DMK president MK Stalin asks govt to cancel e-pass system in TN

Citing news reports on alleged corruption in issuance of e-passes in places including Chennai, Stalin said "extending the system and hassling people is inhuman and counter productive"

Stalin
M K Stalin asked the AIADMK government not to create an artificial barrier for people who want to travel. File photo. PTI

President of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) M K Stalin on Thursday (August 6) asked the AIADMK government not to create an “artificial barrier” for travel by people and demanded immediate cancellation of the e-pass system for inter-district journeys.

“Applications seeking passes even for emergencies have been rejected many times though the government had said permission would be given for inter-district travel for medical emergencies, deaths and marriages,” he alleged, adding that the e-pass system in the AIADMK government is “a big failure”.

Citing news reports on alleged corruption in issuance of e-passes in places including Chennai, he said “extending the system and hassling people is inhuman and counter productive”.

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Since March 25, people could not make inter-district journeys even for emergencies and they were being harassed, he alleged.

“When the central government itself has announced that e-pass is not compulsory, the AIADMK government continuing to have it with an ulterior motive will not be a solution for the affected people,” he said.

While Chief Minister K Palaniswami maintained that the government acted according to the Centre’s guidelines on COVID-19 management, Stalin, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, asked in a statement, “Why did not he follow it on the e-pass system?”

“On one hand, you allow relaxations, say that people can go for work and companies could open and on the other hand, you say that e-pass is mandatory for inter-district
travel confining people to their homes. What kind of coronavirus management is this?” he questioned in what was a dig at Chief Minister Edappadi S Palaniswami.

Asserting that this question crossed the minds of all people, he wanted the government to respect public sentiment and immediately rescind the e-pass system for inter-district travel.

“I ask Palaniswami to not create an artificial barrier for people who want to travel. Also, by putting up such a barrier, do not open up the door for corruption and hassle people… for the lockdown relaxations to benefit the public, this step (cancelling e-pass regime) is immediately needed,” he said.

So far, police have arrested at least eight men in Tamil Nadu for allegedly creating fake e-passes and luring people to approach them to get the passes.

While five including two government employees were held in Chennai, two were arrested in Tiruchirapalli and a man was held in Vellore.

Though the state government had announced several relaxations, an e-pass is needed for inter-district travel.

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