Bandipora: People throng offices to apply for domicile certificates

Social distancing goes for a toss; officials express helplessness
Bandipora: People throng offices to apply for domicile certificates

Amid surge in COVID19 cases across Kashmir, people are queuing outside tehsil offices here to apply for domicile certificates, throwing social distancing norms to wind.

An official said tehsil offices in Sumbal, Ajas, Hajin and Gurez were witnessing a footfall of around 500 to 600 applicants every day.

The authorities concerned have expressed helplessness in ensuring applicants adhere to the COVID19 guidelines and social distancing norms to prevent spread of corona infection.

On the other hand, the applicants, mostly educated youth said they were left with no option but to apply for the certificate to become eligible for jobs.

"It is so scary to see the rush around. One fears of contracting the infection, but there is no option with us but to stand in the long queues amid this rush," said Mubashir Hussain, a college student from Lawdara village.

Hussain said he tried to apply online for the certificate. "But I came to know later that the facility isn't available online in the district," he said.

Another student, Ulfat acknowledged that the COVID19 protocols were not being implemented by the applicants.

"There is no social distancing being maintained by the applicants and face masks are also missing," said Ulfat.

Many applicants rued the "long and hectic process" required to be followed to become eligible for applying for the domicile certificate.

"It takes three days to complete the registration process, from filling of forms to fee payment," said Muhammad Yasir, a student from Arin village of the district.

An official said they were helpless in providing the facility online as none of the tehsil offices of the district was equipped with internet facility.

According to the official, the heavy footfall was witnessed as the government has advertised jobs in different departments.

A revenue official, who deals with the issuance of the domicile certificates, said the rush of the applicants could prove disastrous as COVID19 SOPs were not being followed.

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Greater Kashmir