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Ignorance is bliss, but not if you need a new Aadhar card

With no checks in place by the authorities and no awareness in public, mainly migrants, these agents are getting easy money from blatant violation of rules.

punjab Updated: Aug 21, 2018 13:16 IST
Amarpal Singh
Amarpal Singh
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Aadhar card,post offices,banks
It was found that an authorised agent at City Union Bank Limited, located on Gill Road, was charging Rs 50 for issuing new Aadhar cards.(Representative photo)

Setting another example of fleecing people, this time for issuance of the otherwise free Aadhar cards, a number of authorised agents and touts in the city are charging between Rs 50 and Rs 200.

With no checks in place by the authorities and no awareness in public, mainly migrants, these agents are getting easy money from blatant violation of rules.

HT visited some banks, post offices and suvidha centres in different areas of the city to get a reality check of the situation. It was found that an authorised agent at City Union Bank Limited, located on Gill Road, was charging Rs 50 for issuing new Aadhar cards.

An agent sitting outside the bank with a register gave appointments while another agent inside the bank managed the process of making the card. HT approached them as customers when the agent sitting inside claimed, “The government fee for new Aadhar card is Rs 20 but we charge Rs 50 per person as it includes printing and paper usage charges as well.” The agent who was sitting outside said that a receipt will be given to the applicant but without mentioning the amount charged.

Meanwhile, Dhruv Kumar Mishra, deputy manager of the bank said that he was not aware of the fees being charged, adding that in such cases, residents are free to lodge a complaint at the bank anytime. “We will definitely take up the issue and give the report to senior authorities,” he said.

Ignorance costing hundreds of rupees

Rajesh Kumar, 23, from Uttar Pradesh came to Ludhiana around a year ago looking for a job. He joined a local manufacturing unit as a labourer and struggled for an identity card. That’s when he got in touch with a local tout who charged Rs 200 from him for a new Aadhar card.

Following a tip off, HT team met a tout operating at a public services agency in Dashmesh Nagar. The woman in the shop asked for ₹200 for issuing a new Aadhar card.

The team then came in contact with Kumar who said that he was charged Rs150 by the same tout. Kumar said that after checking his documents, the tout sent him to the City Union Bank on Gill Road where he was charged Rs 50 more. Kumar said that he was neither aware of the suvidha centres running in the city nor of the free Aadhar.

This is not an isolated case as a number of migrant labourers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal are being charged hefty amounts for the free Aadhar card.

There are 39 Aadhar enrolment centres at banks and post offices and 22 suvidha centres in Ludhiana.

Prem Kumar Thakur, deputy director, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Chandigarh, said that the department conducts surprise inspection on regular basis. “However, we will get it checked and will cancel the license of those found fleecing people,” he said.

Charges for Aadhar card as per UIDAI

For new enrolment – Free

Mandatory biometric – Free

Biometric or demographic update - Rs 30 (Rs 20 + GST)

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 13:14 IST