The Chennai Corporation's online birth/death certificate facility is a much-sought feature but is not without hiccups. For, several persons who tried to get the certificates online are disappointed as their names do not feature in the listing on the website.

B.Ashok, a resident of Shenoy Nagar, said “I was born in Women and Children's Hospital in Egmore and I have the original certificate issued by the Chennai Corporation. But when I needed more authentic copies, I accessed the Corporation website and found to my dismay that it was not available.”

For him, it would be a tedious effort, involving visits to Ripon Building and the Corporation's zonal office to get his name included online. Similarly, Vivek Ravindran, an engineering graduate, who needed the certificate for some official purpose, found that his father's name was wrongly spelt.

The details of persons born in hospitals in the late 1980s and 1990s are not available. In many cases the registration of the death of persons is not been reflected.

While the website offers the option of correcting spelling or gender errors, additions cannot be done online.

One person, who did not want to be quoted, said he was born in September 1972 in a leading private hospital in Chennai. But now he is unable to find his birth records online.

People like him will have to take the original birth certificate and an identity proof (such as passport or SSLC book or Transfer Certificate which bears their name, date of birth and parent's name) and submit an application to include their name in the birth registry. Those born before December 31, 1990, can approach the Chennai Corporation for the certificates, while those born after that date may approach the respective zonal offices where the occurrence took place. This applies for both births and deaths.

Corporation officials say at least two queries are received daily about the non-availability of details online regarding birth/death registration certificates.

Around 250 childbirths are registered in the city daily while the number of deaths is lower. All institutional deliveries are registered and each birth/death is provided a unique registration number.

Corporation Health Officer P.Kuganantham said a person who prints the certificate from the online database need not worry about the authenticity of the certificate. “Sometime ago, doubts about the authenticity of the online certificates were raised. Following this, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had validated the electronic process as per Section 4 and 5 of the Information Technology Act, 2000,” he said.

On the names missing from the online records, he said, “We have made about 25 lakh entries online. Some names may have been missed out. Persons who do not find their names can approach us. It will take some time as we have to search through our records but they will be made available.” Officials say that in cases where the records are damaged, they would recreate the records based on the information provided by the applicant.

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