INTERVIEW

Haryana to give passes online for essential services: CM Khattar

'Food, online shopping apps to function unhindered'

Haryana to give passes online for essential services: CM Khattar

Chief Minister ML Khattar. File photo.

Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 26

Amid reports of delivery boys being intercepted by the police during the current lockdown resulting in hardships to common people in getting groceries, medicines and other essential  items, Haryana is set to launch the  process of issuing passes to such people from Thursday.

In an exclusive interaction with The Tribune, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that establishments offering essential services such as grocery, pharmaceutical products and food, including online retailers, will have to apply online for the number of passes they needed.


Haryana launches website for lockdown passes, helpline numbers; wheat procurement from April 20


“The online portal is likely to be launched by Thursday evening itself, and the government will ensure that the passes are issued as soon as possible once the process of applications begins,” Khattar said.

When his attention was drawn towards complaints coming from various districts of the state that the police had been harassing delivery executives, including those going to people to supply essential goods such as medicines, the CM maintained that the police could not be blamed for this, as the cops doing duty on the streets could not differentiate between a delivery person or a common man.

“When they have been mandated to make sure that people do not venture out of their houses in view of the lockdown that has been imposed in the public interest to arrest the spread of the deadly Covid-19, they are supposed to stop everyone who comes out unless the person has a pass authorising one for the purpose one is outside. The passes will serve this purpose and we will make sure that we issue these passes as soon as possible,” he said.

He said that once these people get passes issued by the state government, they will not have any problems, as the police will allow them to move about after seeing their identity proof.

Khattar said the government realised the importance of keeping home delivery of essential commodities and supply chains of online retailers unhindered, as it helped in keeping a large majority of the middle class stay indoors during the lockdown, and the government was left with the task of ensuring supplies to the lower strata of society.

On being informed that the supply of newspapers, including The Tribune, was being hindered in most parts of the state despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauding the role of media in the present situation, Khattar said that newspaper dealers could also apply for passes for their hawkers.

Khattar expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the lockdown so far.

The Haryana Police had on Wednesday assured residents that e-commerce services such as Zomato, Big Basket, Amazon and Flipkart would continue to function during the 21-day Covid-19 nationwide lockdown. There were complaints that policemen were intercepting delivery men and there were even incidents of manhandling.

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