Cuttack, Jan. 3: Central teams will soon start procuring photographs and thumb impressions of villagers in three tehsils of Kendrapara district as part of the second phase of preparing a National Population Register (NPR) in coastal villages of Orissa.
The exercise for issuing residents unique identity cards means covering 98 coastal villages in Rajnagar, Rajkanika and Mahakalpada tehsils with the largest concentration of Bangladeshi settlers.
Sources said data about the residents had already been collected in the first phase of the NPR being created by the Union home ministry for nine marine (coastal) states and four Union Territories.
The NPR project launched post the Mumbai terror attacks envisaged creation of a master database of all usual residents, which would include citizens as well as non-citizens. The determination of citizenship would be followed by a process of verification based on proof to be provided by each individual.
The multi-purpose national identity cards to be issued under the NPR project are expected to be helpful in identifying illegal immigrants and infiltrators using the sea route.
A senior official said the ground level work in the first phase has already been completed with the headcount of settlers in the earmarked seaside villages.
On that basis it is now for the central team to procure the photographs and thumb impressions, he said.
The operation was taken up with the help of 227 enumerators in 55 villages of Rajnagar Tehsil, 42 villages of Mahakalpada Tehsil and one village of Rajkanika Tehsil, the official said.
The NPR project in Rajnagar, Rajkanika and Mahakalpada assumes significance as Bangladeshi infiltrator population in the seaside villages areas of these areas has always been a disputed issue. While official reports have pegged the population at just 1,677, unofficial reports put them at nearly a lakh.