Inter-district travel will continue to require e-passes: State home minister
Pune: State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Monday that people setting out on inter-district travel will continue to require e-passes that are being issued by the police.
The minister’s statement comes on the day the state announced the extension of the Covid-19 lockdown until July 31. He said curbs are being applied to discourage unnecessary movement within the state.
“The e-passes will be issued using the same regulations to restrict unnecessary travel,” Deshmukh said. He added that authorities will be stationed at all major checkpoints to inspect the permits.
Citizens can apply for the e-passes at covid19.mhpolice.in or www.punepolice.in.
While the state government has announced some relaxations, the high number of Covid-19 cases in the state, especially in Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Amravati, has called for certain restrictions to stay, officials said.
Deshmukh also said he would investigate complaints from people who had alleged that some district authorities were not accepting emergency travel requests from Pune and Mumbai. TOI had earlier reported that officials in nearly six districts were delaying clearances to motorists from these cities.
Pune collector Naval Kishore Ram said applications for e-passes have to cleared by the receiving districts before permissions can be granted.
One senior official told TOI that travel requests from mainly Pune and Mumbai were being rejected by the districts.
Pune city police told TOI they are focusing on issuing permits for emergency cases. “We have 1,623 pending requests. We are giving priority to families reporting deaths and medical emergencies. For such cases, we try to issue permits within an hour. So far, we have been able to process 16,130 emergency requests within an hour,” said Pune police DCP (crime) Bachchan Singh, who is in-charge of issuing these passes.
Singh said requests are denied only if documents are not in order or if the reason to travel is not deemed an emergency.
According to data provided by the police, 53% of travel requests were sanctioned within an hour.
A Citizen Pulse survey carried out by authorities here — which asked 22,791 citizens for their experiences during the lockdown — only 3% indicated issues with epasses. “It is all about priority. Deaths of an immediate relative, medical emergencies, pregnancies or dialysis qualify as reasons that call for epasses to be processed within an hour,” Singh said.