Shillong: Meghalaya's government has finally given in to the Minister of Home Affairs's directive to do away with e-permit systems for entry into the state. More than two weeks after the Centre issued the directives to this effect, the state government has withdrawn the system of the online permit for outsiders.
However, outsiders will still have to undergo some formalities before they are allowed to step into the Northeast Indian state. The government has substituted the stringent measures that were initially in place for a simplified system for online submission of essential data for the auto-generation of entry passes.
As per the revised rules, no documents will need to be submitted at the time of furnishing online application, and all valid online applications will auto-generate a pass.
Earlier, the entry of persons from other states had to have the approval of the district administrations and the deputy commissioner's office would approve or reject applications for entry. The human intervention aspect of the procedure has now been done away with.
According to an official notification, the documents required to be produced at the entry point are proof of residence; papers showing they were engaged in government or essential services; referral papers in case of medical treatment and proof of engagement for migrant skilled and unskilled labour.
The online pass and prescribed documents would be required to be presented at the chosen entry point where after due verification and mandatory COVID-19 testing, people are let in.
Only four categories of application for entrants will now be entertained: on government duty, business-related, medical treatment, and skilled or highly skilled labour.
In all cases, the proof of booking confirmation of paid quarantine has been made mandatory.
According to the notification, all the travellers shall be permitted to take a hired vehicle or self-driven vehicle. As per the rules, all the drivers halting more than a day are also required to register for COVID-19 testing separately.
For an application to be considered as valid, the following details are mandatory: personal details, mode of travel, category, proposed place of stay in Meghalaya, arrival date, duration of stay and choice of entry gate.
The MHA in August had issued two directives to the states to do away with the e-permit system and remove all restrictions on the interstate and intrastate movement of persons and goods. However, the Meghalaya government opted to continue with the stringent rules for over a fortnight before finally discarding them.