Updated: August 24, 2020 12:08:41 pm
Following directives from the Union Home Ministry to remove restrictions on inter and intra-state movement of people and goods, the Maharashtra government is likely to lift curbs on inter-district travel and discontinue the e-pass system.
The state government has already allowed inter and intra-state movement of goods and services since May 31.
From last Thursday, while it had withdrawn the requirement of e-pass for inter-district travel in state-run buses, it is still mandatory for people travelling between districts in private vehicles. “The remaining restrictions will be lifted in due course,” said Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar.
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, in a tweet, said the government has taken note of the recent guidelines announced by the Centre.
“Appropriate decision will be taken regarding the same after discussion with Hon’ble CM & DCM,” he added.
However, government sources said that the QR code system, which is similar to e-pass, will be retained for the Mumbai suburban local trains.
“This issue has not been raised at the moment. So, it will remain as it is,” said a bureaucrat.
On Saturday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to all chief secretaries, stating that “no restriction may be imposed on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods and services”. “No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movement,” the letter added referring to the July 29 unlock 3 guidelines.
Stating that the restrictions imposed by districts or states at the local level are creating problems in the inter-state movement of goods and services and supply chain, the letter said “such restrictions imposed at the local level amount to the violation of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005”.
Sources also said that the state government is considering easing more lockdown restrictions, such as increasing the attendance in government offices to 50 per cent from the current 15 per cent and opening indoor gymnasiums among others.
“After Ganesh festival, which will be over on September 1, more activities will be allowed to begin. The matter will be discussed in the next few days with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and senior leaders,” said a minister.
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