While the city is witnessing a drop in Covid-19 cases, are social distancing norms not being followed at the e-KYC centres? Despite being warned to be aware of the pandemic situation, hundreds of people are seen violating social distancing norms at the Aadhaar centres in Vizag to get the e-KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure done for their children. The Andhra Pradesh State Government has announced that its schemes can no longer be availed by people who have not completed the e-KYC for their Aadhaar cards, by this month-end, and e-KYC for ration cards, by August 20, 2021. A majority of these people have come along with their children aged more than 5 years old who are also to get their e-KYC and biometric credentials updated.
Previously, the e-KYC was only needed for the head of the family, or the spouse, in order to get ration cards. But now, all the members of the family have to provide their respective Aadhaar numbers and have them verified by the Civil Supplies Department to avail government schemes and get ration cards.
According to some citizens, they were told by their ward volunteers that their ration cards would be cancelled and they wouldn’t be able to avail government welfare schemes if their e-KYC is not updated with their Aadhaar cards. With a total of 81 centres, taking up e-KYC in Vizag, parents are seen standing in long queues at these centres, waiting for hours. “We came with our kids early in the morning and have been waiting for our turn for at least 2-3 hours. There is so much rush that we got worried about our kids contracting the virus. No one has even come forward to manage the crowd,” said Kavitha, a resident of Madhavadhara.
The 81 e-KYC centres comprise 33 banks, 18 post offices, 8 hospitals, 2 BSNL offices, 19 UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) desks and 1 IT Department. One of the UIDAI desks at Dwarka Nagar is flooded with people. With 15-16 computers, at least 1500 e-KYC updates are being done at the centre in a day. According to the sources, one computer at UIDAI centres can update the details of 150 individuals in a day. So, in view of this rush, the officials have got additional computers at the centres which are witnessing huge rush. At some of these centres, technical glitches like server breakdowns are making people wait from morning to evening. Some of the e-KYC centres are seen giving tokens to avoid the rush.
“There is no proper management at the centres and looking at the huge rush, we were forced to go back. It would be good if the deadline were to be extended and e-KYC mini centres are set up ward-wise in Vizag so as to avoid this rush,” said Sunitha, who visited the Dwaraka Nagar e-KYC centre.