Himachal Pradesh's inter-state borders now all restriction free
Shimla: Even as the Congress mounted a scathing attack against the state government for lifting e-pass restrictions for barrier-free inter-state mobility, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur justified the decision, saying it was done on "public demand".
He also passed the buck on the Centre for repeatedly writing to the state governments to end all restrictions on the inter-state and intra-state movement of the men and goods.
On Tuesday, the state cabinet had decided to scrap the condition of e-COVID pass for all those coming to Himachal Pradesh and also lifted the mandatory condition of getting an ICMR test report, apart from a minimum two-day hotel booking. The Chief Minister told the state Assembly on Wednesday that there has been a spike in the Coronavirus cases and the number has already crossed 10,500, and the death toll bordering 90, but the government has taken a decision to open the state's borders for restriction-free movements.
This has been a public demand as a lot of people were facing hardships. The hotel industry, which had remained shut for the past six months, has also been asking for easing of the norms to enable the tourists to visit the state.
"The condition of e-pass and separate COVID -19 test report will also go. But, there is no decision yet on inter-state buses, " said Thakur.
While the Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association was quick to welcome the state's decision, which its President Mohinder Seth, hoped will help in reviving the hotel business, the Opposition Congress saw dangers about massive COVID spread in the hill state.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister unfolded a new plan to deal with COVID -19 spread in the state, which the state government admits has reached the community spread level.
He announced setting –up of five make-shift COVID -19 hospitals in the state at Shimla, Tanda (Dharamshala ), Nahan, Nalagarh, and Una and advised that all mild Coronavirus and asymptomatic patients should stay back at homes, and citizens must take all precautions very seriously.