The Government on Monday clarified that residents leaving their homes for vaccination and other medical emergencies will not require e-pass for their vehicles following concerns raised by vaccine beneficiaries highlighting alleged harassment by the police over vehicular movement sans e-Pass during the immunisation programme for people in the age bracket of 18 years to 44 years.
A notification from the State Transport Department on Monday stated that people traveling within the state for vaccination, medical check-up and hospitalisation will be exempted from the e-pass mandate for vehicular movement in Jharkhand. Besides this, the notification also clarified that people attending funerals will not require e-pass for their vehicles.
However, officials clarified that the residents visiting vaccination centres for jabs will have to carry necessary documents related to vaccination, which would be considered valid only on the day they get a slot for the vaccine.
In the fresh set of guidelines for the extended lockdown, the State government made it mandatory for people to download e-pass for their vehicles even if they move out of their homes for buying essential goods from May 16 onwards. The e-pass, as per a government notification, could be downloaded from epassJharkhand.nic.in.
However, there was no option for vaccine beneficiaries to download e-Pass from the portal on Day 1 of the new set of restrictions. Besides, the website kept crashing, giving a tough time to residents on Sunday.
“There was no option for an e-pass for vaccination on the government website. I postponed my visit to the vaccination centre for a day to get a clearer picture on the need for documents to move out for vaccination during the lockdown,” said Siddhant Sharma, a resident of Ratu Road.
The notification from the Transport Department on Monday, however, stated that an e-pass will be mandatory for vehicular movement for the purpose of purchasing edible items and other essential goods except for medicines. The e-Pass will be valid for a period of three hours from the time of download and it can only be available from 6am to 3pm.
While the active caseload of Covid-19 has reduced in the State, the Government is pushing for stricter restrictions in order to avert a rise in cases and a possible third wave, which is likely to infect children.
Meanwhile, the vaccination programme is in full swing with the State managing to inoculate more than 1.11 lakh beneficiaries in the age bracket of 18 to 44 years since May 14.