4,000 apply for e-passes from Mumbai for inter-state travel ahead of Ganeshotsav
After the state government’s order easing restrictions on travel for the festival, Mumbai Police on August 8 permitted applications for e-pass for inter-district travel on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.Updated: Aug 15, 2020 12:00 IST
Mumbai Police have received around 4,000 e-passes from August 8 to 12 from devotees who wish to travel to other parts of the state, mainly to the Konkan region, on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, said Vinoy Kumar Choubey, additional director general (law and order).
The passes are being issued only to those who are traveling in private or hired vehicles, said the police.
After the state government’s order easing restrictions on travel for the festival, Mumbai Police on August 8 permitted applications for e-pass for inter-district travel on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The applicants also have to agree to mandatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests 48 hours prior to the travel. The e-passes were given only to those who were tested negative, a police officer said. The travelers also have to be in a 10-day quarantine period after entering the district concerned from Mumbai. A senior police officer said that those from containment zones could not apply for the e-passes.
“The passes are mostly issued for groups of people, so the actual number of devotees travelling outside the city would be more than 10,000-12,000,” another police officer said.
The police said they are strictly ensuring that the devotees implement all safety measures and social distancing norms are followed while travelling.
“As the rules were announced in advance, we received a good response from the devotees. Only those applications in which all mandatory norms are complied with are accepted. Vehicles with high capacity are allowed to ply only with half the capacity,” said Viresh Prabhu, additional commissioner of police (central region).
All the zonal deputy commissioners of police in Mumbai are the nodal officers for issuing the e-passes.
Inter-district movement is restricted owing to the lockdown imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, as lakhs of people annually travel from Mumbai, Thane and Pune to their hometowns in Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts for the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival – which falls on August 22 this year – the state government provided certain exemptions for devotees to travel to their hometowns.
Last year, around 6 lakh people from Mumbai visited their hometowns for the festival. Last year around 2 lakh devotees visited Konkan and other districts for Ganeshotsav in private vehicles, said the police.