Fines will still be imposed on people travelling mask-less in public transport and/or public places.
In a fresh set of guidelines issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Sunday, people will no longer be fined for not wearing masks inside private vehicles. In a directive issued by the BMC, all clean-up marshals were asked to exempt people in personal vehicles from the no-mask fine, priced at ₹200. However, this relaxation has not been extended to people travelling in public transport including taxis, rickshaws, buses and trains. Fines will also be imposed on people without face masks in other public places, stated the BMC.
BMC eases guidelines for public benefit
The BMC had earlier set a ₹1000 fine on people for spitting and not wearing a mask in public places, in April last year. These stringent protocols were put in place to curb the rampant spread of coronavirus infection in the city and raise awareness among people, simultaneously. As per municipal orders, about 1200 marshals were deployed across the city, 50 in each of its 24 wards to keep a check on people flouting the protocols.
Last year in September, this was brought down to ₹200 after several civic complaints to the BMC about the fine being too high. As per reports, the relaxation has been offered to the public again with respect to the complaints filed against imposition of fines in private vehicles. The Municipal Commissioner reviewed the situation and new guidelines were issued and made effective immediately on Sunday afternoon.
The Municipal Commissioner stressed on the fact that while fines have been razed for private vehicles, the cleanup marshals still have the authority to penalise those violating face mask protocols in public places. People travelling via means of public transport also have to wear a mask, without fail, or pay the designated fine.