In a bid to ramp up anti-COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district, authorities have ordered impounding of autorickshaws if their drivers are found to have not taken even a single jab.
Simultaneously, tour and travel operators cannot sell tickets to passengers who are not inoculated, as per the orders issued late Monday night by district collector Sunil Chavan. These orders will come into effect from November 25.
Aurangabad district in the Marathwada region is one of the laggard districts in terms of vaccination coverage. The district collector had virtually attended a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month of districts with low vaccination coverage.
As per official data, out of the 32,24,677 targeted population in the Aurangabad district, 64.36% of people have received the first dose and 27.78% the second dose till November 22.
"If it is found that drivers of autorickshaws have not taken even the first dose of vaccine, the authorities concerned will impound the autorickshaw and impose a fine," an official release said.
The new set of instructions comes days after the district administration directed operators of petrol pumps not to sell petrol to those who have not taken either dose of vaccine.
The latest order said autorickshaw drivers need to be vaccinated as many people use this mode of transport and thus there is a risk of the infection spreading.
"The autorickshaw drivers are requested to take at least first jab. If the driver is found to have not taken even a single dose during checks, his autorickshaw will be seized and penalty will be imposed," the release said, adding the regional transport officer will be the monitoring authority.
It said vaccination certificates of labourers, hotel owners and other eateries will be checked by the deputy commissioner (labour).
"If it is found that workers and owner of the shop or commercial establishment have not received even a single jab, such shop or establishment will be sealed. If a non-vaccinated employee is found in a liquor shop, the shop will also face action through the excise department," an official said.
Authorities had earlier this month said that Aurangabad ranks 26th in terms of vaccination among 36 districts in Maharashtra.
Struggling to expand the vaccination coverage, the district administration had earlier directed fair price shops, gas agencies and petrol pumps to check the vaccination certificates of customers.
The collector had recently also ordered that people who have not taken a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will not be allowed entry at historic sites and monuments in Aurangabad.
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