Covid-19: Delhi Police, district administrations step up awareness, enforcement drives

The administration has also stepped up efforts to engage with public stakeholders and brief them about the disease and seek their support.

On December 29, the authorities issued 4,589 challans, the highest in these four days, and realised a revenue of Rs 89.67 lakh from it. (File)
On December 29, the authorities issued 4,589 challans, the highest in these four days, and realised a revenue of Rs 89.67 lakh from it. (File)

With the spike in cases of COVID-19 and its Omicron variant, the district administrations and Delhi Police have intensified their enforcement drives for strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour.

According to government data, authorities have fined 17,528 people in four days between December 26 and 29 for violating COVID-19 guidelines such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, among others. They also realised a revenue of Rs 3.46 crore from the fine.

On December 26, enforcement teams had issued 4,425 challans across 11 districts and collected a revenue of Rs 88.72 lakh, while a day after 4,123 people were fined and Rs 81.51 lakh was collected as fine.

Similarly, on December 28, as many as 4,392 people were fined for violating Covid guidelines and Rs 86.33 lakh was collected.

On December 29, the authorities issued 4,589 challans, the highest in these four days, and realised a revenue of Rs 89.67 lakh from it.

The data also showed that the maximum number of 2,873 challans were issued in the north district between December 26 and 29 followed by east district at 2,504 fines in the same period.

A senior official of the Narela sub-division of north district said the enforcement in the district has been enhanced as challan teams are inspecting the area to ensure the compliance of the DDMA order regarding the yellow alert.

“Challans are being issued as and when required. The highest number of challans in the district shows our strictness towards implementing the Covid guidelines.

“Three shops have been sealed for violation of Covid norms and the odd even policy under the yellow alert within the Narela sub-division,” he said.

He added that new testing and vaccination centres have been made operational.

In other districts as well, the number of enforcement squads and other machinery engaged in the compliance mechanism have been increased.

District Magistrate (Southeast) Vishwendra said the number of enforcement teams have been increased to keep a constant vigil on adherence of Covid appropriate behaviour to arrest the spread of the virus.

“Earlier before the yellow alert, there were 14 enforcement teams consisting government officers, but now that number has been increased to 25. These teams constantly visit markets such as Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, South Extension for strict compliance of restrictions and crowd control measures,” he said.

He said apart from issuing challans, these teams are also responsible for enforcement of restrictions imposed under yellow alert like odd-even functioning of shops selling non-essential items in markets.

Besides, the administration has also stepped up efforts to engage with public stakeholders and brief them about the disease and seek their support.

A senior official at the office of New Delhi district magistrate said the machinery engaged in vigilance has been beefed up.

“We have almost doubled the number of civil defence volunteers at markets and other crowd prone areas. For instance, at India Gate, there now over 30 civil defence volunteers deployed and in Sarojini Nagar market, the number is about 50. Earlier, it was half of these numbers,” the official said requesting anonymity.

He added that enforcement teams have also been “reinvigorated” and their numbers increased for strict compliance of norms.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) sounded the “yellow” alert under its Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on Tuesday, after the Covid positivity rate was recorded above 0.5 per cent in the national capital for two consecutive days.

Senior administrative officials of east and central districts said they are conducting meetings with representatives of different Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and market associations to tell them about the restrictions.

Another official at south district echoed similar views and said other than forming special flying squads, more civil defence volunteers are being deployed in markets for crowd management.

According to police, from making public announcements and creating awareness to taking strict action against Covid-19 violators, the Delhi Police has taken a slew of measures for implementation of DDMA guidelines.

Harsha Vardhan, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) said in last three days alone, more than 150 FIRs have been registered for violating the norms.

He said police have also approached those interested in volunteer services to reach out to residents and markets in their nearby areas to ensure both DDMA as well as COVID-19 appropriate behaviour are followed.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi said they are creating awareness about the latest DDMA guidelines in groups of RWAs and market associations.

Public announcements in market, high footfall areas and residential places about the infectious disease are being made.

“At pickets, our men are also distributing masks to the needy and also issuing challans for violation of Covid appropriate behaviour and DDMA guidelines,” Kalsi said.

The officer said they have also approached school teachers, who through their online classes, help us create awareness among students about the implementation of DDMA guidelines, Omicron and Coronavirus.

Another police official of central district said with increase in awareness about the surge in Covid cases and prosecution, gatherings have reduced in the district.

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