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Lakhanpur chaos may not go easily, Govt needs to look through a new prism

Today the Union Minister in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh spoke to Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha over the mess at Lakhanpur. 

Lakhanpur is the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir for anyone’s entry into the UT and the administration of J&K has delayed the implementation of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHAs) guidelines over the unchecked inter-state/UT movement of people and vehicles. Travellers planning to visit Jammu and Kashmir have to wait for at least 3-4 hours to get clearance as they have to secure passes for deporting in their respective districts.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh in his tweet wrote “talked to Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha about the inter-border movement restrictions at Lakhanpur.   Manoj Sinha has assured me that he will immediately look into the matter and get the issue resolved to the satisfaction of local people”.

Later the Central Home Secretary rang up the J&K administration to remind them about the guidelines issued by the MHA on the inter-state/UT movement according to which there should be no restrictions on the movement. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla recently wrote to all the Chief Secretaries of the States and UTs that the administration should ensure the free inter-state/UT movement of public and vehicles. 

The Secretary of Higher Education Department Talat Parvez Rohella apart from his duties has been appointed as the overall in-charge to ensure fast Corona testing and smooth movement at entry and exit of vehicles at Lakhanpur by the government of J&K. Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan Project Director, Arun Kumar Manhas in addition to his duties will assist Rohella in ensuring that all the vehicles are allowed to enter and exit the UT without any delay. 

Both the officers have been immediately sent to Lakhanpur and have to stay there until further orders from the J&K government. According to the order from J&K General Administration Department, Sanjeev Verma Divisional Commissioner of Jammu has also been sent immediately to Lakhanpur to review the problems being faced by the people while entering the Union Territory.

According to the reports additional counters have been set-up at Lakhanpur for Light-Motor-Vehicles (LMV) to quickly clear the traffic. The travelers will be released after the issuance of passes and the online registration will be done later. Five separate counters have been set-up at Lakhanpur which are already operational for the laborers who had gone back to their hometowns and are now coming back to J&K.

According to the District Magistrate the residents of Kathua district have to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) Sampling at Lakhanpur and people who are testing negative for Coronavirus are allowed to go home immediately while the people who test positive have to follow the Covid-19 Protocol. The people of other districts in J&K are given passes and they have to report for testing at the Sample collection center in their respective districts. 

Despite a steep rise in the Covid-19 cases the MHA on 30 September announced the guidelines for the Unlock 5.0. The guidelines have come into force from 1 October 2020. MHA has made it clear that there will be fewer restrictions and more relaxation. Unlock 5.0 is very crucial as several festivals are coming in October including Navratri, Dussehra, etc. The first phase of Bihar assembly elections is also scheduled for October. There is a possibility that the center will revise the guidelines to the maximum number of people who can gather at a place. The Schools are allowed to re-open from 15 October and the students can attend the school after the consent of parents. The cinema houses, theaters, and multiplex can operate their working with a 50% population. 

According to the sources, many people are exercising the ill practice of taking other routes to skip Lakhanpur on the way from Punjab to Kathua. The people visiting the holy shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi are facing extreme difficulties.

The total number of visitors that can visit Vaishno Devi has increased from 5000 to 7000 but only 500 people are visiting the holy shrine as people are hesitating in visiting J&K. The trade and industries also suffered because of the restrictions at Lakhanpur.

The J&K administration did not even allow the movement of interstate buses and people had to travel by car, taxis, and any other private vehicle. According to the reports 121 persons were tested positive in the Jammu district out of which 114 were locals and 7 were travelers. About 398 patients recovered from Corona today.

The highest number of recovered patients is 189 in Jammu followed by 55 in Doda.  33,952 patients have suffered from Coronavirus out of 29,540 patients have recovered while only 3,985 are active cases. 

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