 challans issued for various violations.
Intensifying the drive, the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police in March this year had also started issuing challans to people for not wearing masks after the central government had raised concerns over the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the city.
Consequently, in addition to the personnel posted at police stations on general duty and PCR vehicles, sub-inspector (SI) rank officers of the traffic police were also authorised to challan people not wearing face masks.
‘Colonies, markets problem areas’
“Colonies and markets are places of primary concern as people tend to ignore the rules more. Roping in market associations and resident welfare associations will definitely make an impact,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, the senior superintendent of police.
He added, “People have now started adhering to the safety protocols, but still not wearing masks properly. Anyone wearing the mask improperly by not covering their noses and mouths completely is being checked.”
Recently during the hearing of a suo motu plea initiated by the Punjab and Haryana high court, Chandigarh assured the court that people not covering their mouths or noses properly with face masks would be treated at par with those not wearing masks at all, and liable to the same punitive action.
As per the data provided by the police, maximum challans were issued for violating social distancing in various markets. Since January this year, the police have challaned 13,546 people for not maintaining social distancing, 4,337 for not wearing masks and 2,509 for spitting in public places.