Altogether 36,500 fishermen in 228 coastal villages in Orissa will be provided Multi-purpose National Identity Cards as a preventive measure against infiltration.

“The enumeration and data entry work has ended. Photography and fingerprint biometric work for issue of the National Multi-purpose Identity Cards is on in full swing in infiltration-prone coastal Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts,” Assistant Director of Fisheries (Marine) Rabi Narayan Pattnaik, said.

“As the project is of paramount national importance, we are laying emphasis on issue of I-cards by February end. A National Identity Number will be assigned to each individual. This number will become a link number with any other application of the state government,” Mr. Pattnaik said.

The exercise is being conducted jointly by the National Population Registrar (NPR), Ministry of Home Affairs and the state government’s marine fisheries department.

The I-cards would provide nationality, professional and legal proof and lead to easy detection of infiltrators, masquerading as fishermen.

Under NPR directions, around 37,000 fishermen in 112 coastal villages of Kendrapara district and 116 villages of Jagatsinghpur district were covered by a survey, Mr. Pattnaik said.

The enumerators gathered information such as genealogical order of the family, nativity status and fingerprints of those aged above 18.

The Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) was now carrying out photography and related technical jobs. “We are hopeful that I-card disbursal will be complete within the stipulated time-frame,” he said.

“The Multi-purpose National Identity Card can be useful in identifying illegal immigrants and subversive element using the sea route,” Saroj Kumar Sahu, commandant, Coast Guard, Paradip said.

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