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Penalties do not work, awareness can

Penalties do not work, awareness can

Since the start of lockdown, the Punjab government has been trying to keep the residents indoors and compel them to follow the norms by scaring them. But the terrifying methods have little impact till date.

In a fresh attempt, the Punjab government has increased penalties for the violation of lockdown. It has increased the penalty for not wearing a mask in a public place to Rs 500, for spitting to Rs 500, for violation of home quarantine to Rs 2000, for violation of social distancing norms by shop owners to Rs 2000 and has also increased the penalties for other violations.

Though with a hike in penalties, Punjab government has tried to terrorize residents to follow the norms, its authorities have forgotten that cops cannot be posted in every nook and corner of the state to check the violations. In almost all parts of the state, residents have been roaming without masks and without taking caring of mandatory social distancing in their streets, on link roads and even in small towns also because cops are only present in prominent places like malls, big markets and big cities.

Its second blunder Punjab government has committed to ensuring the compliance of norms as earlier in the start of lockdown, government authorities had tried to impose the lockdown by giving free hand to cops. The power given to cops boomeranged as cops started thrashing mercilessly to residents and even did not spare the locals with emergency reasons. The videos of cops thrashing residents earned a bad name for cops as hundreds of such videos are still going viral on social media and Punjab CM and DGP had to intervene to stop cops from raining Lathis.

Punjab government sees an opportunity to earn money through penalties, but it should not forget that it needs the cooperation of residents to defeat the Covid-19. The government can win the support of residents only with awareness, not with penalties.

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