Maharashtra starts online suburban railway pass distribution

BJP says process cumbersome, only 20,000-22,000 Mumbaikars could get permit on first day

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Geetanjali Minhas | August 13, 2021 | Mumbai


#Mumbai   #Maharashtra   #urban governance   #public transport   #pandemic   #Covid-19   #BJP  


After announcing further relaxations from August 15 onwards including offline e-pass facility for travel on suburban local trains for fully vaccinated citizens, the Maharashtra government has announced a Universal Travel Pass for online verification of the Covid-19 vaccination certificates and railway pass distribution process.

Citizens can now obtain Universal Travel Pass at https://epassmsdma.mahait.org. Citizens who have completed at least 14 days after being administered the second dose of the vaccine will be eligible for this e-pass facility. Eligible citizens who apply for the pass will be automatically verified for completion of Covid-19 vaccination (14 days after taking the second dose) through this web link. No separate in-person interaction will be required for this online verification process.

Citizens who apply without completion of 14 days after the second dose of the vaccine will receive e-pass only after completion of 14 days. The web link developed by the relief and rehabilitation department has been providing e-pass to employees and citizens working in the essential services since the lockdown.

After logging in on https://epassmsdma.mahait.org, citizens should click on ‘Travel Pass for Vaccinated Citizens’ and mention their mobile number registered for Covid vaccination. They will receive an OTP via SMS. On entering this OTP, details like the beneficiary name, mobile number and beneficiary reference number will automatically appear on screen. They can then click on the ‘Generate Pass’ option. On clicking, the system will automatically show the details of applicant including date of first and second dose of Covid-19 Vaccine and other relevant information. The applicant must upload his/her own photograph in the ‘Self Image’ option from the mobile gallery or click on the spot using the mobile camera. After completing this process a message will appear stating that applicant will receive a link in 48 hours via SMS. Once the link is received e-pass should be saved in mobile gallery which the commuters can show at the ticket window at suburban railway stations to get a monthly travel pass directly from the railways.

Introduction of offline Covid-19 vaccination certificate verification process at suburban railway stations along with the online e-pass system will make it possible for all eligible citizens to travel in suburban trains from August 15. The BMC has appealed all citizens not to crowd railway stations and complete the verification process by either approaching railway stations in a step-by-step manner or using the online process.

Meanwhile, the BJP has said that the state government is purposefully creating hurdles for Mumbaikars to travel in local trains with restrictions and the process to obtain permission is very cumbersome.

BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhyay said after agitations by BJP workers the state government woke up and from August 15, vaccinated people were allowed to travel by local train. But the process started by the state government to get permission is very cumbersome due to which only 20,000 to 22,000 Mumbaikars got permission on the first day.

He also criticised the government for keeping temples closed and said the MVA government action shows that it has nothing to do with Hindu sentiments.

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