Prosecution by the police for violating Covid-19 safety norms in Delhi dropped considerably from the October-November peak last year even as the Capital recorded a spike in the number of cases.
As per reports by Hindustan Times, between March 1 and 15, only 130-160 people in the city were fined per day for not wearing masks in public as compared to 2,300 people per day in October-November 2020 when the Capital was grappling with the third wave of coronavirus outbreak recording a daily average of 3,451 new cases.
In November, nearly 2,000 people were prosecuted on a daily basis by the police for violating social-distancing norms while in the past week only 8 were fined for the same offence.
In addition, fines issued by the state government, through district teams, have also reduced significantly. As per findings between January 1 and 15, government teams caught 20,970 persons for not wearing masks which further fell to 18,728 in the next fortnight. Fewer people were caught in February. Between February 1 and 15, the Delhi government had fined 13,148 people for flouting rules, which dropped to 9,016 between February 16 and February 28.
As per data furnished by the government, it was found out that there were 20,386 fines issued between March 1 and 15.
In light of these numbers, many district administrations confessed to laxity on their part to punish those violating Covid-19 norms. However, at least five district magistrates have promised that they have now stepped up measures in the wake of the rise in cases.
Isha Khosla, North Delhi district magistrate, told Hindustan Times that they have been issuing 200-300 fines every day but in the present situation they have stepped up measures to build awareness regarding precautionary measures and have also increased the number of monitoring teams from 14 to 21.
The Delhi Police also said they have increased prosecution.
At present, the fine for not adhering to mask norms or violating social distancing measures stands at ₹2,000. Among other reasons, mass gatherings, poor adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour have been attributed as the major causes behind this rapid surge in caseload.