As Covid cases dip, Nagpur forgets mask must mandate


NAGPUR: With daily Covid cases declining to single digits, Nagpur city has almost forgotten the mandate to wear mask outdoors. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) too has curtailed its action against those violating Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).

Visit any market or public place and a large number of citizens can be seen throwing caution to the wind by failing to wear face mask, an important protective measure against the spread of Covid-19. The overall laxity can be further gauged from the fact that in January 2022, the nuisance detection squad (NDS) of NMC caught only 1,638 citizens with out mask, though most people can be seen not wearing mask.This number further reduced to 1,229 in February,reveals the data obtained of fined citizens.

Earlier, the NDS team and city police had been clamping down on those flouting Covid norms, especially for not wearing mask.

However, now it has become common to see people venturing out without mask, or pulling it down to their as the NMC has begun to look the other way.

An NDS jawan, requesting anonymity, said now citizens start arguing if caught without mask. “They do not allow us  to penalize them,” he said.

According to civic cops, many violators give excuses that they forgot mask at home, while some bring it out from their bags when caught. It seems now the public has no fear of contracting the viral infection, said the jawan.

A  citizen, who was penalized for not wearing mask,questioned the selectiveness of the authorities in punishing commoners while turning a blind to the violations by politicians most of whom can been seen mingling in public without following the CAB.

Though the state government has granted many relaxations related to Covid pandemic ,it did not withdraw the mandate of wearing face mask while venturing out.

From September 2020 to March 3, 2022, the NDS team had caught 43,162 people who had ventured out without mask The NDS team led by its commandant Virsen Tambe has also recovered over Rs1.99 crore fine from them.

The NDS team has fined maximum number of citizens ithout mask in Dharampeth zone. Here the NDS team penalized 6,997 people, while it was followed by Laxmi Nagar zone, where the civic cops caught 6,091 citizens without mask.

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