The Income Tax Department has seized ₹15.5 crore in cash from Mumbai in the month since the election code of conduct was announced in Maharashtra. The seizures have been carried out on the basis of information provided by police and citizens under search and survey sections 132, 132A and 133A of the Income Tax Act, 1961, senior officials said.To ensure elections are free from influence of cash or valuables, the strength of Quick Response Teams (QRTs) has also been increased by the IT from the existing six , senior officials said. “Special attention is being given these last two days to movement of unaccounted cash, prohibition on distribution of cash, and valuables meant for wooing the electorate before the elections campaign ceases on October 19,” said a senior official of the IT. During the first 15 days of the code of conduct, the department had seized ₹4 crore unaccounted cash from Mumbai. This figure has gone up to ₹15.5 crore as on Thursday.In the run up to the Lok Sabha elections ₹ 28 crore unaccounted cash was seized from across the State, of which ₹16 crore was from Mumbai, Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) Nitin Gupta had said while unveiling a comprehensive plan to curb use of black money in the Assembly elections.As per the instruction of the Election Commission of India (ECI), Principal Director of Income Tax-1 (Investigation wing), Mumbai was designated as Nodal Officer for the tax department, Maharashtra on September 21. Since the announcement of the code, the department installed a BSNL line (1800221510) and WhatsApp numbers (9372727823/9372727824) for receiving information and intelligence on the movement of cash. “We have also done promotions on social media and radio channels while roping in Bollywood celebrities to create awareness about movement of illegal cash,” official said. As many as 40 QRTs have been deployed across Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. Of these, six teams are operational in the city. Apart from this, Air Intelligence Units (AIUs) at all the functional airports/airstrips have been set up to monitor and check the flow of unaccounted cash and valuables, officials said.