How Long Shall We Stand In a Queue?
MODERN TECHNOLOGY NEEDS TO BE EFFICIENTLY UTILZED TO RELIEVE COMMON MASSES OF UNWARRANTED INCONVENIENCES
DR. ASHIQ ASHRAF
Seeing people young and old in queues for hours together outside government departments, may it be Passport Office, SSRB, University, outdoor units of premier medical hospitals or for that matter outside police station in winter with their empty gas cylinders, keeping hope alive in their tired hearts that their turn will also come, makes me to conclude as if we are destined to be in a queue. Many a times I have been a victim of long wait in a queue and I feel it as one of the most daunting tasks and that too when a tall and muscled man with a barbaric look sticks to the counter to test your patience. To stand and wait in a queue for your turn to come withstanding scorching heat of summer or chilling cold of winter along with humiliating pushes and pulls of other mates really tests your patience. The matter becomes much worse, painful and tense when after waiting for hours together in a queue, you somehow reach to the counter to be turned away with your application form or documents for a pity reason like a missing revenue stamp on your form, your photograph not having a perfect light background satisfying the clerk at the counter, certificates not duly attested by a gazette officer (although later on you need to produce the original documents as well).
Recently in Passport Office Srinagar an elderly person from a far off village, after passing the test of standing in a queue, was turned away by the clerk at counter citing the reason that the photographs were not taken with a light background as instructed in the instruction brochure. I pondered for a moment as to what actually a light background stands for? The instructions read that “the background should be light or preferably white”. Different people perceive light color in a different perspective. For me, the man turned away was having photos of light color background but for the clerk it was not, because it is a subjective term and envisages a range of colours. The old man returned with agony clear on his wrinkled face. Thank God! The passport authorities are now accepting downloaded forms and it surely saved me a day as well as energy. But again I had to be in a queue while submitting my form and I felt helpless to see people pushing each other in a long and almost impenetrable queue who had come all the way to get the application forms. Had they been aware of the fact that application forms are easily available online, surely they would not have liked to waste their time and mental peace. I hope now onwards people from far flung areas feel relaxed to download it at their own place.
Likewise, we witnessed long queues outside thaanas (police stations) particularly during this winter with people converging from all mohallas and villages with their empty gas cylinders to get 5kg of gas, aptly representing the Kashmiri proverb, “wanjae daedes ruhnae cheot”.
JKSSRB with its single window counter for collection of forms at Parraypora, Srinagar compels many an aspirant to return back in evening without any success in submission of their forms and this might be causing much annoyance and unwarranted hardships to applicants who have to come from other far off districts. A candidate from Kupwara or Gurez or even from adjoining districts like Ganderbal and Budgam can never take a risk to trust dispatching his or her form by post keeping in view its speed and efficiency particularly in our state.
I feel highly painful, agonized, tortured and helpless when I see patients and their attendants in long queues for hours together in most of our premier government hospitals. First they have to wait outside outdoor wards to collect their tickets and then wait for a long time outside doctor’s chamber. They wait outside laboratories to deposit their samples and then again hang around to collect the report if at all it is ready. I wonder how my fellow brethren tolerate all this. One of my friends with a fractured hand had to wait for three hours in a queue for outdoor checkup in a government Hospital. These are the places where a common man with lot of sufferings and hopelessness evident on his disfigured face can be traced. One cannot locate them in hotels, motels or malls; and in my opinion a common man at these places has been totally neglected and nobody is coming to his rescue.
Although Passport Office Srinagar has opened more counters for collection of forms for convenience of public but much more needs to done as applicants are correspondingly increasing in number. Modern technology like internet facilities giving an option of online download and submission of forms must be utilized to rescue common man from pushes and pulls of queues. Attention needs to be given to those in pain and agony to give them a bit of relief and to free them of the otherwise needless burden of being in long queues and this can easily be achieved pending will of the administrators at the helm of affairs.
JKSSRB needs to make functional their district units as and when required, besides open and economical option of using modern technology. So should be done by our university authorities to save the precious time and money of the dependant candidates. Likewise, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs Department at ministerial level must ensure sufficient stocking of gas cylinders in the Valley for winter so that people do not again become victims of standing in long queues in chilling and killing weather at the hands of said department. Public Services Guarantee Act must envisage these provisions as well to give a sigh of relief to common masses.
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Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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