New Delhi: People always have an excuse up their sleeve if caught without mask here.
One of the oft-tried excuses is "Sir, I have removed the mask for just one minute, was wearing it for the whole day."
People pull a trick to evade fine. And the Delhi government hiked the fine from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000.
However, the most common excuse Civil Defence guards always hear is, "Ohh... I forgot to wear it as I was in hurry." "I was wearing it since morning, I have just removed as it was causing irritation," the second most given excuse.
Along with Delhi Police, Delhi Civil Defense Volunteers have also been deployed to make people aware in crowded places and impose fines for violating the rules.
"Whenever people violate the rules, we also explain them. Some people do the same thing again after some time," said Sanjiv Kumar Yadav, an inspector posted at Sarojini Nagar Market.
"When we issue challans, people start making excuses. Some infringers say, Challans are too expensive, please don't, I don't have money... forgive me," he added.
Yadav said, "Some people accuse us that they keep all the money on their own. Some people say - we do not earn so much as you are cutting the challan." He said that not many challans have been cut so far, because since the challan has become expensive, most people have started following the rules.
A civil defence volunteer said, "Some people deliberately eat on the streets, so that they do not have to put a mask on the mouth. But when we explain them they say 'I am eating'."
He said, "Some people even carry empty bottles of cold drinks in their hands, and when we ask them to follow the norms they say 'I am having a cold drink'."
The volunteer said, "Some parents also bring their children to the market, who remove the masks from the mouth. We also explain them quite often, but then cut the challan for the same carelessness. So parents say - 'Forgive the little child, he has mistakenly put down the mask'."
It would be surprising to know that some people even represent themselves as ill to evade fines. Even they give excuses that "I am an asthma patient, please excuse me." Some others say, I am sick, I was feeling dizzy, so I have taken the mask down.
Most infringers pretend not to have money or to forget it. Some people even pretend their position. Someone either claims to be a lawyer or is a government officer and every effort is made for not getting fined.
Civil Defense Volunteers reported that women make more excuses than men. They sometimes make our complaint to the police that "how did he take my photo".
IANS report with edits