Deadlines rarely honoured at Suwidha Centre in Barnala | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Deadlines rarely honoured at Suwidha Centre in Barnala

punjab Updated: Jan 18, 2014 21:56 IST
BB Goyal

The USP (unique-selling proposition) of suwidha centres, time-bound delivery of services under one roof, is far from reality, as repeated visits and missed deadlines have become routine at the office here.

Even payment of donations and hefty charges for routine services do not guarantee that your work would be completed by the due date or the promised date.

The list of violations begins as soon you enter the building. There is no list displaying the facilitation charges and departmental fees and you might as well dare not ask anyone about the grievance redressal mechanism.

Forms for applying for marriage certificate are not available with Suwidha Centre and they are also not available with the tehsildar office. Suwidha tells such applicants to get it from private vendors.

Sacred Heart College of Education finance secretary Naresh Mittal had applied for an arms licence, but his wait is still on, in spite of October 13, 2013, mentioned as the delivery date.

Mittal said, "I paid Rs 1,250 for the application form and Rs 700 as facilitation charges to Suwidha Centre, besides 'donation' of Rs 11,000 for the Red Cross Society, I am yet to receive my licence in spite of positive police recommendation twice."

Another arms licence applicant, Ravinder Kumar, paid the same amount, more tha Rs 20,000 and is also awaiting the delivery of licence.

Paramvir Chakra awardee Captain Karam Singh's son, Paramjit Singh, did not get the arms licence renewed on scheduled date of December 18, 2013.

District suwidha administrator Amritpal Singh Sidhu said, "I agree that we could not deliver the licences in time, but the arms licence issue comes under the purview of the deputy commissioner. Once he allows us, we issue it immediately."

Amandeep Garg, a resident, said, "Paying high facilitation charges and form fees at the suwidha centre does not mean hassle-free service under single roof. For marriage certificate, one needs to visit the office of the tehsildar. If one has to make rounds to tehsildar office, then why do we pay Suwidha charges?"

For issuance of a birth certificate, Suwidha centres charge Rs 20 for a single page pro forma and `30 as facilitation charges. Applicants have to shell out Rs 65 for a Rs 15 service.

Gurmail Singh, a resident of Cheema village, did not get his mother's death certificate even after several rounds to suwidha centre.

He said, "Whenever I visited the centre, I was advised to contact the block development officer or the panchayat secretary. Finally, I got the certificate after filing an RTI application on this matter.

Feedback line:
For feedback, contact BB Goyal @ 98145-74565.

Citizen Speak
People are paying hefty facilitation charges at the suwidha centre; still the tasks remain pending for long. Negligent officers of departments concerned should be penalized, if they fail to stick to deadlines.
-Pardeep Kumar, activist

We are advised to make rounds to tehsildar office, for getting marriage certificates. If we are made to visit the office concerned, then corruption cannot be removed, as direct interaction with the authority gives rise to corrupt practices. Earlier we were only paying 'speed money', but now we are also paying facilitation charges.
-Amandeep Garg, resident

Official speak
Arms licence issue is under the purview of deputy commissioner. If we get requisite papers from DC office, we issue it immediately. We insist for donation slip of Red Cross Society for `11,000 as per DC office instructions.
-Amritpal Singh Sidhu, suwidha administrator