India — After the Delhi government on Thursday announced fresh curbs to curtail the rampaging spread of Covid-19 in the city, including a weekend curfew from 10pm on Friday to 5am on Monday, transport agency officials clarified that those engaged in essential services, those with medical emergencies or those coming from or going to railway stations, the airport and inter-state bus terminals (ISBTs) during the weekend have been kept out of the ambit of the restrictions and won’t need e-passes, provided they are able to produce the requisite documents.
Crucially, those to get the vaccine shots during the weekend or those who need to get tested for Covid-19 will also be allowed to travel, but will need to register for an e-pass, said officials. Residents will be allowed to use public transport services on the weekend only if they fall within the ambit of the exemptions during the weekend curbs, similar to the norms in place for the night curfew.
“The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) order does not specifically mention people travelling for a Covid-19 test. But it has been clarified that such people will be considered under the category of patients travelling for medical or health services. They will not need e-passes, but are advised to keep one handy,” a revenue department official said.
Residents of Delhi can apply for e-passes by visiting the www.delhi.gov.in website.
Officials of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) Limited, which run the 6,600-odd state buses in the city, and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said their operations will continue as usual, but entry of passengers will be strictly regulated on the basis of ID cards and e-passes during the weekend curfew.
“Inter-state travel by road will be allowed only for those under the exempted category during the weekend curfew as well as the night curfew that is already in place,” said the official.
However, several residents said they buy tickets at railway stations or bus terminals, and will not be able to produce documents if stopped.
“Most of us buy tickets at the ISBT. How will we produce the ticket when we are on our way to the ISBT?,” asked Ravi Kumar, a migrant worker who said he wants to travel Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh for his nephew’s wedding.
A second government official said, “The idea of the weekend curfew is to break the chain of transmission. The message to people through this measure is that they should stay where they are and not move. However, if it is an emergency, then the person might be allowed to go without the bus ticket on the merit of his claims.”
A transport department official in the Capital said taxis and autorickshaws will ply as usual during the weekend curfew, but operators and drivers will either need to produce relevant ID cards or e-passes.
“In general, there will be fewer cabs and autos because demand will reduce as most people will stay indoors. The Delhi police and enforcement officers from the district magistrate’s offices will do random checks on the roads. Hence, it is better to avoid venturing out during the weekend unless it is a health emergency,” said the transport official.Follow us on Social Media
Send in your scoops to email@example.com