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I recently had to drive from Mumbai to Hyderabad and back to deal with a medical emergency and here’s how I went about it.

Getting The Permit
The curfew pass article, found here, details exactly how to go about getting a permit in your state. For Maharashtra, I needed a medical fitness certificate, so off to the family physician I went to get a check-up. I also had to provide a reason why I was going out of state, which was handled by my family physician as well.

The process was pretty straightforward after that. I uploaded all my documents online and was immediately issued a permit. In fact, it took less than 6 hours for my application to be approved!

On The Road
Now, with the permit in hand, I also gathered all my original documents and set off early on a Sunday morning. I fueled up the car at my local petrol station and drove extremely economically for fear of running out of fuel along the way. I later realised that this fear was unfounded. All the fuel stations I came across on the highway were operational. Nevertheless, I managed to make it to Hyderabad on less than a tank of fuel in the Hyundai Creta.

The drive from Mumbai to Hyderabad usually takes 12 hours, so I packed enough food and water to last me the entire journey. There were plenty of vendors along the way selling fruits and vegetables, but the usual highway dhabas were shut.

Tolls, however, were fully operational, and there were a few places where I got held up because of long lines at the booth. Having FastTag would have definitely helped me here.

Crossing Borders
There were multiple checkpoints along the way, where the police verified my documents before letting me go. Because my permit was issued by the Maharashtra police, traveling within Maharashtra was easy. My biggest fear, however, was crossing state borders into Karnataka and then into Telangana after that. I’d read reports of hour-long lines at each of the borders, but to my surprise, it took me less than a minute to cross into Karnataka. They checked my temperature, made sure my papers were in order and let me pass. At the Telangana border, I had to wait in line for a few minutes, but it was the same drill again – a quick check of my temperature and papers and I was through. The police were polite for the most part, but every once in a while, someone would come by without a mask on, and they would get a stern talking-to. From a distance.

Now, with the lockdown extended again, I wouldn’t recommend you take any frivolous trips, but if you have a genuine reason and the required permits, I don’t think you’ll have much trouble getting to your destination.