Ever since the Indian government implemented the nation-wide lockdown to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic, most states stopped inter state travel and some states also suspended travel within their own districts. Tamil Nadu has still not opened up inter-district travel, except under extremely necessary circumstances. The government deemed it mandatory to obtain an e-pass to travel from one district to another, even within the state! However, till now, the criterion for issuing epasses was very strict and most requests for epasses were being rejected by the government, unless and until it was for an absolutely necessary reason like an emergency of some sort!

Recently, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had announced that there would be some relaxations in the epass system in the state. As promised, the Tamil Nadu government has issued relaxations for issuing epasses. A recent announcement from the Tamil Nadu government states that all those who apply for epasses with proper documents would be issued with one, immediately! This latest announcement states that people applying for epasses will be able to obtain them immediately, if they submit their Aadhaar Card and mobile number details! This rule will be applicable from August 17th and epass applications with the necessary details will be given immediate approval!

In recent times, there have been a lot of cases of forged epasses being used by people especially travel agents and cab operators. A nefarious ring of people issuing fake epasses was also busted by the TN Police. Some travel agencies have also been charging exorbitant prices from passengers for obtaining epasses along with transportation. This was also being accepted and availed by many people, as there is still no public transportation in most parts of the state. There are no buses or trains between districts and people have no other way than to travel! This new decision by the Government has been taken after a number of complaints of delays in epass issuals reached the High Court! As of now, the lockdown in Tamil Nadu has been extended till August 31! Stay tuned for further updates...