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Production hit despite e-pass relaxation


Though the State government has relaxed e-pass rules for inter-district travel, absence of public transport continues to obstruct industrial production since most of the workers depend on local buses and passenger trains to reach the manufacturing units.

At present, e-pass is being sanctioned for all applicants submitting their Aadhaar card/ration card details and phone numbers. To a considerable extent, the relaxation has helped movement of workers coming by two-wheelers within Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts. Earlier, e-passes were issued only for purposes of marriage, health emergency, official reasons, and bereavement.

A provision has been made for employers of private companies to secure e-passes for workers from the district collectors. The companies have also been allowed to bring back workers from northern States after subjecting them to medical screening on entering Tamil Nadu.

“Public transport must be operated from vantage locations to industrial estates at least in the morning and evening,” says R. Ilango, President, Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries' Association.

Seeking complete abolition of the e-pass system, Mr. Elango points out that a limited transport is essential, especially for women, to travel and reach their work places. The government must also arrange for transport of migrant labourers and bear the cost of testing.

If the workers test negative, they should be sent to their workplace straight away. In case they test positive, the government has to provide them accommodation and healthcare until they test negative.

Also, hotels must be opened in districts with industrial towns to enable employers to reach out to clients and take fresh orders, he adds.


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