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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Reforms on in birth and death registration dept

Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 11, 2014
First Published: 00:02 IST(11/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(11/3/2014)

Notorious for inordinate delays in delivering birth and death certificates, thanks to missing records, agent-official nexus, corruption, and other anomalies, the department of birth and death registration is set for an overhaul.

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The Amritsar Municipal Corporation has issued strict directions to the members of the department's staff to abide by the rules and close office after 5pm instead of staying back for "other purposes".

On Monday, Sushant Bhatia, shifted to the department recently as superintendent, directed the team to ask for the mandatory identity proof from the applicants and issues them proper request numbers after recording. The team will have to furnish a daily report of the number of applications received and the number of certificates issued. "Tagging of identity avoid is to locate applicant and avoid litigation and disputes because of birth and death certificates falling into the wrong hands," Bhatia said.

It will also go a long way in smashing the agent-official nexus, which had led to corruption in the department and lack of access to the public. "Computerised receipts will help track the date by which the certificate would be ready. The officials wouldn't be allowed to extend this date," said superintendent Bhatia.

The MC has made it mandatory for its eight department officials to be present in the zones from 9am to 1pm and thereafter in the office from 2pm to 5pm. "Quite a few officers who never visited their zones have been removed," said Bhatia. Municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said that the department was in dire need of reform. "No proper records or entries were made previously," he said.

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