Tamil Nadu

Deadlock over rates hits distribution of voter ID cards

EPIC has not been issued to applicants since last March although at least 35 to 40 applicants visit e-seva centres in Chennai every day on an average.

EPIC has not been issued to applicants since last March although at least 35 to 40 applicants visit e-seva centres in Chennai every day on an average.   | Photo Credit: G_Krishnaswamy

Arasu Cable demands more money from the EC

CHENNAI The distribution of Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) for new electors and those who have applied for making corrections/modifications across Tamil Nadu has been hit.

The demand of Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV (TACTV) Corporation Ltd. and the State government for higher rates is yet to be accepted by the Election Commission and therefore distribution of voter identity cards had been pending, officials said.

EPIC is distributed through e-Seva centres manned by TACTV operating from State government premises. The EC pays an amount per card to the TACTV for its service and the State government for providing physical infrastructure.

Since the EC is yet to accept the new proposal, hundreds of applicants visiting e-seva centres across the State are being turned away every day. According to informed sources, EPIC has not been issued to applicants since last March although at least 35 to 40 applicants visit e-seva Centres in Chennai every day on an average.

Left in the lurch

Bhagavathi Sampath, a college student planning for his higher education in other States, is still waiting for his new EPIC. “Many Central universities want EPIC as one of the documents, despite an aadhaar. Unless EPIC is distributed immediately, it will be a challenge for students applying for educational institutions in other States,” he said.

Shameel Ahmed from Ambur applied for EPIC several months ago but is yet to get his card. “The verification process too was completed long ago but I have not received my card yet,” he said. His friend Zambruth Nawab Hussain too applied earlier this month and is yet to get the card. Fabiola Jacob from Chennai said her EPIC had a man’s picture, though the card mentioned “female” in the details. She said: “It is embarrassing whenever I go to cast my vote. I had applied thrice for correction, twice through the EPIC camp and once online too. But no response.”

The Hindu too visited the e-seva Centre on Dr. Ambedkar Salai in Kodambakkam on Wednesday and was told by Assistant Tahsildar (Elections) that EPIC had not been issued for many months now. She refused to give the necessary Form 001 (also called 1C form) saying: “When we are not giving cards, why should I unnecessarily give the form and sign?”

A senior official in the Public (Elections) Department said that the glitch was due to an administrative reason. “The government and TACTV are demanding more cut for a card. The commission has accepted and the issue will be sorted out soon,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 6:22:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/deadlock-over-rates-hits-distribution-of-voter-id-cards/article30628890.ece

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