The number of biometric machines for collection of biometric data for the National Population Register in Ernakulam district will be trebled soon.

According to the data collection authorities, from January, 120 biometric machines will be deployed. This will be up from the current 42.

The deployment of more machines will speed up of the pace of the data collection process, which is mandatory for all residents above the age of five, in the district, especially in the Kochi Corporation area.

Already, data collection has been completed in Perumbavur and Aluva municipalities as well as in Fort Kochi and the process is going on in North Paravur municipality and Mattancherry.

From December 10, collection will begin in the non-urban areas of Perumbavur taluk. Data collection in the district had first started in the Fort Kochi area. Shortage of biometric machines—which take and store images of the iris and finger prints of all the ten fingers of a person to be added to the NPR—has been a drag on the pace of data collection. Also, the district education officials would soon be asking schools to provide classrooms for hosting data collection centres. Getting sufficient number of classrooms in areas where the collection exercise moves has been a tough problem for the authorities.

Authorities said with the availability of more machines, the data collection would enter a new and fast phase.

The collection process in the district could be completed in well under one year. Residents in each area where the collection process moves would be informed by enumerator at least three days ahead of the actual date of collection.

This would help families to plan their showing up at the centre.

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