Shutdown of sewa kendras to affect 3,500 workers in Punjab
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Shutdown of sewa kendras to affect 3,500 workers in Punjab

A guard working at a sewa kendra said that he has not received salary for the past four months and now he might be out of job too.

punjab Updated: Jan 25, 2018 21:56 IST
Amit R Joshi
Amit R Joshi
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Sewa kendras in Punjab,Punjab news,Amarinder Singh
City residents deposit their bills at a sewa kendra on Ferozepur road, in Ludhiana on Thursday.(Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Karanjit Singh (26), a resident of Rachhini village in the district, catches a bus at 7am every morning to reach Threeke village where he works as operator at a sewa kendra.

He has been commuting for the 40-km journey since September 2016. Now he is worried as the Punjab government has decided to shut down more than 75% sewa kendras in the state.

He is one of the 3,500 workers employed at sewa kendras across the state, which provide more than 100 citizen-centric services to the residents.

Karanjit Singh, who is BSc (IT), is employed with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

He said he decided to serve at the sewa kendra with the hope that it will be a lifelong job as the government will keep providing services to the people.

“CM Capt Amarinder Singh promised to provide a job to every household but this decision might leave me jobless,” said Karanjit. Over 300 people visit the sewa kendra in a month, he added.

There are three categories of sewa kendras — Type I managed by one centre coordinator and 12 operators (located at district headquarters), Type II managed by three operators and one centre coordinator (located in other towns) and Type III managed by one operator (located in villages).

According to the website of the Punjab government, there are more than 400 Type II sewa kendras and 1,700 plus Type III.

Ludhiana deputy commissioner Pardeep Aggarwal confirmed that 120 sewa kendras in the district will be shut down. He said at some sewa kendras, there is not even one visitor a day. “Running such kendras is not financially viable.”

A guard working at a sewa kendra here said on the condition of anonymity that he has not received salary for the past four months and now he might be out of job too. “I have a family to take care of. I will now have to look for another job.”

Residents also not happy

Residents of various villages are also not happy with the decision of the government.

Amanpreet Singh of Jhande village said the government should not consider the cost factor in the running of sewa kendras as these cater to the needs of people.

His son Anshdeep Singh, 16, said he had come along with his father to get his domicile certificate as he is to apply for the NDA exam. “It was easy to come here and collect the certificate. But if the government closes down the sewa kendra in the village, we will have to go all the way to the mini secretariat in the city to obtain such certificates.”

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 21:49 IST