The ongoing lockdown 3.0 amid coronavirus pandemic is likely to end on May 17. Several places have eased restrictions on vehicular movements during this phase of the the lockdown. As offices gradually resume work, people are looking to take their vehicles out. Before you do, here is a quick look at what you should know:
Who can take out vehicles?
Each state government has its own set of rules and guidelines when it comes to e-passes, the essential piece of document that will help you get pass police barricades. Broadly, these e-passes are issued for people associated with essential services or for commercial vehicles ferrying goods. E-passes can also be obtained in certain cases of emergency.
While the Green and Orange Zones have seen this restriction being eased to a large extent, they still have clear guidelines to maintain social distancing.
As the Railway Ministry resumes passenger train services, questions have been raised on how to reach the station. Places in Red Zone are unlikely to see much public transport to help ferry passengers to stations. For them, private vehicles remain the only option. In such cases, valid train tickets could act as a pass. But there is no clarity whether private vehicles without e-pass will be allowed to make a return trip from station.
Cross-border travel for private vehicles will remain suspended where it is already in place. It will require passes issued by both state authorities to be able to move between the borders.
What are the guidelines for private vehicles?
For any travel during lockdown 3.0, whether for work or emergency, a valid e-pass is a must in Red Zones. These passes can be obtained online through portals created by state authorities. Some states, like Delhi, have said that e-passes issued earlier will be valid through the lockdown 3.0 phase.
Those with passes must follow a set of rules while driving. For instance, four-wheelers can now have 3 occupants, including the driver, in order to maintain social distancing norms. However, two-wheelers will not be allowed to carry pillion riders.
Remember, all drivers and passengers should wear a mask while venturing out to avoid any kind of penalty, as applicable based on guidelines in respective zones. It is also advisable to keep a sanitiser in your vehicles.
What is the timing for vehicular movement?
Several Red Zones will have Section 144 imposed between 7 pm and 7 am, which means no vehicular movement will be allowed during this period. So, any one venturing out in these areas needs to be careful regarding this before returning to base. The only vehicles to be allowed during this period will be of healthcare workers.
What are the penalties for violations?
Any one found violating lockdown rules and the National Directives for Covid-19 Management will face prosecution. One will be charged fines, the vehicles could be seized and in worst cases, violators could face arrest. They will be charged according to the Disaster Management Act 2005 as well as certain sections of the IPC.