The demand for birth certificates has risen exponentially as they are vital for passport applications, visas, green cards and even opening of bank accounts

Sustained pressure from various quarters, including corporators and the media, seems to have worked. Even as the government is said to be seriously considering the GHMC’s request to allow its Citizen Service Centres (CSCs) to issue digitised birth certificates, trial run has already begun.

If the facility gets going, it will enable citizens to obtain birth certificates instantaneously at CSCs located in all the 18 municipal circles rather than depend on Meeseva centres. Moreover, the price of each certificate will be just Rs. 20 instead of Rs. 42 charged at Meeseva centres, said senior officials.

Citizens are currently being issued certificates three days after submitting application at Meesevas. Digitised certificates can be issued within minutes going by records - 25 lakh certificates were digitised between 2000 and 2013.

Ironically, the lacunae came to the fore when Telugu Desam floor leader Singireddy Srinivas Reddy applied for a certificate. “What is the point issuing certificate after three days when records are available instantly? The government should also allow CSCs to issue certificates because the records are prepared by the GHMC,” he pointed out.

In fact, Municipal officials were forced to act on digitised certificates only after he threatened to issue notice under Section 104 of the GHMC Act, where non-action on resolutions passed in the council or standing committee make them liable for suspension.

The civic body has been issuing birth certificates with ink signatures of the medical and health officer of the circle concerned at the CSCs when the IT Department demanded that the service be stopped as Meesevas were equipped with the necessary infrastructure to issue digitised certificates three months ago.

It was possible following the digitisation and computerisation of birth/death records with third party screening in the last few years. Corporators have been demanding that the CSCs also be allowed to do the same following which GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu sought the government’s nod.

The demand for birth certificates has risen exponentially in the last few years as these documents are vital not only obtaining passports but also for visas, green cards and even opening of bank accounts. So much so that, 12 lakh certificates are being issued annually compared to just two lakh certificates a decade ago.

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