CHENNAI: Following the recent arrest of five persons, including two government staff, on charges of selling e-passes in Chennai, sources are now pointing fingers at a particular Revenue Divisional Office (RDO) for being involved in a similar racket.
At least three people told Express that they had bought e-passes from the particular RDO. Interacting with some people who had recently travelled out of the city, it was learnt that the racket worked through drivers and travel agencies who have a direct ‘link’ to the RDO functioning from the city’s suburb. The RDO has been allegedly selling e-passes from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000, a source in a suburban government office said.
Giving details, a 35-year-old man who had travelled to Madurai on June 20, said, “We are a family of 12.
We contacted a driver from Tambaram to take us to Madurai. We told him that we had applied for e-pass and would let him know once we received it. However, the man said he would get us the passes and we just had to pay Rs 5,000 per person for travel and the e-pass.” Explaining the checking procedure, a police officer posted at a checkpost near Paranur said, “Whenever police personnel stop a vehicle at the checkpost, they check if the pass is original and not the signature on the bottom corner.
Maybe, that’s how such persons were able to get away. But, we do not have any such cases recorded.” A week ago, the city police at Selaiyur identified a person during vehicle check who had worn a card for pandemic frontline workers signed by the particular RDO while he worked in a shop in Tambaram.
“During inquiry, he said his brother owned a medical shop and the association’s head office in suburban district bordering the city, had arranged for special pass for 30 such medical shop owners to be produced during vehicle-check,” the officer said. The police, he added, let off the youth with a warning as he was a college student. “If the brother of a medical shop owner can get a pass to roam freely, such bulk orders can be misused,” police officer said. Attempts to reach officials from the particular RDO and senior district officials went in vain.