The rather restrictive inter-state travel procedure due to COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for a long time.

This is evident given conversion of the temporary tent of the check-point into a semi-permanent shed like structure this side of the Penganga river bridge on NH 44 in Adilabad district, which serves as the border between Telangana and Maharashtra.

This inter-state border located about 19 km from the district headquarters town is the major entry point into the south from central India. Thousands of vehicles transport goods and passengers everyday on this route.

“We do not know for how long we need to continue the check-point established in the backdrop of COVID-19. But we need to keep safe the staff manning the place round the clock, which is why we are putting up a semi-permanent shed,” observed Collector A. Sridevasena.

The Collector was evidently seized of the safety of the staff in view of the weather conditions that prevail during this season and during the monsoon ahead. “The gale force winds will not only uproot the tent but will play havoc with the temporary electrical connections,” she pointed out to drive home the point.

“Sometimes the gales assume a speed of 200 km per hour,” R&B deputy executive engineer R. Suresh, who has designed the upcoming structure, told The Hindu. “The direction of the wind blowing over the river will be devastating for the present structure and could endanger the life of the staff,” he added.

At any given point of time there are 84 officers and staff from four departments, the revenue, health, police and road transport manning the check point on the incoming and outgoing sides of traffic. These employees ensure thermal testing as well as checking of travel papers of all those who are leaving the State and who are coming into it or just passing through it.

“The shed will also be useful during the annual Ganesh immersion proceedings and Bathukamma festival,” Mr. Sridevasena pointed out of the additional advantage. Indeed, Penganga river remains the favourite Ganesh idol immersion point during the festival.

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