Pune District Administration said those wanting to obtain transit passes will not be required to attach a medical certificate stating they do not show any COVID-19 symptoms. It also clarified that screening for the virus will be done before the concerned persons board the train or bus for their journeys back home.
This decision has been taken in light of hundreds of stranded migrant workers queueing up at government health facilities every day to obtain medical certificates for their transit pass applications, as was previously required.
Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said authorities have received a total of 68,000 requests for transit passes from those wanting to go to other states. Most of these are stranded migrant workers from northern states.
“While applying, stranded persons do not need to attach a medical certificate anymore. Earlier, directives had made it compulsory to attach a certificate from a registered medical practitioner. Given the current situation, it was very difficult to obtain the certificate and hundreds of migrants were queueing up in front of the hospitals. Now, they need not worry as we will check them in groups at the time of departure, and also issue group certificates,” said Ram.
For individuals who want to travel inter-district in their own vehicles, medical certificates are not being sought, Ram added. “In such cases, they need to show evidence of the emergency which requires them to travel. This could be a death in the family or a medical emergency,” he said.
He said among the 68,000 registrations received on covid19.mhpolice.in via police stations and tahsildars in rural areas, 35,000 are from Pimpri-Chinchwad areas, while the rest are from Pune City and rural areas.
Ram said the administration has planned more trains from Pune to various north Indian states to take stranded labourers to their homes.
“We have collected data from various resources where we are getting requests,” he said. “In some cases, we have shared information with the state governments concerned – lists have been sent to the Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments – and are waiting for their approval. Once that happens, more trains will be sent.”
Ram said though the administration is making travel arrangements for those in distress, it does not want migrant workers to leave Pune. “We want them to stay back and work as many business activities, construction and industrial units are now resuming work,” he said.
He said inter-district migrants, including students, are being sent home as well. “We have sent thousands of students to Latur, Yavatmal, Dhule and Nanded using state transport buses. We are also planning to use PMPML buses if such need arises,” he said. “We sent 38 labourers to Nanded in three buses.”
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