More than 73,000 people applied within 24 hours of the announcement of the curfew, leaving the system overwhelmed. Many who tried to apply for an e-pass on Wednesday were disappointed because they did not receive any OTP.
Freedom@10pm: Half of 73k requests fail to pass muster, over 30k pending
Many people complained that the application was not getting submitted. Officials said the system was witnessing very high traffic. They pointed out that a large number of people who were not engaged in essential services had also applied for e-passes. In many cases, they said, people submitted soft copies of identity cards which were not readable.
Pendency, as of now, is very high and the rate of approval quite low which has left many people high and dry. There has been a scramble for these passes. Out of 73,154 applications that were filed, 34,759 were rejected, 30940 are pending while only 1,271 were approved.
Rahul Singh, who runs a pharmacy in south Delhi, said he applied for an e-pass on Tuesday afternoon immediately after he learnt about the night curfew. “More than 24 hours have passed and every time I check the status of the application, it shows pending. I don’t know how to find out where the application is stuck. Though I usually keep the pharmacy open till 11pm, I closed it at 9.30pm on Tuesday,” he said.
Ankur Dubey, a manager at a sanitiser production company in Bawana, said he attempted to submit an application twice but failed because the system did not work. On multiple occasions, the server was found to be down, frustrating applicants.
An official said e-passes were being issued to those who are engaged in providing essential services but do not have a government ID. Government officials have been exempted from the night curfew and can use their government ID to move around. Those who are not engaged in essential services should not apply, said the official.
For procuring an e-pass, people can visit www.delhi-.gov.in and click on a newlycreated link for night curfew e-pass (prominently displayed) or click on https:// epass.jantasamvad.org/epass/relief/english/.
Those who can apply for an e-pass include people engaged in a limited number of services like shops dealing with food, food items and essential items; home delivery of food; banks and ATMs; insurance offices; print and electronic media; telecommunications; internet services; broadcasting and cable services; IT and IT-enabled services; delivery of all essential goods, including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce; petrol pumps and LPG, CNG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets; power generation, transmission and distribution units and services; cold storage and warehousing services; private security services; manufacturing units of essential commodities; production units or services, which require a continuous process; and people who are going for Covid-19 vaccination.
An official in the revenue department said that each district has constituted multiple teams for issuing e-passes. Each team has four to six persons who are well-versed with the process. They will be working in shifts throughout the night and function from the control room established in all the district magistrate offices.
According to an official report, out of 73,154 applications received for issuance of e-passes, 34,759 applications were rejected, 30,940 applications are pending while only 1,271 applications were approved. “The applications were rejected because of various valid reasons, including uploading of invisible documents, expired business licences and expired I-cards issued by a company. The pending applications are being screened and approved. The invalid applications have consumed a lot of time,” said an official who did not want to be named.
The rush for e-passes is, however, not of the scale witnessed during the 2020 lockdown. Delhi Police is also authorised to issue e-passes for night curfew.