The desperation to cross the state border has led to mushrooming of agents offering cross-border passes. Advertising on social media, these touts offer single and weekly passes for travel across the NCR, cross-border movement of taxis, trucks and buses and ferrying more persons than the permissible limit.
The fraudsters, in a majority of cases, target desperate migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. They provide them passes, easily available through the Saral app, and charge up to Rs 5,000. With many persons highlighting the fraudulent practice, the administration has filed FIRs with the police.
“Various social media posts making such offers have been brought to our notice and penal action has been initiated. We have issued an appeal to the people not to trust any tout. The Saral Haryana portal is official and accessible to all. Anybody who has a valid reason to travel will get a pass. Those who face any difficulty can easily approach various helplines set up by us,” said DC Amit Khatri.
The most frequently sold passes are of taxis. Despite being allowed only two passengers, besides driver, these are plying with full capacity.
Various travel agents are offering eight-seater cars and tempos with passes for travel to any part of the country. They are charging Rs 30 per km and between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 per person for passes.
Interestingly, many of these passes are fake, downloaded through an app by cyber cafe owners. These passes have bar codes to prove their authenticity. A taxi driver revealed that they first advertised destinations or states and zeroed in on those in which maximum people were interested.
“I have an Innova and an Ertiga. I have already made two trips to Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh using the passes. I cannot say anything about authenticity, but the police have not stopped us,” said the taxi driver.