According to a data issued by the Delhi government officials, over 51,600 challans have been issued by the state government collecting ₹2.53 crore from the people for violating COVID-19 safety protocols ever since June 13.
Out of this, the government collected ₹1.19 crore in the last eight days, from September 20 to 27.
In order to track down and punish violators of COVID-19 rules and regulations, over 180 teams were deployed by the Delhi government across 11 districts of the city, according to officials.
From June 13 to September 17, around 182 teams across 11 districts arrested over 27,678 people for violating different rules of COVID-19 which have been listed under five categories: not wearing a mask in public places, zero maintenance of social distancing measures, spitting in public, organizing as well as participating in large gatherings and consuming alcohol or tobacco products in public places, collecting a total of ₹1.34 crore in fine, according to the data released by the revenue department.
Another set of data issued by the department revealed that the government made the drive stricter from September 20. It issued around 23,925 challans between September 20 and 27 which included 22,570 challans for not wearing masks in public, 1,050 challans for not following social distancing measures which increased the fine amount to ₹1.19 crore in total.
Lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal authorized enforcement officers on June 13 to impose a fine of ₹500 per person for violating the COVID-19 rules.
A spokesperson for the Delhi government claimed that the prosecutions were mostly for not wearing masks and for not maintaining social distancing measures.
"Apart from enforcement officials, we have deployed thousands of civil defence volunteers across Delhi to ensure Covid-19 social rules are followed by people. These volunteers do not have prosecution powers but since they are in khaki uniform, their warnings work to a large extent. A lot of them have been deployed at major bus stops in the city," the spokesperson was quoted by Hindustan Times.
Around 25,957 challans were issued till September 17 for not wearing masks which is the highest among all the five categories, followed by 1,140 challans issued for not maintaining physical distancing and 501 for spitting in public.
The 13 enforcement teams of the West district issued the highest number of challans at 5,650 till September 17.
According to Neha Bansal, district magistrate (West), the administration has increased it's Covid-19 behaviour activities paying maximum attention to hotspots apart from containment activities, testing and monitoring.
The Central district recorded 3,759 prosecutions and around 5,650 were recorded in the Southwest district till September 17.
"Checking should not only be about whether masks are being worn or not. It should also be on checking if masks are being worn the right way. The enforcement teams need to be trained accordingly for this," Dr Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and infectious disease at ICMR said.
Similar prosecution for COVID-19 violations are also being implemented by the Delhi Police and the municipal corporations apart from the Delhi government.