Prakash Ullal from Ullal was an angry man as he walked away from the Nemmadi Kendra here on Friday with his son Karthik in tow.

He said he had been coming to the kendra at the Deputy Commissioner's office for a week for caste and income certificates for his son's admission to the Karnataka Polytechnic, but to no avail. “They sent me to three different offices on the same day and then asked me to come back after two days,” he told The Hindu. He finally received his documents an hour before the deadline for submitting the application on Friday evening. That had enraged him. “Everyone seeks these certificates at this time of the year. If everyone has gone on leave, why can't they at least get replacements?” he asked.

Red tape

Nemmadi Kendras have been set up to hasten the procedures involved in delivering various documents, but the people find the kendra here is yet to get rid of red tape.

Sowmya, a student, had come to the kendra thrice in the past week for a similar document to apply for a course in Mangalore University. She was redirected to other government offices each time. That left her with very little time to spare. “It's a big headache. They sent me to five different places to get signatures. When I brought them, they asked me to come back after a couple of hours because some official wasn't there. The delay cost me a place in the first list of candidates for admission. Hopefully, I can make it to the second list. ”

Althaf Hussein to has had a bitter experience. “They don't care about normal people. You should either know them or possess the right kind of contacts to get things done,” he said. He has been waiting for his inheritance certificate for six weeks. Abdur Rahim, an NRI, came to India a month ago to be with his family till he recovered from a fractured hand. He had to make several trips to the kendra for obtaining a ration card, which was required to get his passport renewed. “They keep sending me from one office to another and most of the time there is an official missing at the kendra,” he said.

Jagadish Bhandary, a social worker, said, “The words Nemmadi Kendra sound like it will make your job easier, but none of the arrangements are in place,” he said.

Of the 16 people The Hindu spoke to, 11 complained of inadequacy in service, and delays. The kendra has approximately 600 applications pending. “We can handle around 300 applications a day, but we receive around 600,” said a staff member at the kendra on condition of anonymity.

Asked about the delays and general annoyance with the kendra, tahsildar C.N. Manjunath said, “These delays are because of shortage of staff in the back office.

A few of our staff have resigned and there has been some delay in training the replacements. Also, we have had some software problems, which will soon be rectified.”

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