Ban on 3G-4G internet impeding issuance of domicile certificates: Officials

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The continuing ban on 3G-4G internet service is proving a big impediment in issuance of domicile certificates in J&K, officials said on Tuesday.

The issuance of these certificates has taken a heavy toll on designated officials’ work whose much time is wasted every day in awaiting OTPs and in other related technical problems.

“There are numerous hardships in issuing domicile certificates. We are unable to contain all cases in a day due to absence of proper internet services in J&K,” an official wishing not to be named told KNS.

He said it is impossible to look, check and verify all cases in a day and then issue certificates to applicants because non-availability of high-speed internet services across J&K has hampered the system. “There are some technical issues which need quick technical response but what one can do when there is no access to 3G-4G internet services.”

“We can’t ignore technical issues like browsing, log in, downloading application form and then uploading photograph of the applicant. It takes minimum half-an-hour. Later on receiving OTP and uploading e-signatures also takes 20 minutes”, the official said.

He added that besides low speed technical services, there is one more problem of attaching a Tehslidar-level official to a mere job of receiving and checking OTPs. “A Tehsildar like official has been designated a vast field of work but he has been confined to get OTP as his personal mobile number is attached with the issuance of domicile certificates”, he said.

“The attachment of Teshildar level officer to OTPs has affected the work of Tehsils badly. Revenue affairs have got defunct since Tehsildars have been given task of getting OTPs”, he said.

Due to non-availability of high-speed internet services and other technical issues, the concerned Tehsildar is unable to check all applications of the day. “At least 400 applications are being received by each Tehsildar in a day but due to 2G internet services and other technical related issues, only 10-15 percent applicants are being taken into account”, the official added.

On August 4, 2019, hours before New Delhi scrapped special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the government snapped all communication services including internet and telephones in J&K. Only low-speed internet was restored after several months of the ban. 3G-4G internet services are yet to be restored in J&K due to “security concerns” except in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts where authorities allowed the facility a week ago on “trial basis.”