Mumbai alone collects over Rs 30 crore from people for not wearing masks

News Network
February 17, 2021

Mumbai, Feb 17: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mumbai civic body has caught over 15 lakh people without face masks at public places in the city since April last year and collected more than Rs 30 crore as fine from them, officials said on Wednesday.

Out of these offenders, 13,008 were caught on Monday and a fine of Rs 26,01,600 was collected from them, a Brihnamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.

Concerned over the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked citizens to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing or be prepared to face another round of lockdown.

The BMC has been imposing a fine of Rs 200 for not wearing a face mask in public places.

From April 1, 2020, to February 15 this year, the BMC caught 15,16,398 people without face masks and collected a total of Rs 30,69,09,800 from them, civic officials said.

As per the BMC data, the highest number of 1,08,069 people were caught without face masks in Mumbai's K-West ward, which includes areas like Juhu, Andheri (West) and Versova.

Besides, the lowest number of 25,847 offenders were found in M-East ward, which comprises Anushakti Nagar, Deonar, Cheetah Camp and Shivaji Nagar areas.

The BMC has repeatedly appealed to citizens to follow all Covid-19 protocols, including wearing of face mask, maintaining social distance and sanitising hands regularly.

Of late, the city has been witnessing a spike in daily Covid-19 cases, and some civic wards have issued letters to housing societies under their jurisdiction and instructed them to follow the Covid-19 guidelines, a civic official said.

"At present, the M-west ward is reporting highest daily cases, which is a matter of concern, and there are chances that we might have to impose local lockdown measures," said a notice issued to society in the M-West ward.

The notice further said sealing of buildings/ societies having a high prevalence of positivity has been started in the ward.

"If the same is observed in your society, the same restrictions with sealing can be imposed in your society," the notice warned.

In the notice, the civic body also instructed housing societies to restrict the entry of outsiders to a minimum, including domestic help and milk delivery persons.

It asked the housing societies take measures like thermal screening and if a positive case is found, then the family members should follow strict quarantine guidelines for 14 days and get tested compulsorily.

Any other symptomatic person in the society should also get checked for the coronavirus infection, it added.

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News Network
April 4,2021

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Mangaluru, Apr 4: A “Muslim” man has been performing rituals and praying at a Koragajja temple he built beside his house at Kavatharu village near Mulki in the communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada district for the last 19 years, spreading the message of harmony.

P Qasim, 65, a native of Chittalancheri in Palakkad district of Kerala, had migrated to Mulki three decades ago.

Qasim says he built the temple for Koragajja, the 'Daiva' or spirit-god worshipped in Tulunadu region, on the advice of a priest whom he approached when he faced a difficult phase in life.

The priest told him that the earlier inhabitants of his house used to worship Koragajja, the 'Daiva' believed to help people overcome obstacles and fulfill their desires.

He found the spot near his house and built a temple there.

Now, around 50 people in the village, belonging to different religions, come and pray there, he says.

Qasim performs daily rituals at the temple, special poojas on occasions and distributes sandal paste as 'prasadam' to the devotees.

The temple also conducts the 'Kolotsava' festival every two years like other Koragajja temples in the district.

Qasim says he turned vegetarian the day he started performing rituals at the temple.

Qasim also stopped going to the masjid as he had a 'darshan' of Koragajja, he said.

His children, however, go to the masjid, but also have strong faith in Koragajja, Qasim says.

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News Network
April 12,2021

Hassan/ Bengaluru, Apr 12: With the KSRTC workers intensifying the protest seeking implementation of 6th Pay Commission recommendations, an employee attempted suicide by consuming poison at the bus depot in Hassan, on Monday.

The person was Palaksha, 40, vice president of Hassan-Chikkamagaluru KSRTC Employees Cooperative Society.

Seeking justice for the protesting KSRTC employees, Palaksha alleged that the government is harassing them by issuing transfers and also by filing FIR against the protesters. The government has turned blind over the issue, he alleged.

He has been admitted to the district hospital in Hassan for treatment.

Strike enters 6th day

Bus services were hampered for the sixth consecutive day in Karnataka, as the strike by the employees of the road transport corporations on wage related issues continued on Monday.

With a stalemate between the government and employees of the four transport corporations in the state, over their demand for wages as per the 6th Pay Commission continuing, majority of the workers did not turn up for work, resulting in buses remaining off road, affecting commuters.

Amid threats of tough action, "no work no pay", few RTC employees have returned to work and are operating buses on some routes in the city and different parts of the state.

People wanting to travel to their native for celebrating Ugadi on Tuesday and office-goers were the most affected.

Private buses, mini buses, maxi cabs and other passenger transport vehicles, whom authorities have roped in to manage the crisis and help commuters, were seen providing services to passengers in different parts of the city and the state.

Metro trains, autos and cabs were also being largely used for commuting within the city.

Meanwhile, intensifying their protest, employees along with their family members have decided to stage demonstrations at district and taluk centres, in front of Deputy Commissioner or Tahsildar offices Monday against the government's stand.

Accusing the government of not paying their March salary, thereby affecting their family's Ugadi celebrations, they said, employees who have returned to work are being paid.

RTCs that have been warning employees against continuing with the strike, have started taking action against trainee and probationary employees by dismissing them for absence from work and not responding to notices.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) on Sunday had said it has decided not to consider requests for inter-corporation transfers of employees who are instigating, threatening colleagues for strike and are hindering bus services, thereby causing inconvenience to the public.

It had also said that employees who have been given such transfers, have been warned that it will be cancelled and that they will be posted to their original place on failing to attend on duty immediately.

Citing inconvenience caused to the public and that the strike was against provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, the Labour department on Friday had issued an order banning the strike, and had referred the dispute to the industrial tribunal, Bengaluru for adjudication.

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News Network
April 2,2021

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Bengaluru, Apr 2: A massive forest fire has broken out on the campus of Bangalore University located on Mysuru Road in Bengaluru. 

The fire broke out on Friday morning in the shrubbery located near Pariksha Bhavan on the campus, which is 100 metres away from the administrative block. 

Two engines have been sent to the spot to help douse the blaze. An official from the Bengaluru fire department said at 1 pm that fire fighting operations have been going on for two hours. No injuries have been reported so far. Visuals from the spot showed a large patch of dry grass on fire, with officials trying to douse it.

Grass fire and the dry weather and higher temperatures in Bengaluru may have accelerated the fire. Such fires are common in Bengaluru and officials say the fire may have been sparked by a cigarette butt that may have been disposed of at the spot. 

An employee working at the University said that the campus has many eucalyptus trees, which create a lot of dry leaves in the summer, which are susceptible to catching fire. 

The lack of shade also adds to the factors that help the fire spread, the University said, adding that if such incidents need to be stopped, the eucalyptus trees need to be replaced and other trees need to be planted in their place. 

Last year too, a forest fire had broken out at the University's Jnanabharati campus in March 2020, and at that time too, some dried eucalyptus leaves that had piled up at the spot had caught fire.

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