BMTC collects ₹95,000 from passengers not wearing masks

It is not just the police or Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) marshals who are cracking down on people not wearing masks, the line checking staff of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) have also been penalising passengers for not wearing masks properly while travelling in buses. They have booked cases against 950 passengers and collected ₹95,000 (₹100 per person) as fine so far.

BMTC officials said the penalty is being imposed since June. “As per the instructions of the higher-ups, penalty is being imposed on passengers violating rules. As per the rule, bus crew do not allow passengers without masks. However, some passengers remove the mask while travelling. While booking cases, some of the passengers do show resistance, but in most of the cases, other passengers support our staff to initiate action,” an official said. The line checking teams are using body cameras and everything gets recorded, the official said.

“To create awareness about wearing masks, the BMTC has deployed Sarati vehicles at Majestic to make announcements. At TTMCs, posters on following SOPs have been put up,” the official said.

Shiva Prasad, a commuter, said, “People not wearing mask or maintaining social distance can be seen at bus stations. Even inside the bus, some people remove the mask while talking on the phone. T

he BMTC should also make sure that both the bus driver and conductor strictly follow the guidelines as they interact with hundreds of people every day.”

The number of BMTC services has gradually increased since the operations resumed in mid-May. Now, the BMTC operates 4,700 buses, but a majority of the AC bus fleet has remained off the road. There are more than 800 AC buses, but hardly 50 are plying owing to poor patronage.

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Sagar Biswas

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