Centres flooded with applications following announcement linking LPG cylinders to Aadhaar cards

The government’s announcement that issue of cooking gas cylinders would be linked to Aadhaar cards led to a panic rush at enrolment centres in the twin cities. So much so, the centres ran short of applications on Monday.

To compound the problem, inadequate number of machines being put to use, technical problems and a peculiar problem of collecting biometric fingerprints of many people who have calloused hands, led to an inordinate delay in the registration process.

For 38-year-old R. Suresh, it was a double whammy of sorts. He was unsuccessful in getting hold of an application form, let alone enrolling for the card. His numerous visits to the Urban Health Centre at Mohammadguda in Secunderabad were fruitless as he got a stock reply “application forms are not available”. His father Pitchaiah got the card, but his name was wrongly spelt. Since then, Suresh has been running from pillar to post to obtain two applications, to correct his father’s name and to apply for his own, but his efforts proved to be in vain.

Officials say the State government has already appealed to the Centre to extend the February 15 deadline for LPG consumers to possess Aadhaar cards in order to avail of the subsidies. The government argued that the Aadhaar registration was not yet complete in the State and more time is required. “We believe applicants are rushing to the centre fearing that they would lose subsidy for failing to get the card,” they maintain.

Another reason for the delay in issuing cards is problems in collecting fingerprints. “We are facing difficulties in authenticating the fingerprints of some people because of calloused hands,” explains A. Pruthviraj, Team Leader of Grape Soft Technologies which is executing enrolment process in the capital. He says the enrolment process is on at over 35 centres.

Plans have also been chalked out to open 10 more centres to meet the increasing rush, he adds. To know status, applicants can log on to the website: https://portal.uidai.gov.in.

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