Describing his ordeal, Balaji S, an electrician from Adyar said he tried for three to four hours for the pass. “First there was a delay in generating OTP, then the documents were not getting uploaded and finally the site itself was not working. We were forced to cancel the work scheduled for Monday, as we did not get e-pass,” he said.
A few decided to go without the pass were nabbed and sent back home by the police.
Vedhan Giri from Nungambakkam was among a group of six plumbers who tried to apply for e-pass from Sunday night. But after even after managing to furnish all details and upload documents, the website showed error message. “We were getting continuous calls from the customers. So two plumbers went to attend to urgent work though they did not have passes. But they were caught and sent back by the police. So, we were forced to cancel all the work until we get e-passes,” said Vedhan.
Meanwhile, many electrical and plumbing shops in the city remained closed due to shortage of workers, who could not return from their hometowns due to the lockdown.
“The two electricians and two plumbers at our shop went to their hometowns when the lockdown was announced in May, as they didn’t have any income. Though the government announced relaxations, which included our work, the labourers are unable to return due to lack of transportation. We are waiting for the lockdown to end to reopen,” said Bharath S, who runs an electrical and plumbing wares shop in Madhavaram.