From cab drivers who can’t apply for passes to factory owners running night shifts and shops that restock at night, there are many exasperated groups.
Allowing night vaccination while imposing a night curfew seems illogical. The issue can only be sorted out if the process of issuing e-passes is streamlined. The matter must be resolved fast to ensure that the hapless citizen doesn’t suffer for conflicting administrative decisions.
Naveen Gupta, general secretary, All India Motor Transport Association, claimed to have filed applications for three transporters only to have them turned down. “Almost all the work of goods transportation, loading and unloading happens during the night, but truckers are not getting e-passes,” he grumbled. “To maintain the supply chain, we need the labourers, drivers and office staff working at odd hours. The night curbs should have been thought through.”
Kamaljeet Gill, representative of the cab aggregator drivers’ unions, pointed out that e-passes are not issued to taxi drivers, only to passengers. “If someone wants to go from Noida or Gurgaon to Delhi, how will the taxi drivers deal with restrictions?” Gill asked. Robin Dabas similarly pointed out the problem being faced by food delivery agents after 10pm. “Food delivery agents cannot apply for e-passes because they don’t have a specific office address. They work everywhere via online platforms, but the people enforcing the curfew haven’t been made aware of this,” Dabas said.
In Delhi, shopkeepers need passes to be able to oversee the unloading of goods at night. “My stock arrives early in the morning or late at night, so I need a pass,” said Ashok Randhawa, president, Mini Market Association, Sarojini Nagar. “It’s been two days since I applied, but there’s no response. The website showed my application as accepted, but since then there is neither an update nor has my application status changed.”
At Sadar Bazar, it was a problem the shop owners had to sort out with the cops. Rakesh Yadav, president, Federation of Sadar Bazar Traders Associations, “Since transporters were facing problems in deploying staff at night, we met police officers during which we asked for traders to be allowed to apply for passes for select employees or ensure alternative arrangements,” he disclosed.
Citizens too have reported technical glitches with the e-pass generation system. Dheeraj of Raj Nagar in west Delhi has been trying to get a pass since April 6. “I have some medical problems, having recently undergone heart bypass surgery. But I have been unable to get the e-pass,” he tweeted.
Many like him, many others too have been left frustrated. Vansh Madan of Faridabad said that he had to drive to UP via Delhi for the cremation of a relative, but was unable to generate the e-pass because the application required a Delhi address. “The portal only accepts Delhi addresses, but I am a Faridabad resident. The helpline numbers are also unresponsive,” said Madan.