April 27, 2021

Explained: What is the e-pass system restarted in Maharashtra for travel during Covid-19 lockdown?

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A day after new restrictions banning inter-state and inter-district travel were implemented across Maharashtra, Director General of Police Sanjay Pandey on Friday restarted the e-pass system for people who want to embark on an inter-city or inter-state trip.

NWho needs to apply for e-pass and who is exempt?

According to the police officials, people who belong to the essential service providing categories, like doctors, nurses, police, government employees, food delivery, etc., need not apply for the e-pass. These people are allowed to travel and can pass police blockades by showing their identity cards. However people who do not fall in these essential service categories can apply for the e-pass only in emergency situations like medical emergencies, marriages or in case of death in the family.

Where can one apply for an e-pass?

Those who have access to internet can apply for e-pass on the link ( https://covid19.mhpolice.in/registration ). Those who do not have access to the internet can go to the nearest police station and apply for an e-pass. They have to carry relevant documents, like the doctor’s certificate in case of a medical emergency or death certificate in case a person is travelling interstate or inter district to conduct the final rites of a family member, while those applying online will have to upload a scanned copy of the relevant documents. The police posted at each police station have been instructed to help them in filling their e-pass application form.

Who approves the e-pass?

Each application goes to the zonal deputy commissioner of police in city police, and in districts, the Superintendent of Police office has the right to approve or reject the application. The authorities will also furnish a reason for rejection, while they have been instructed to respond to the application at the earliest.

Where can one procure the e-pass?

After an individual applies for an e-pass on the above mentioned website, a token ID is issued. The applicant can check the status of their application on the link ( https://covid19.mhpolice.in/status ) using these token IDs. If the application is approved by the authorities, one can download from the website while those who had submitted an application at the police station, have to collect it from the respective police station. The e-pass will contain the applicants details like their name, vehicle number, validity, number of travelers and a QR code. The applicant has to keep a soft or a hard copy of the e-pass during their travel and show it at police blockades.

Do we need to apply/carry an e-pass, if we have to travel within the city/district?

No. In 2020, during the lockdown, two types of passes were issued, an e-pass for inter-city and inter-state travel; and an essential service card was issued by the authorities concerned. But this year, a person working in the financial sector, government sector or under any other essential service sector within the city needs to carry their identity card. “If anyone falling under any of the category is travelling on a public holiday or a weekend, they need to either present a message or any relevant document that proves that they have been called to their workplace or the person will be asked to return or action may be taken against him,” said Thane police commissioner Vivek Phansalkar.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai police have implemented their own colour code system. The red stickers are for the ones working in medical emergency services like ambulances, doctors, nurses and all those supplying medicines and medical-related services. The green colour is for services related to food, vegetable and grocery. Yellow is for all other essential services mentioned in the government order which includes all government servants and press/media persons. “Whoever falls in any of the three colour categories can stick it on their vehicle and travel,” said Mumbai police spokesperson DCP S Chaitanya.

Till when will this e pass system be in place?

As of now. the e pass system will be valid till May 1. It may be extended if the state government decides to extend the lockdown.

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