Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Dec 13:
Even as petroleum companies are bombarding consumers with SMSes asking them to register their Aadhar card numbers with them to avail the subsidy on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) gas cylinders, the consumers in the capital city are at a complete loss how to enrol themselves for the card.
Apprehensive about losing out on the subsidy, consumers who do not have Aadhar cards are rushing to the enrolment centres opened by the Directorate of Census and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), only to find that their names are missing from the printed list. Worse still, there is no one to answer their queries in the registration centres on how to get themselves enrolled.
“There is no assistance from the people who man the enrolment centres on how to find the name or to provide a suitable answer to the queries. While a poster pasted on the walls of the centre says the enrolment process will start from 9 am and continue up to 1.30 pm, the teachers who have the booklets containing the names seldom reach the venue before 10 am leaving us running from pillar to post. Besides, the agency is not cooperating with the people,” said Diptimayee Samal, a resident of Niladri Vihar.
And if your name is not there in the list, only god can save you.
“We registered our names during Census 2011. But our names are missing from the list here. Even though we have filled up a form provided by Directorate of Census two months back, we didn’t find our names in the list or anywhere else,” said an exasperated Snehalata Dehury of Niladri Vihar.
With the authorities failing to publicize the enrolment process adequately and inform the people about the jurisdiction of the two enrolment camps, one at Niladri Vihar Upper Primary School and the other at Sitanath High School in the same locality, the people are moving one camp to another camp searching for their names – in vain.
“The teacher (enumerator) for the Aadhaar booth told us that we should find our names elsewhere. But when we went there, we didn’t find our names there either,” rued Rajiv Sahu, a resident of Panda Basti.
Jyoti Mishra, a resident of Niladri Vihar, said: “People are coming to the Aadhaar booth on their own after hearing about it from other people. There is no effort whatsoever by the authorities to inform them about where they should go.”
The situation is no different in the rest of the 1900 enumeration blocks into which the BMC area has been divided for carrying out biometric data collection work, entrusted to Computer Lab (C Lab), a private agency.
While the harassed people are at their wit’s end, Census authorities give the distinct impression that they could not care less about their plight. “Those who do not have their names in the list cannot be enrolled for Aadhat card,” said Prabhakar Barad, deputy director of Census, laconically. Asked why the names are not in the list in the first place, Barad was even more callous. “Their names may not be in the Census database,” he said.
To a question on the people who have already registered their names in the forms provided by the Census department, Barad said; “Their names may have been mentioned in some other ward.
This being the attitude of a senior official, it is easy to imagine how the personnel at the ground level must be addressing the queries and grievances of the harassed people.
While everybody knows about the interim Supreme Court ruling that held that Aadhar card cannot be made mandatory to avail subsidy, no one is able to understand why they are being forced to get such a card. And to understand why proper arrangements have not been made, if they must have the elusive card.
No wonder those who have managed to get the coveted card in the first round are feeling on top of the world.