One can't think of personalities like former US president Donald Trump and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan visiting Himachal Pradesh amid a ravaging pandemic, can they?
However, that is what the Covid e-portal of Himachal Pradesh is telling. The portal provides access to information about people registering for e-passes and seeking entry into the state. It has detected two names--Amitabh Bachchan and Donald Trump. Both trying to come from Chandigarh to Shimla.
The e-portal reflects auto-generated Covid e-passes for Trump and Bachchan.
Quite understandably, the names came with a warning bell and the police registered an FIR as both the registrations were fake.
A spokesman for the police said, “HP police are in receipt of a complaint regarding fake registration in the name of Mr Donald Trump and Mr Amitabh Bachchan on the Covid e-pass platform. Shimla Police are registering an FIR under relevant sections of the IPC and IT Act for further legal action”
According to officials, the Covid e-pass portal does not have a system to verify documents submitted to register. Thus, it could be misused by miscreants.
"This facility is basically to keep a track and exact count of the people coming to the state. There is no human interface in the system. The entire process is automated to avoid delays or harassment of the applicants unlike during earlier lockdown in 2020", an official in the IT department said.
Meanwhile, the leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said, "fault is on the part of the government. Anyone can crack the SoP or Covid e-pass platform to generate e-pass. The government must fix the loose ends and enforce the law strictly. We gave some valid suggestions to the government during all-party meet on Covid management, availability of oxygen, beds, entry of outsiders and also vaccination but nothing has been done".
CPM leader Sanjay Chauhan has accused the government of complete failure to manage the Covid surge as the cases were rising at a fast speed with a high fatality rate. " There must be an accountability from the people managing the system", he said.