The Srinagar administration has introduced a new movement pass system replacing the existing passes to enable movement of essential and emergency services officials during ongoing restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Issuing an order under Section 144 of CrPC and Section 34 of the national disaster management act or NDMA 2005 the District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who is also the Chairman District Disaster Management Authority Srinagar Tuesday ordered the cancellation of all existing movement passes issued in the district before May 5.
The order said that cancellation of existing passes follows violations noted in the last week or so with numerous instances of misuse of the said passes and fraudulent imitation thereof for movement reported from different parts across the district.
It states that all essential services departments and government offices as authorised will be provided special tokens indicating name of the department and a serial number for movement adding however that movement will be allowed only after verifying identity of officials. It states that banks and media persons will also be issued tokens for their movement.
The order states that sufficient movement passes have been issued to health department and professionals across the board adding however that in the absence of movement passes the doctors and paramedics will be allowed to move even just on production of valid IDs along with their duty roster.
It states that replacement of existing movement passes with a new system is to prevent violations of restrictions through misuse and forgery on public movement and activities put in place in the district in efforts to contain spread of COVID-19.
For other cases the order states that movement passes wherever required shall be valid only with the seal and original signature of the District Magistrate Srinagar and must compulsorily have a 3D hologram affixed thereon. It states that no passes issued by anyone other than the DM will be entertained.
To minimise vehicular traffic the order states that a total of 86 busses and other forms of public transport have been provided to different departments and banks. The measure is aimed at minimising inconvenience to officials in reaching to their offices and home after office hours.
In regard to inter-district movement the order states that the movement will not be allowed except on the production of valid inter-district passes issued by the competent authority adding that all such passes must indicate places of origin and destination. It adds that any person moving out of a red zone area without a clear permission will be booked under relevant laws.
Medical emergencies and exigencies will be allowed without a pass. The order directs the ADS Srinagar (SQ) to collect and advertise details of contact numbers of all services of emergencies set up in the wake of the prevailing health situation.
It should be noted that regardless of possession of a movement pass access to areas notified as COVID-19 red zones in the district will be strictly as per SOP and guidelines as laid down.
The order warns that violations of guidelines and instructions as given in the order will attract strict penal action as per provisions of Section 188 of IPC and Section 51 of NDMA 2005.