Home minister P Chidambaram will give away the first chip-based identity card in Andaman and Nicobar Islands this weekend, setting the stage for distribution of over 75 lakh ID cards in selected coastal villages over the next three months.
The project to issue ID cards in 3,331 selected villages of nine coastal states and four union territories was conceived as part of the coastal security scheme drawn up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The home minister will hand over the ID cards to residents of a village in Port Blair during his two-day visit to the Islands beginning Saturday.
A home ministry official said the effort was to complete distribution of cards by March this year as originally proposed but could spill over by a month or so.
The home minister had earlier advanced the deadline but this could not be met due to delays in finalising technical standards for the cards.
The cards are being produced at automated facilities run by reputed public sector companies that have installed machines which can churn out 1,500 cards every hour.
The event demonstrates that a project driven by the bureaucracy too could stick to its timelines, the official said, a remark in context of the
Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) demand to be allowed to enrol independently residents.
The UIDAI's primary case rests on the premise that the Registrar General of India tasked to build the National Population Register would not stick to its deadline of December 2012.
The UIDAI proposes to complete the enrolment by 2017.