TN lockdown: E-pass must for inter-district travel, borders to close from June 25!

Amid the swirling speculations on the complete lockdown in Tamil Nadu in the wake of Coronavirus spread, Tamil Nadu state government has announced that the borders of all the districts across the state will be closed from June 25 to June 30 and the inter-district travels have been restricted in the state for the rest of the days of June. 

While addressing the reporters at the Chief Secretariat on Wednesday after the conclusion of the virtual meeting with the district collectors, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced the fresh directives on containing the spread. The Chief Minister said that all the district borders will be closed from June 25 to June 30 and people must obtain valid e-pass for carrying out inter-district travels during the tenure of the closure of the borders. 

The Chief Minister further stated that the transportation channels will be suspended across the districts from June 25 and the government would provide e-pass for inter-district travels for extremely emergency reasons. According to the reports, the fresh prohibition from the government has come at a crucial time when most of the districts are witnessing soaring cases of human to human transmitting virus.


Earlier, when the government imposed the fifth phase of the lockdown on June 1st, it has demarcated the state into eight zones for transportation purposes and the government has relaxed restrictions and permitted the travel within the zones without obtaining the e-pass from the government. Each zone has been consisting of four to five districts and people were allowed to travel within their respective zone without the pass.  

They were mandated to obtain valid e-pass from the government for inter-zone travels. However, the COVID-19 cases kept surging high across the state following which the government has imposed the intense lockdown in Chennai and its three adjacent districts of Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, and Thiruvallur as these four districts have been worst affected by the pandemic in the state.

For the past one week, some of the other districts in the state had accounted for the sharpest spikes in the cases. Earlier this week, the state government has imposed the complete lockdown in Madurai from June 24 to June 30 and on Tuesday, Theni district administration said that the district would also be going through lockdown from June 24 as the sequel of the rapid spread of COVID-19. Amid the developments, the Chief Minister has convened a meet with the district collectors on Wednesday and it was speculated that the government would impose a complete lockdown.

After the meet, the Chief Minister said that the borders of all the districts would be closed from June 25 to June 26. According to the press release, the district collectors have said to the government that it becomes difficult for monitoring the movement of people within the zone as the movement couldn't able to contain within the zones which adds risk in identifying the people with symptoms and their contacts. They further asked the government to restrict the travel and refrain from the zone-based transports after which the government passed the fresh directive for closing the borders of the districts and zones. 

The press release stated that there is no requirement of e-pass for the intra-district travels. However, people must obtain a valid pass for carrying out inter-district travels. The government has also barred the movements of private vehicles unless for emergency services and from June 25 to June 30, the public transports will be operated within the districts and not within the zones. The closure is expected to arrest the non-essential movements of people and goods on inter-district levels to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

The Chief Minister further appealed to people to extend their co-operation to the government in containing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and called to adhere to the social distancing norms to break the chain of the virus spread

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