The difficulties of the beneficiaries seeking Aadhaar linkage have intensified with inadequate number of registration centres and paucity of staff, though the government officials are hopeful that the entire process will be completed by the September 15 deadline.
Thousands of families are making a beeline for the Aadhaar centres along with the elderly and children to seek eKYC. Though the linkage facility is now available with the gram and ward secretariats, it is observed that the process is taking a lot of time as the staff is still not fully proficient with the technicalities compared to the expertise of the private personnel who handled the things till recently.
Unlike the private agents who used to work from dawn till late in the evenings, the secretariat-level handling of the Aadhaar linkage is mostly shut after 5 p.m. Though gram volunteers are empowered to handle the eKYC process, they are said to be reluctant to take an active part in this. Moreover, the public too are more tilted towards visiting the linkage centres personally rather than getting it done with the volunteers. Some volunteers in Chittoor deplore that for a monthly honorarium of ₹5,000, entrusting the eKYC assignment to them is illogical and will amount to gross exploitation.
The eKYC deadline is seen more as impossible to meet amidst scenes of crowded centres and long queues.
For instance, only four centres are there to cater to the eKYC requirement of the people of more than 36 panchayats in Kuppam region, including the municipality. In the eastern mandals, the process is plagued by technical glitches at secretariats. Of the over 12 lakh ration cards in Chittoor district, close to 40% are yet to get linked.
Meanwhile, some senior officials say that in spite of the technical problems, the Aadhaar linkage exercise is going on fast with the concerted efforts of the field staff. “Though there is a talk that things are going awry, it’s not entirely true. We will intensify the services of the volunteers in this regard,” says a revenue official in Chittoor.