Funds from mask fines to be used to build new bridge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 06, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 06, 2020

Funds from mask fines to be used to build new bridge

The amount generated from the fines on people not wearing masks in public will be used to build the Grand Bridge, the largest bridge in Southeast Asia.

The bridge will connect the capital of the country to the Coral Reef Islands, boosting the island's economy, but not really.

"This bridge has been a dream of my cousin sister," the grand leader of the country said via teleconference.

"This bridge shows how amazing our country is. It's also what the people want the most. This bridge will be the brightest spot in our development story," the grand leader said.

The source of money from the bridge, however, is the controversial mask fine. Citizens who go out in public without masks on are fined Tk 5,000. Failure to pay the amount means one will have to work for a year in the construction of the Grand Bridge.

Earlier, the mask fines were clandestinely kept in so-called police welfare fund. But the latest uproar over transparency in police forces around the world forced the government to formalise the fines.

As the country's people still refuse to listen to most things, the fines on maskless citizens has sky-rocketed. While the government blames the people for the spike, critics point out that the mask fine has been followed by a slew of others, which have gone under the radar as they targeted a less vocal segment of the population.

Apart from the fines on violating quarantine and not wearing a masks, the government also imposed heavy fines on spitting, urinating, gargling, spitting out betel leaf (which got its own category), three people sitting on a rickshaw, holding hands while walking, kissing, staying out late, not focusing on studies and getting less than GPA 5 in exams.

Some citizens also point out to something more sinister happening below the surface. We will now use a quote to justify the previous statement.

"The taking away of the welfare fund is nothing but optics. This is the same force that has been engaged in crossfires on a massive scale during the shutdown. They have targeted many drug dealers. I have found five of their phones switched off and there's another who charges twice what he used to. Something has disrupted the market and if the whispers are true, then it's the crossfires," Salman Rahman, a resident expert on black market matters, said.  

 For now though, the public seems to have been placated by news of the Grand Bridge. Many, who had been repulsed by the idea of travelling on a ferry to reach the Coral Island, can now finally reach what promises to be a dream destination.

All is well.

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