By all accounts, it turned to be a successful move and came as a huge relief to scores of applicants seeking birth and death certificates issued by the GHMC.

It has been little more than a fortnight after the 18 citizen service centres began to issue already registered entries with digitised signatures instantly and more than 100 certificates are being taken in each of the centres daily, say senior officials.

Initially, it was assumed that the IT infrastructure needed to be strengthened before the certificates can be issued but during the trial runs it was realised that a little bit of tweaking was enough to see to it that the applicants get the certificates within minutes and not three to five days being taken by the MeeSeva centres.

Close to 3,000 birth certificates and another 1,000 death certificates where the entries are all correct have been issued so far.

Even for those certificates needing minor changes as allowed under the existing rules like inclusion of the child’s name and so on is taking up to three days only, claim senior officials.

The same used to take anywhere from a week to a fortnight at the MeeSevas. Obviously, the municipal staff is more equipped to deal with the certificates since the civic body maintains the records, checks for documentary proof before issuing the certificates.

While opening more counters for issuing birth/death certificates by the government cannot be contested, the issue became controversial when corporators strongly protested the ban on the citizen service centres located within the circle offices from giving the certificates.

The public representatives kept up the pressure to revoke the ban pointing to the “forced waiting period” in getting digitised certificates and paying the double the fee at the MeeSevas till they succeeded.

More than 25 lakh existing records have been digitised between 2000-2013 and there is greater awareness and therefore, high demand for obtaining birth certificates in the last few years, say senior officials.

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