Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (File Photo, Image credit: Mint)

Delhiites preferring to go to jail than pay fine

On the day Delhi reported 118 deaths, the second highest number till now and 6,608 people tested positive, health department officials and volunteers of Civil Defence are finding it really difficult to implement the Arvind Kejriwal government’s decision to impose fine of Rs 2,000  on those who are not wearing mask in public places. The new order has come into effect from Friday. Earlier, the fine for violating this rule was only Rs 500.

According to reports the people are prepared to go to jail rather than pay the fine. They are openly heard on television channels telling those busy in implementing the order to call police as they have no money to pay fine. 

However, many of those violating the latest order told the media that the authorities are over-strict in imposing fine. For example, they are photographed and asked to pay fine even if they remove mask to drink water or something. One of them was heard telling the journalist that he had removed the mask just for a few seconds to fix his ear-phone. In this meantime the health department authorities emerged from somewhere and asked him to pay fine for violating the rule. He said that he is aware of the importance of the mask, yet the rule cannot be implemented in such a harsh way. 

As the new rule was implemented at the height of four-day Chhath Puja, which ended on Saturday morning, resentment was noticed among common people.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has also decided to impose fine of Rs 2,000 on those spitting in public places, chewing tobacco, violating social distancing and breaking quarantine rules.   

As the country witnessed 564 deaths on Friday the Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat governments have decided to impose night curfew in five and three cities respectively for an indefinite period.  All the municipal corporation schools in Mumbai would remain closed till Dec 31 and in Haryana till Nov 30. 

According to the MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, curfew would be imposed from 10:00 PM at night to 6:00 AM in the morning in Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Ratlam and Videsha. It will continue till the situation improves.

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