Unlock 4: Maharashtra To Scrap e-Pass System, Ease Curbs on Travel, Hotels

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Maharashtra state government is likely to discontinue its e-pass system, said a senior government officer. The rumors popped up when the government announced new rules and guidelines for Unlock 4 on Monday.

Until now, e-passes were mandatory for travelers in view of the lock-down. However, a decision on scraping the e-pass will be taken after considering the situation in the state.

If the decision comes to a positive note, no separate permission or e-pass is would be mandatory for the movement of people and goods, intra-state or inter-state.

As per our sources, the state government might issue the guidelines in one or two that may come into effect from September 2. “It is under consideration to increase the number of people in government and private offices,” an official said.

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Moreover, the state government had allowed a maximum of 15 percent and 10 percent strength in government and private offices respectively in the guidelines issued last month.

On openings of the gyms, the CM has already assured a delegation of gym owners that permission will be given soon.

“We are in the process of drafting the standard operating procedure. We expect to be able to give permission to open gyms within a week, “he said.

The official said the CM is keen to allow more relaxation but remains concerned about the rise in coronavirus cases.

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“We allowed maximum relaxation even though the number of cases has grown exponentially,” he said.

Here are some points that we may consider and note for the upcoming 4.0 guidelines:

  • Under fresh Unlock 4.0 rules in Maharashtra, occupancy in hotels will be enhanced from 33% to 50%, attendance requirement in government offices for IAS officer-level staff raised to 100% and for subordinate staff increased from 15% to 30%, frequency of local trains raised and students of classes 9 to 12 allowed to visit schools on a “voluntary basis” to clear their doubts from September 21 onwards.
  • On attendance in schools, the state will adhere to guidelines prescribed by the central government. Students of classes 9 to 12 outside containment zones will be allowed to visit the school to consult teachers, subject to written permission of parents or guardians.
  • Standard operating procedures will be followed for the purpose, as issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
  • On hotels, officials said, occupancy limit will be enhanced to 50%. While in-house guests can avail of dining facilities, the decision on allowing outsiders will be taken at a later stage. The decision on re-opening restaurants too will be taken soon, but no timeframe has been fixed for the purpose.
  • On attendance in government offices, an official said, all officer-level staff (IAS and those in the rank of deputy secretary and above) will be required to come in while subordinate staff attendance will be enhanced to 30-40%. To facilitate the move, the frequency of suburban trains will be enhanced suitably.

According to many sources, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is looking to be against opening up of local trains, but sources said that Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar and other bureaucrats have asked to resume the local trains.

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