New Delhi: To take strong action against violators, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with an innovative idea of punishing them. People who are found outdoors without wearing face mask and refusing to pay fines will be asked to sweep the city roads in Mumbai. Also Read - Serum Institute to Seek 100 cr in Damages From Volunteer Who Said 'Covishield' Vaccine Left Him Unwell

The development comes after the BMC found that over a hundred people were caught without face masks and refused to pay Rs 200 fine. The BMC handed brooms or mops to them and asked them to sweep or clean up stretches of roads in the city. Also Read - Researchers Develop AI to Detect COVID on Chest X-rays

Interestingly, the stringent action came even as the BMC announced on Friday that in 212 days, it had collected a whopping Rs 3,49,34,800 since April, including Rs 18,21,400 only in October. Also Read - PM Modi to Interact with Three More COVID-19 Vaccine Developing Teams on Monday

Issuing a statement, the BMC said that the state government and the BMC have been repeatedly requesting people to wear face masks, but many are not adhering to the new protocols, some refuse to pay fines and others are unable to pay up.

Despite repeated urges by the state government, people in Mumbai failed to pay attention to the warning and can be still seen driving or moving around in public without a face masks or not wearing the face mask properly.

Hoping to rein in the growing menace, this week, BMC Commissioner IS Chahal set a target of registering at least 20,000 cases against violators daily by civic teams.

The simple – but embarrassing – punishments are handed out as per the BMC’s Solid Waste Management Department’s bye-laws that empowers the civic body to ask people to do community services for offences like littering, urinating or spitting on roads.

BMC teams have now fanned out all over Mumbai to keep a vigil on those flouting the rules, especially in crowded areas like markets or vicinity of railway stations.

While some people apologise for their mistake when caught and even volunteer to render any community service given to them, some others resort to abuse or threatening the civic officials, said Assistant Municipal Commissioner Vishwas Mote.

(With inputs from IANS)