75 persons fined for not wearing facemasks at public places

Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Friday fined 75 persons for not wearing facemasks while moving around public places in the summer capital.

SMC special teams were deputed in respective municipal wards to impose fine on violators.

Invoking Municipal Corporation Act, the SMC has also given a wide publicity to the new directive asking people to wear facemasks at public places from 1 January 2021 or face penalties.

As per the advertisements published in local dailies by SMC, the public places include: public lanes, streets and roads, public transport including autos, buses, sumos, private vehicles while plying on public roads, shops markets, malls, bank branches and ATMs, government and semi – government and private offices and institutions.

The public places also include coaching centres and educational institutions, public parks, gymnasiums, restaurants, hotels and cafes, hospitals, diagnostic labs and imaging centres.

“We have started penalizing people who are venturing out without face masks. We also fined 75 persons on Friday for violating the norm at various public places. Rs 15000 were recovered from the violators,” said SMC secretary Akbar Sofi. He added that the measure has been taken in public interest to prevent further spread of COVID19.

SMC media inchargeMasarat Yusuf said that Commissioner Gazanfar Ali along with other officials of the Corporation toured various city areas to inspect the implementation of law pertaining to wearing of facemasks.

“The Commissioner visited various shops, shopping malls, institutions, departmental stores. He also checked passenger buses, bikers, private vehicles, bank branches and encouraged people to follow the COVID19 safety guidelines in letter and spirit,” she said.

Interacting with media persons during his city tour, the Commissioner said that Corporation is taking up various initiatives for implementation of COVID19 safety guidelines.

“Wearing facemask at public places is necessary to protect oneself and others from spreading or contracting the deadly pandemic,” he said.

He added that initiative to impose fine and keep a tight check on people for wearing masks is imperative aimed at encouraging people to avoid negligence and demonstrate collective responsibility in fighting the pandemic.

Officials said that fine amount would be raised from Rs 200 to Rs 500 in case the present amount is found insufficient to deter people from violating the norms.