As the corporation has announced issue of 150 tokens a day at each centre, Aadhaar camps witness queues since early morning
With the Aadhaar cards deeming essential to get LPG subsidy under the Direct Benefit Transfer planned to be implemented in Tiruchi district from November 1, there has been a big rush at the camps for recording biometric data for issue of national identity cards in the city since Thursday.
However, the limited number of kits and teams deployed for carrying out the process has evoked angry reactions from city residents. Some have started lining up at the queues at the centres as early as 4.30 in the mornings to get the tokens. Tiruchirapalli City Corporation that facilitates the exercise appears to be saddled with a huge logistical problem after announcing the start of the second round of the camps.
About 71 per cent of the 7.92 lakh above-five population in the 60 wards was covered in the first phase of the special camps. But, the announcement over the planned implementation of the DBT from November 1 in the district has triggered anxiety among residents, who failed to attend the camps in the first round. Under the DBT, subsidy for LPG consumers is to be transferred directly to the Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts. The Aadhaar camps are currently being held at Ariyamangalam, Golden Rock, and Srirangam zonal offices, and at Corporation Elementary School at E.V.R.Road in Puthur in K.Abishekapuram zone.
But with just two biometric data recording kits made available at each of the centres, data of only about 150 persons could be recorded a day at each of the centres. The corporation had announced that only 150 tokens would be issued at each centre. This has triggered a rush early in the morning at the camps with people vying with each other to get the tokens for the day. However, hardly 30 to 40 people in the queue manage to get the tokens. For, one token has to be issued to each member in a family. If a person has five family members, he is issued five tokens.
“We have been waiting for over two hours to get the tokens at least for tomorrow. But, officials are not issuing the tokens now for tomorrow. The corporation and the government should have made better arrangements and deployed officers to provide proper guidance to the anxious people,” said a senior citizen from Cantonment.
Officials in K.Abishekapuram zone have announced a schedule under which residents of one ward is covered in a particular day. However, this system too is drawing flak from residents. “I have been coming for the past two days to get the tokens, but could not get it. Officials do not give us proper answers and ask us to check the schedule or go to the zonal office. I have come leaving my children at home. We are being made to run from pillar to post,” a woman complained at the Puthur centre.
The lucky ones who had got the tokens also complain over the time-consuming process. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to record the full details of a citizen and those in the queue have to wait patiently, some for a few hours for their turn. Corporation officials expect the rush to come down over the next few days and assure that all residents will be covered.
“Residents need not panic. The camps will go on for more than two months and we will not leave out anybody,” said Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani. When asked about the limited availability of kits, Mr. Thandapani said the camps were resumed as there were many enquiries. But, the second round of the exercise has not yet begun in a full-fledged manner. More kits will be deployed in the city when the camps in the rural parts of the district are completed, he said.
Meanwhile, the corporation has announced that a second centre will start functioning at Sattalbai Maternity Hospital near Ibrahim Park from Monday in Srirangam zone. While residents in ward 1 to 6 in the zone can attend the camps at the zonal office in Srirangam, those in ward 8-13 and 16-18 are required to attend the camps on the hospital premises.