While traffic police played an active role in implementation of Covid norms, particularly the mask rule, under the Pandemic Act in 2021, from now on they won’t be collines, leting mask fines.

Police sources said the decision has been taken so that the already overburdened traffic police can focus on their core job of traffic regulation. The implementation of the mask norm and implementation of Covid-19 guidelines will be taken care of by local police and AMC teams, said a po- lice source.

According to police records, between January 3 and 9, city police registered 7,651 cases of mask violation and collected fines of Rs 76,51,000. However, the mask norm needs to be implemented more stringently. All seven DCPs of the city have been instructed to form special teams and deploy them on city roads to implement Covid guide- including the mask norm.

Police sources said the city traffic department has about 2,200 personnel and approximately 1,700 Traffic Road Brigade (TRB) jawans who have been hired on a contractual basis.

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With about 200 traffic junctions to man and collect fines for various traffic violations, the traffic department is already overburdened.

Normally, four-five traffic cops and three-four TRB jawans are posted at every junction. If the traffic police gets involved in implementation of mask norms, they would not be able to regulate traffic effectively, said a police source.

Meanwhile, senior police officials said the distribution of masks with the help of some NGOs is ongoing and the mask norm will be implemented strictly in the coming days.

In 2020, nearly 60,000 cases related to violation of Covid guidelines, including not wearing masks at public places, were registered by traffic police. The number of cases related to violation of Covid guidelines came down by 50% in 2021.

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