Jammu : A special e-pass initiative has been started in Udhampur district for the convenience of patients, a move appreciated by the local residents amid the ongoing lockdown to combat Coronavirus. Under the initiative, started by Deputy Commissioner Piyush Singla, patients are no longer required to visit the DC office for movement passes, and instead have to apply online for the same which is subsequently issued through the same channel, officials said. The district administration has received 217 applications under the scheme, out of which 150 applications have been disposed off till Saturday evening, they said. Strict restrictions are in place across Udhampur district where a 61-year-old woman died of novel coronavirus last week.
The district has 17 COVID-19 positive cases. Nearly two dozen villages in the jurisdiction of three police stations – Rehamble, Ramnagar and Chenani -have been declared containment or red zones in the district. The special e-pass initiative has also attracted the attention of Union minister Jitendra Singh who took to Twitter to appreciate the step. “Appreciate DC #Udhampur, JammuAndKashmir, for launching E-pass service for patients. Any patient in need of movement pass can apply online at epassudhampur.nic.net. in,” he said. National volleyball player Raj Guru, a resident of Udhampur town, also hailed the district administration for taking a slew of people-friendly measures. “We have seen ‘ration on wheels’, packed food for thousands of stranded people, massive fumigation drive and now the e-pass initiative these are very good steps taken by the local administration which needs to be appreciated,” he said.
Guru said people need to understand the seriousness of the problem and extend all possible cooperation to the administration by staying at their homes and following the guidelines. The district officials said the major thrust of the administration is on the hotspots and strict directions have been passed to ensure that no one visits or comes out of these red zone areas spread over three-kilometer radius. “Special teams are visiting every house in the red zones and adjoining villages to look for contacts of COVID-19 positive cases besides undertaking the fumigation drive,” they said. The deputy commissioner has already directed all departments to put in place necessary arrangements for the delivery of essential items in these areas through frontline workers and volunteers. Special duty magistrates have also been deployed in these areas to monitor the situation closely, the officials said. Udhampur Deputy Commissioner Piyush Singla himself visited the red zone areas to assess the situation and is closely monitoring the working of all and gets regular updates from all departments concerned, they said.
The officials added that large scale awareness through various platforms, including panchayati raj institutions, social media and folk songs, is being done among the common people for practicing social distancing, using masks and following the health advisory issued by the government from time to time. The district administration is also planning to distribute four lakh masks among the people during the next 10 days. Poor people will be provided masks free of cost, the officials said. —PTI