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Updated: January 18, 2013 00:51 IST

‘Mindless’ order gives birth to more problems

V. Geetanath
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CSCs directed not to issue birth and death certificates forcing people to queue up at MeeSeva centres

In the last eight months about 50,000 birth and death certificates were issued at different MeeSeva centres in the twin cities. During the same time, Citizen Service Centres (CSCs) established in 18 municipal circle offices had issued 1.90 lakh certificates.

The fee for each certificate issued from the CSCs is Rs.20 whereas an applicant has to pay Rs.42 for each certificate from MeeSeva.

Yet, the government’s IT Department had issued an order last month directing the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to stop issuance of birth and death certificates in all Citizen Service Centres to avoid “duplication and preventing redundancies”.

The municipal corporation too issued a departmental order few days ago seeking to halt parallel issuance of the certificates thus forcing scores of applicants to queue up at the MeeSeva. However, it is critical to understand that CSCs were opened up for issuing certificates only after the corporators raised a hue and cry over the inordinate delay at MeeSeva.

With MeeSeva handling 45 other services belonging to various departments, rush during exam results, ham-handed courier services transporting certificates to and fro the municipal offices and the centres, complaints started pouring in, senior officials recall.

Many applicants even trooped into the GHMC head office seeking clarifications as persons manning MeeSeva were unable to answer queries. Corporators led by Telugu Desam’s Singireddy Srinivas Reddy and others got the general body pass a resolution to allow CSCs to issue birth and death certificates along with MeeSeva last summer.

It had a tremendous impact with applicants thronging CSCs in sharp contrast to drastic fall of applicants at MeeSeva. “The government’s move only appears to shore up MeeSeva revenues even when it is clear that multiple issuance points had benefitted citizens,” remark senior officials.

GHMC is also nearing completion of digitising birth/death records from 2000 till date -- that is around 11.5 lakh certificates. It means citizens can get certificates already in the digitised records within minutes of filing an application. It removes the need for a courier and thus cuts down delays at MeeSeva.

Still, it’s going to be a heated affair if CSCs are left out as the corporators are agitated. TD corporators on Thursday even sought Minister for Municipal Administration M. Maheedhar Reddy’s intervention to prevent the popular Citizen Service Centres from being cut to size.

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