Imposition of heavy COVID-19 fines a 'daylight robbery': Delhi Congress
Delhi Congress chief Anil Kumar on Thursday termed imposition of heavy fines by the Delhi government for COVID-19 guidelines violation a "daylight robbery" and demanded that over Rs. 135 crore collected as penalty be disbursed to COVID-19 warriors as compensation. Notably, on Wednesday, officials notified that Delhiites coughed up over Rs. 135 crore in fines with over eight lakh violations of COVID-19-appropriate behavior norms.
No family could escape the ravages of the pandemic: Kumar
Kumar said, "It is startling to note that in the last four months, government agencies have collected Rs. 135 crore in fines from people for violating COVID-19 guidelines." "It is a kind of daylight robbery on people who are yet to recover from the terrible blows inflicted by COVID-19. No family could escape the ravages of the pandemic," he added.
Instead of collecting fines, awareness should have been created: Kumar
"Instead of collecting Rs. 2,000 and above for not wearing masks in public, the Delhi government agencies should have created COVID-19 awareness among the people and encouraged them to follow the norms voluntarily," Kumar said.
Government is putting hurdles in paying compensation to COVID-19 warriors
"While government teams imposed fines of more than Rs. 103 crore, the Delhi police imposed penalties of Rs. 32 crore. The police also arrested over 15,600 people in the past four months for violating guidelines," according to official data. Kumar also alleged that both the Delhi and Central governments were prompt in "collecting fines" but were "putting hurdles" in paying compensation to COVID-19 warriors.
The collected amount should be given to COVID-19 warriors: Kumar
Kumar urged the Delhi government to disburse the amount collected as compensation to the COVID-19 warriors and to the families of those who died due to lack of oxygen in hospitals. "Delhi government has no right to spend the blood money for any other purpose other than compensating frontline workers and families of those who lost their lives due to government negligence," he added.
Over 8 lakh booked between May-August for violating COVID-19 guidelines
Official data showed that enforcement teams of the Delhi government's revenue department and the Delhi Police booked over six lakh and two lakh people, respectively, in May-August for violating various COVID-19-related guidelines like not wearing masks, crowding, and spitting in public places.