GUWAHATI: In a great relief to people stranded across various districts amid the novel coronavirus crisis, the Assam government has begun three-day "conditional movement" from Saturday, subject to the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The movement will be allowed from April 25-27.
More than one lakh people have been issued passes to travel to their destination within the state, a leading channel reported.
In a press conference held on Friday, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the toll-free number for the purpose 104 received 41,651 calls. The Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) is making arrangements for their travel which will be free of cost. The expenditure will be “borne by ASTC and later reimbursed by the Health department”, the minister said.
All passengers will receive their e-tickets a day before their travel.
The deputy commissioners have issued one-way e-passes to 31,206 people to travel by their own vehicles with 12,206 of them to travel on the first day on Saturday, Sarma said. The passes of the remaining 19,000 have been staggered over the next two days, he said.
The deputy commissioners had received more than 51,000 requests for passes to travel by personal vehicles but more than 19,000 were rejected as it was not considered as an emergency as specified by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Speaking about allowing movements amid the COVID-19 crisis, he had said earlier, "This is not a blanket permission but will be conditional and people can avail this only with the prior approval of the deputy commissioners.”
Those stranded in another districts can return home and these movements will be only one-way for home-bound and office-bound people as many state government offices have reopened, he said. Patients requiring a visit to hospitals and their attendants will also be issued passes by deputy commissioner who will examine the applications, the minister said.
At present, Assam has registered 35 positive cases of COVID-19 including one fatality and 19 patients were discharged from hospitals.