District administrations bungle as long queues persist at checkposts
Congress leaders protest at Trissur Collectorate
On a day when there was commotion at all the Kerala check posts including Walayar, two Congress MPs and an MLA had a long argument with Thirssur Collector in front of the collectorate over the alleged delay in the issue of entry passes by the district administration. Thrissur MP T N Prathapan, Alathur MP Ramya Haridas and Wadakkenchery MLA Anil Akkara held a sitting protest in front of the collectorate on Saturday afternoon protesting the alleged lackadaisical way in which passes were issued to Keralities who had sought approval from District Collector for their entry into the state.
“We are getting relentless calls from people who are stuck up at the check posts and some people are also citing the delay in issuing passes online from the district Collector here. An assistant collector was in charge of issuing passes online, but later, the job was assigned to a temporary staffer, who is unable to handle the job effectively,” Mr Prathapan said.
He also said that a team of students from Tamil Nadu who booked a vehicle together applied for the pass at the same time. Those in Ernakulam and Alappuzha got their passes from the concerned collectorates. However, the applicant from Thrissur did not get the pass online and got stuck at the check post.
Anil Akkara MLA alleged that the district administration was showing political partisanship in issuing passes and in allowing entry of Keralities from other states. Ramya Haridas said that two female students from Thrissur got stuck at the border and she tried calling the Collector on the phone on Friday noon.
“The Collector took up the phone and said that he would call me back but even after 24 hours there was no response. The female students were then brought to their homes during wee hours on Saturday in an ambulance as there were no other vehicles available in the check post at night,” she said.
Collector Shanavas who reached the Collectorate spoke to the protesting MPs and the MLA over the issue. He tried to reason with them citing that most of their allegations were due to misinformation. He said that the covid19jagratha.kerala.nic.in is the site to be applied for the passes but as there were websites with similar web addresses some people were applying in those sites leading to confusion.
He also said that the site to apply for passes was of National Informatics Centre (NIC) and admitted that it was down on Thursday and Friday. But, the protesting MPs and MLA claimed that even those who had applied before Thursday for the passes had not got the passes online.
“To further co-ordinate the process of issuing passes I will soon be signing an official. The official will also be communicating with the MPs and MLAs concerned regarding passes as I will be busy with other work like arranging accommodation of NRIs returning from the Gulf region and other countries,” Collector said.
He also said that there would soon be a 24×7 system in place to clear the backlog of application for passes applied by Keralities in other states. The protesting MPs and MLA later called off their protest and left for Walayar.
Meanwhile, Thrissur Corporation councilor A Prasad reached the Collectorate with a complaint that Dr Honey Mol K G, a resident of Poothole in Thrissur, who had applied for entry pass through Walayar check post on May 3, got the pass from Tamil Nadu on May 5, but she along with her two co-passengers were yet to get the pass from Thrissur Collector.
“After Collector spoke to the officials concerned, within an hour, Honey Mol was issued entry pass according to which she can enter Kerala on 12 May through Walayar,” Prasad said.
On Friday (March 9), Chief Secretary Tom Jose had said that the state government was temporarily stopping issuance of passes to Keralities as only 7,000 persons out of 35,000 persons who were issued the passes had turned up at the check post seeking entry in to the state.
He had also said that the officials concerned need to ensure that all those who were coming from other states were properly quarantined at their houses or in places arranged by the government.
On Saturday, the official figures of the state government said that a total of 54,262 entry passes have been issued and 21,812 persons reached the state.