Hyderabad: The nationwide Covid-19 lockdown on Wednesday threw up a new dilemma for thousands of youngsters, including students, techies and scores of other private employees, with hostels and accommodation facilities closing down and forcing them onto the streets.
The situation, which saw the affected persons thronging police stations across the city seeking help, saw the police finally come up with a solution, a One-Time Pass that would help the students and their ilk travel to their hometowns elsewhere in Telangana.
However, Director-General of Police M Mahendar Reddy said in view of the lockdown, no permission or NOC would be issued for the movement of people across the States till further notice in the overall interest of public safety. He said stern action would be taken against the managements of hostels if they failed to continue to provide accommodation to the hostellers. The DGP also asked all the Inspectors, ACPs and DCPs concerned, along with the GHMC officials, to hold meetings with the hostel managements and ensure compliance.
Earlier, the Hyderabad Police alone issued One-Time Passes to more than 3,000 students, IT employees and other private employees, while the Rachakonda and Cyberabad police too have issued almost the same number of passes.
Officials said the genuineness of the reasons, whether the applicants were actually heading home, and their health condition were being verified before the passes were issued.
The problem began after hostel managements started insisting the residents to move out and with mess facilities closed and hotels outside remaining locked, the youngsters and employees were left with no option but to approach the police. This saw long queues in front of police stations across the city and outskirts including in Punjagutta, SR Nagar, Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Kukatpally, KPHB, Madhapur, Raidurgam, Uppal, LB Nagar and Gachibowli.
The police, before issuing the passes, asked them to provide their Aadhaar details and residential proof of their destination. “We are verifying the genuineness of their request,” Raidurgam Inspector Ravinder said.
Sources said while more than 3,000 persons approached the Cyberabad Police, around 2,000 had moved Rachakonda Police. West Zone Joint Commissioner of Police AR Srinivas said these letters were like passes for people crossing the borders. Accommodation arrangements would be made to those intending to stay back in the city, he said.
Earlier, many students and employees said they were forced to vacate their hostels with their luggage. Prasad, who works in a popular bakery and stays at a private hostel in Ameerpet, said despite paying hostel fee till April 15, he was told to vacate the hostel. “When I asked for my balance amount, the hostel owner refused to pay and argued with me. Now, I want to go to my native place in Tuni,” he said.
M Rakesh, another student staying in SR Nagar, requested the police to either provide accommodation or arrange transportation to reach his hometown. “I stay in Nizamabad and urge the police to allow me to take my two-wheeler to reach my place,” he said Many youngsters, apart from approaching the police directly, also tweeted to the Telangana DGP seeking help.