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Aadhaar confusion grips city

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 11: The second phase work for collection of biometric details for preparation of Aadhaar cards has run into rough weather with not many knowing how to go about it.

The confusion has increased following the Supreme Court’s interim order and the subsequent role of the petroleum companies.

Though the court has said that Aadhaar card was not compulsory for availing government services such as direct benefit transfer, the dealers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are continuously sending reminders via text messages to customers to deposit their Aadhaar card numbers to avail the subsidy.

People who are confused over such text messages and the apex court verdict alleged that the gas distributors had been forcing them to provide their Aadhaar numbers.

“An employee of my LPG dealer has warned us that without the Aadhaar number, the LPG supply would be stopped in near future. So, we are really worried,’’ said Aratilata Das, a resident of Niladri Vihar.

At Niladri Vihar Upper Primary School, the directorate of census in collaboration with the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has opened a booth for Aadhaar registration. Another centre is also running at Sitanath High School in the same locality at ward No. 9.

“My family members are voters in this particular school. But our names were not found here. The teacher (enumerator) for the Aadhaar booth told us that we should find our names elsewhere. With the delimitation exercise done recently, there should be proper assistance from the authorities to guide us.”

Pradyumna Kumar Singh Samanta, a businessman from Niladri Vihar, who stays at ward No. 9, said: “In the booth here at Niladri Vihar Upper-Primary School, a person has to find his name from the six booklets that contain about 1,600 to 1,700 names. There is no assistance from the authorities to find the name for a person or provide a suitable answer to the queries.”

Jyoti Mishra, a resident of Niadri Vihar, said: “People are coming to the Aadhaar booth on their own and by hearing from other people. There was no mechanism of any public notice or advertisement to make people note.”

An official in the directorate of census said that the Supreme Court had given an interim order instructing not to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing government services. The Centre has decided the Aadhaar card generation process must go on and people should enrol themselves for getting their cards.

The entire Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area has been divided into around 1,900 enumeration blocks for carrying out the biometric data collection works. “In the first phase, biometric data have been collected from around 60 per cent of the people of the city. However, the work has been hampered because of non-availability of enumerators and the post-Phailin disaster,’’ said a Census official.

“We are carrying out the process at ward No. 9. From next week, we will speed up the process,” said deputy director of census Pravakar Barad, adding that they were announcing about the programmes on loudspeakers whenever it started in a particular locality.

President of Odisha LPG Dealers’ Association S.B. Mohapatra said: “The guidelines say that by January 31, the consumers will have to submit their Aadhaar numbers. However, if more time is needed, then the government may consider going for an extension.”

Mohapatra also said that no dealer could stop supply of LPG to a consumer.