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Penalise citizens for not wearing masks, not us, says hotel association

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 17:49 Hrs  [IST]

Members of the Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels Association on Tuesday met BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad demanding the withdrawal of the recent notification to penalise owners of commercial establishments if customers turn up without wearing masks.They said that the target of the government should be to penalise rule-breaking citizens and not owners of establishments. They instead demanded that the government set a precedence and penalise politicians, political party workers and agitators for not wearing masks and not maintaining physical distance. They reminded the government of court orders that action should be taken against all those not following rules.

Association President P C Rao said, “It is not possible for people to wear a mask while eating or drinking in restaurants, hotels and in choultries. The government is not clear on its notification. It is the responsibility of citizens to ensure that they wear a mask. However, owners of commercial establishments should also ensure that customers wear a mask at all times, except for eating and drinking.” 

He admitted that marshals and health officials cannot go to every unit and check if people are not wearing a mask. In such cases, shop owners should act responsibly and create awareness. But the government’s orders makes owners responsible for other people’s mistakes, which is not acceptable. The government should not see penalties as a source of income for the exchequer, but use them to create deterrence, he said.

BBMP Commissioner Prasad said, “We have told them that it was the government order and what needs to be done for Bengaluru was issued by the BBMP. The suggestion will be communicated to the government for review.” He added that with great effort, the number of cases had come down and that it was now everyone’s responsibility to ensure that cases do not rise. Event organisers and property owners must ensure people abide by the rules. 

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