Fine in rural areas for not covering face will be Rs 100
BBMP Commissioner says CM’s directive will come into force right away
After a major public backlash over the new penalty for not wearing masks/face covers of Rs 1,000 in Bengaluru and other urban areas and Rs 500 in rural areas, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has, for a second time in some months, hammered down the official diktat to a fine of Rs 250 in urban areas and Rs 100 in rural areas.
Just a few days ago, Chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar, on the recommendation of Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, had issued an order hiking the penalty for not covering one’s face in public from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 in Bengaluru and urban corporation areas, and to Rs 500 in rural areas.
On Wednesday, the Chief Minister issued a press statement to the effect that the fine had been reduced in urban corporation areas to Rs 250 and in rural areas of the state to Rs 100.
Following the new development, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said the CM’s directive would be implemented with immediate effect.
CM heeds public voice
The CM’s press release said, “The government is making every effort to stop the spread of the virus since the day Covid-19 cases were reported in Karnataka. In addition to imposing a lockdown in the state as per the Union government guidelines, it also made masks, use of sanitizers and social distancing mandatory. As there is no vaccine yet, wearing masks, using sanitizers and maintaining social distancing are necessary.”
The press release continued, “In a recent order by the government, the fine for not wearing a mask was made Rs 1,000 in city limits and Rs 500 in rural areas. But in the backdrop of public opposition and expert opinion, the fine has been reduced from Rs 1,000 to Rs 250 in urban areas and from Rs 500 to Rs 100 in rural areas. This order will take effect immediately.”
In his press statement, the CM said, “The government is making all efforts to cover both life and livelihood as desired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I urge the public to cooperate by using masks and sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing.”
TheBengaluruLive vindicated again
It may be recalled that TheBengaluruLive.com was the only news portal which had taken up the cudgels for citizens when then BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar had raised the relevant penalty to Rs 1,000, following which the fine for not covering one’s face was brought down to Rs 200. Once again, it raised the issue on behalf of Bengalureans when Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar issued the order hiking the penalty for the second time in months.
It has been the consistent stand of TheBengaluruLive.com that the public should be educated on the need to cover one’s face during the coronavirus pandemic instead of slapping them with steep fines which will only burn a hole in many people’s pockets at this critical juncture.
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Also Read: First revolt in Bengaluru against ‘maskless’ fine of Rs 1,000