ADHAAR CARDS A DISTANT DREAM FOR SRINAGAR RESIDENTS

ADHAAR CARDS A DISTANT DREAM FOR SRINAGAR RESIDENTS

Sources said in other districts of Kashmir compilation of biometric data and distribution of Aadhaar cards have almost been completed, but in Srinagar district so far not a single card has been issued

As the multipurpose Aadhaar cards have been issued in other districts of Kashmir, for inhabitants of Srinagar this biometric card is still a distant dream.  

While the Centre is contemplating to make multipurpose Aadhaar card mandatory for issuing passports and transferring direct cash subsidies to beneficiaries, the delay in compilation of biometric data in Srinagar has become a cause of agony for local inhabitants.

Sources said in other districts of Kashmir compilation of biometric data and distribution of Aadhaar cards have almost been completed, but in Srinagar district so far not a single card has been issued here.

CEO, Comtech group, Imtiyaz Ahmad who was assigned the job of compiling biometric date in Jammu and other district, said they have issued Aadhaar cards in Jammu and other districts in JK.  "The job of compiling biometric data in Srinagar was issued to some other vendor, and I am not aware why  the issuance of biometric cards have been delay in Srinagar district," he said. 

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Director Census operation, JK, C S Sapru said: "We have started process for issuing Aadhaar cards in Srinagar. Last month we held a meeting with district administration regarding compilation of data and currently we are training enumerators for compiling for issuing Aadhaar cards".

Sapru said the process has been initiated and soon the data for compiling Aadhaar cards will be completed.

He added that under biometric data collection finger prints and photographs of individual citizens are almost completed in Islamabad, Pulwama, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora. The official said the process has been completed in Kulgam, Shopian, Leh and Kargil also. The biometric process has also been completed in district Ganderbal.

Pertinently, Government of India has made it mandatory for people to have Aadhaar cards. “In its absence, people will face immense hardships to get some of the essential services,” said an expert.

“The UID numbers, once in place, would reduce hassle of repeatedly proving identity by various documents to avail services like opening a bank account and obtaining passport or driving license,” experts said.

Aadhaar project was announced with much fanfare in the state in August 2010. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was the first person to get himself enrolled for UID as the project was launched simultaneously in four districts of Jammu, Srinagar, Baramulla and Ganderbal.

Recently, the Union Oil Ministry has made it mandatory that cash subsidy on cooking gas will be transferred through Aadhaar accounts.

Oil Marketing companies have already started registered customers to DBTL scheme in Jammu and Kashmir. However, in Srinagar in absence of Aadhaar cards, customers are being asked to submit their bank details for time being till the biometric cards are issued to the citizens.

To mention, Government of India is planning to make Aadhaar mandatory for issue of passports and is in the process of establishing a system for validation of criminal antecedents of the applicant.

The issue was discussed threadbare at a meeting between the Ministries of the Home and External Affairs.

The MEA is working with the Unique Identification Authority of India to implement it and the process is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

In the new process, the applicant, if not in possession of an Aadhaar card, has to produce the Aadhaar enrolment number.

The move has been taken up as per the directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has favored faster passport services in a transparent and simplified manner to the citizens.

In a letter to all state governments, the Home Ministry had last month said that since one Aadhaar number is allotted only to one person, it allows universal verification of one’s identity.

Since Aadhaar is based on biometric information of an individual, it eliminates the threat of any fraud and bogus activity.