Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Police on Tuesday said that it has fined a traffic constable Rs 2,000 for not wearing a mask when the state is implementing a special 14-day drive to enforce COVID-19 safety protocol.

During the 14-day “Mask Abhijan”, the Odisha government is slapping a fine of Rs 2,000 on anyone found without a mask.

“On being brought to our notice, we have fined our own Traffic constable Rs 2000 for not wearing mask. And he, as a responsible citizen, has paid. Wear Mask always; Or Pay the fine. There is no alternative,” the state police twitted.

“On the sixth day of the special Covid enforcement drive, Odisha Police acted against 9,790 violators of mask usage and social distancing rules and collected fines of Rs 29,71,950 on Monday,” the force said in another tweet.

“If people wear masks and maintain social distancing norms regularly, the state can avoid strict measures like lockdown, shut down or curfew,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a message recently.

Meanwhile, an Odisha-based private company on Tuesday said that it has launched a programme to distribute one lakh masks free of cost among poor people.

Endorsing the “Mask Abhijan” to check the spread of the infection, Odisha Stevedores Limited (OSL) said that poor people are facing problems in getting face masks as they cost at least Rs 10 per piece.

The company has targeted mostly daily labourers, rickshaw pullers and other poor people to distribute the masks.