Himachal Govt goes strict over arrival of outsiders

Returnees to give address proof, place of coming

Himachal Govt goes strict over arrival of outsiders

Tourist vehicles being checked at the Shoghi barrier. File photo

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 14

The state government today put in place stringent measures to regulate the influx of people by seeking address proof, place they are coming from and destination.

After relaxation in the inter-state movement, almost 1.10 lakh persons have entered the state since July 3. One lakh more people, who have registered themselves on the portal, will arrive over the next few days.

The sudden spike in Covid cases has compelled the government to have a rethink on the issue. Though a person can come to the state through registration on Covid e-pass software, proof of residence and the place of start of journey and destination will have to be uploaded on the portal now.

To ensure their authenticity, the documents will be verified by Deputy Commissioners and if false information is furnished, the person will be booked.

These checks and balances are being put in place after the manner in which people have furnished negative Covid reports, besides citing marriage and deaths in family as reasons.

“There were several instances when people made on-the-spot registration on the inter-state border or furnished false information to enter Himachal, but now they will have to wait for a confirmation on the Covid portal site before being allowed to enter the state as the rise in positive cases is a cause for concern,” said RD Dhiman, Additional Chief Secretary.

When a person wants to enter Himachal as a tourist, for business or for any other purpose, he will have to provide address proof of his house in HP or the hotel, where he will be staying. People have entered Himachal clandestinely through forests, link roads and by furnishing fake documents which have compelled the authorities to initiate more stringent steps.

The Opposition Congress too has come down heavily on the government for opening its doors to everyone. A petition has also been filed in the High Court, challenging the government decision of giving easy access to people, which will come up for hearing on July 20.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has defended the decision by stating that people, who belong to the state, cannot be denied permission.

Relaxations on quarantine norms

  • Students, appearing in competitive exams and accompanying parents, have been exempted from quarantine if they exit or re-enter within 72 hours. Similarly, taxi drivers too stand exempted if they return within 24 hours.
  • Anyone who has an RT-PCR negative report for Covid, not older than 72 hours, can also enter without quarantine, even if from a high-load Covid city.