Long queues in Kol for birth certificates amid NRC panic
ARMY & ISI TRAINED AL-QAIDA TO FIGHT IN AFGHANISTAN, SAYS PAK PM IMRAN | 16 Not Only New Parents, Even Senior Citizens Line Up For Own Papers
Kolkata: A spurt in applications for birth certificates since last Friday has caught the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) off guard amid rumours about an impending NRC exercise in Bengal despite CM Mamata Banerjee iterating thrice in as many days that no such citizen count would take place in the state.
Subrata Banerjee, an employee of the KMC’s health department, said he had never before seen so many people queuing up for birth certificates. “Our department can issue 100 birth certificates in a day. On each of the past three working days, we received well over 250 applications,” he said.
The rush since Friday is all the more confounding because there has been no significant rise in births recorded by city hospitals, civic officials said. The queues at KMC aren’t just of new parents. Many of the applicants are middle-aged and senior citizens seeking their own birth certificates or wanting know how they can get one.
People in their 40s or older don’t have birth records because the KMC did not issue birth certificates until around 1980. “People who have spent their entire lives without bir
to th certificates are suddenly so jittery that they want a document that shows they were born here,” an official said.
The scramble for birth certificates is being linked to three factors, the first of which is Union home minister Amit Shah’s scheduled visit to Kolkata on October 1. The voter verification programme undertaken by the Election Commission and talk of the Bengal government issuing digital ration cards have added to speculation that an NRC exercise is inevitable.
Sources in the KMC’s social sector department said they had been asked to gear up to issue non-PDS digital ration cards to citizens above the poverty line, which they could possibly use as an NRC shield if and when needed.
Full report on www.toi.in
People wait for their turn to get birth certificates rectified at Kolkata Municipal Corporation headquarters on Tuesday