Unlock 1.0: Re-opening of inter-district travel keep citizens hopeful

Unlock 1.0: Re-opening of inter-district travel keep citizens hopeful

Pune: Conflicting rules and relaxations given the central and state governments have resulted in complex situations for common citizens. Just give a thought to this: People can travel from Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Jaipur to the city via air or railways but not from adjoining districts of Satara or Ahmednagar by road. This is causing hardships to citizens especially those staying in boundary areas of districts and hence all eyes are now set on reopening of inter-district travel.

The central government on May 28, gave a number of relaxations from lockdown 4.0 including permission for inter-district and intra-district travel. The Maharashtra government, however, adopted a conservative approach and gave permission for only intra-district travel.

Citizens from Parner taluka in Nagar district travel to Shirur for shopping, but now the district borders are closed. Likewise, citizens from Khed-Shivapur, Baneshwar, Cheladi Phata area travel to Shirwal MIDC for work but they are stopped at the district boundary by police. Also, some citizens have to travel to and fro Satara, Nagar, Mumbai from Pune for business activities but are unable to do so.

Businessman Suresh Chaudhary said, "I have packaging business and have to procure raw material from Mumbai district. I got e-pass from police once but now they are not issuing me pass. I have to travel to Mumbai once a week but without permission, I can’t do it and it's impacting my business and livelihood."

A citizen Chinmay Vaidya said, "My grandmother is stuck at Satara at my sister’s place for the last three months. We have to conduct regular health checkup for her but the doctors are in Pune. Police are also not issuing a pass to us."

When asked about when inter-district travel will be permitted, senior police officials said, "The home ministry had asked for feedback on this issue and we have submitted our report. The final decision will be taken by the Chief Ministers Office. We are also awaiting orders on the same. On May 30, while giving phase-wise relaxations, the state government had said that inter-district travel decision will be taken independently. But so far, no decision has been taken."

Meanwhile, the state, as part of its Mission Begin Again, will introduce the second set of relaxation from coronavirus lockdown from today. According to guidelines, taxis, rickshaws, two- wheelers and four-wheelers will be allowed for essential purposes.

Maharashtra on Thursday released an order which said that inter-district movement within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) will be permitted.

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