Passengers disembarking at Belagavi Airport not asked for epasses

Belagavi: Passengers who disembarked off the flight from Ahmedabad that landed at Sambra Airport in Belagavi on Monday were asked only to fill the self-declaration form at the terminal before being ferried to the government quarantine centres.

Interestingly, the officials at the airport did not ask the passengers to furnish epasses, which the Karnataka government has made mandatory for people entering from other states.

In keeping with the directives of the  Karnataka  government, those coming to the state from  Covid-19 hotspots such as Ahmedabad, will be quarantined at a government facility for seven days, following which they will have to isolate themselves at home for another week. On arrival at the Sambra Airport, the passengers were asked to declare their willingness to be quarantined for the prescribed period.

Rakesh M, one of the passengers who arrived in Belagavi by flight on Monday, said that he had not been able to get an epass on the Seva Sindhu app. “I had applied for epass for myself and my family on Sunday, but they had not been generated in time for the journey. But I had no trouble and was taken to the quarantine facility,” he added.

Despite state government mandated e-passes for the returnees traveling from outside to enter the state, the air passengers landed at Sambra airport on Monday were allowed inside without having one.

The guidelines issued by the state government on May 23 mandates that people coming into Karnataka have with them an epass to exit bus stands, railway stations and airports.

Interestingly, officials did not allow more than 300 people stranded at the Koganoli checkpost on the Maharashtra border to enter Karnataka citing the lack of epass. They were allowed entry only following outcry in the media.

Belagavi assistant commissioner Ashok Teli admitted that not one of the passengers from Ahmedabad had an epass, before adding that he had been given directions to allow them entry. “They must, however, register themselves on the Arogya Setu app to be permitted entry to Karnataka,” he added.

Anil Parameshwara, another passenger on the flight, questioned the need for the pass when there was an app that could track their movement.

MLA Priyank Kharge, who has filed a writ petition in the high court to bring Karnataka residents back from neighbouring states, pointed to the lack of uniformity in the standard operating procedure across the country.

Vasy HV, an activist, meanwhile, alleged that the Karnataka government was not too concerned with ensuring the safe return of labourers stranded in neighbouring states. “This shows the state’s discriminatory attitude. Government policies must guidelines must favour vulnerable sections during a humanitarian crisis,” he said.

‘Quarantine apps compulsory’

We are entering details of passengers entering the state by air if they do not have epasses. But all people coming to Karnataka must download the quarantine app.

TM Vijay Bhaskar | Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka

Source : Times of india

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