Thursday, January 21, 2021 | ePaper

Fraudsters are dominating EC to get NIDs

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PEOPLE are facing immense suffering in availing NID card related services, including its correction, due to indifference of the concerned Election Commission officials. As per a report of our daily many applicants for NID services have to face innumerable obstacles. They include apathy and a complete lack of interest on the part of the officials concerned along with harassment which has led to some serving legal notices to the NID DG and the EC Secretary because they have not got the card even after almost a decade of waiting.
The NID is a very important document as it is needed for many things now --- you can't open a bank account, buy land or other property, among other things. Despite the Election Commission stating last year that the National Identity Cards having minor errors can be fixed easily as it had took an initiative to install advanced card management software for removing hassles in availing of NID card-related services by people the same problems remain.
If Rohingyas can get their smart NIDs then why should the genuine citizens suffer? We have to pay to get additional services--they are not provided free of cost. In April of this year the EC started the online services through which the service seekers can, in theory, collect NID number, copy of NID card, correct and update information of NID cards, recollect NID card in case of losing it and apply for voter registration.
Despite this many anomalies remain for our voters to get proper services. The fact that the NID can be corrected online needs to be more widely available to people who are in genuine need of their services. As of yet we still don't know how effective it is as a tool for providing proper service but if there are any indications from past sufferers the situation remains the same for many who seek the services of the EC.
As per existing law, all the NID cards must be renewed after 15 years from the date of its issuance. But, despite this, the Election Commission (EC) has extended tenure of all kinds of temporary National Identity (NID) cards for an indefinite period earlier this year. This means that the EC is fully aware of the fact that it is institutionally incapable of issuing proper NIDs to all who need them. Even though we can accept Covid-19 as an excuse this year it still does not mean that the card should be extended indefinitely. The EC should correct itself before it is given the responsibility of correcting NIDs.

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