People are a harried lot in Gurdaspur as they are facing a lot of hassle in getting birth or death certificates issued from the local Civil Hospital, courtesy the callousness of the staff concerned.
The employees are openly flouting the rules. As per the guidelines, an applicant should get birth or death certificate within seven days of applying for the same.
But the office of the registrar for birth and death has failed to implement these rules on ground.
Not issuing the birth certificate on time causes delay in getting passports to those who want to go abroad for studies or other purpose.
Students need birthday certificate to submit along with their admission form for board examination.
Death certificate is needed for court cases, accident claim cases, transfer of deceased’s bank account in the name their family etc. Taking advantage of this, some employees and middlemen take bribes to provide birth and death certificates easily.
Sources say the bribe money ranges from a few hundred rupees to Rs 50,000 depending on the urgency to the applicant.
The canteen contractor at the Civil Hospital sells forms for birth and death certificates in connivance with the hospital authorities. He also fills forms charging extra money from the applicants.
Some people, operating from the kiosks along the outer wall of the hospital’s main gate, are found selling birth and death certificate forms as well.
Makhan Singh, superintendent, birth and death record office, said they had received 6,332 applications for issuing birth and death certificates in January.
Sources said most of these applications were lying pending at the office manned by18 staff members.
Baldev Singh, a resident of Marhi Tanda village in Sri Hargobindpur, said it took four months and 22 days to correct a minor spelling mistake in the name of his grandfather in death certificate that was issued in September.
He had to visit the Civil Hospital at least thrice a month travelling 120 kilometres to finally get the job done.
Dilbagh Singh of Dairiwal Daroga village said he had applied for the birth certificates of his son and nephew six months ago but he did not get any even after paying many visits to the office.
A woman from the same village applied for the birth certificate of her son seven months ago but she has not been issued the document so far.
A woman of Wheela Teja village said she had received her son Maninder Singh’s birth certificate on May 8, 2012 with some overwriting and cuttings for which it was rejected by the passport office.
District health officer Dr Balwinder Singh said, “I have issued instructions to all the government hospitals in the district to issue birth certificate free of cost for the newborns while discharging the mother from the hospital.”
“Under the Right to Service Act, our office is bound to issue birth and death certificate within seven days, correction cases in 15 days and missing certificates in 21 days,” he said.
Sometimes, the delay in issuing birth and death certificates is caused by the non-availability of records with the village panchayats or incomplete files submitted for name registration of those who could not get it registered for one or the other reason earlier.
When confronted on the issue of the canteen contractor selling birth and death certificate forms on the hospital premises, senior medical officer Dr Sudhir Kumar said he would get it stopped immediately.
The guidelines say an applicant should get birth or death certificate within seven days of applying
Not issuing birth certificate on time causes delay in getting passports to those who want to go abroad for studies or other purpose
Students need birth certificate to submit along with their admission form for board examination
Touts, bribery flourish
The canteen contractor at Gurdsapur Civil Hospital sells birth and death certificate forms in connivance with the hospital staff
Touts operating from kiosks along the outer wall of the hospital’s main gate also sell these forms illegally
The bribe money to get these certificates issued ranges from Rs 100 to Rs 50,000 depending on the urgency of case