The postal identity card, accepted as a document for proof of address by various government and private firms, including the banks, is becoming popular in the city.

However, many applicants complain that it takes almost two months to obtain a card.

S .Aparna, a resident of Adyar, said that she had to wait for two months for getting the card.

One of the reasons cited by the department to her was inadequate staff to issue the cards.

Admitting that there was a delay, officials of the Postal Department said it had initially said that the cards would be issued in two weeks. This was subsequently extended to three weeks as the cards had to be printed in Mumbai.

A senior official said the printing technology used for the card is not available in Chennai. Moreover, the postal inspectors have to visit the applicant's residence more than once, to verify identification, if the house is locked.

In a bid to increase the number of cards, the department would soon introduce a system to record details of all those who purchase the applications and send them a reminder. The department now receives only 40 per cent of the total applications sold by it.

The identity cards could be used as proof to open bank accounts, get passports, ration cards, driving licence, LPG connections and telecom services. It also serves as a proof of age for those seeking concession in train fare.

Tatkal system

The Postal Department has recently introduced a tatkal system under which the cards would be issued within five days. The cost of the identity card under the tatkal system is Rs.600. Under the regular process, the cost is Rs.250, an official said.

It would also soon come out with corporate offer as part of which employees of companies could get the identity cards at their office premises.

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