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National ID card office and hassle of people turns synonymous

2014-02-05 19:19:35
National ID card office and hassle of people turns synonymous

Mahfuz Swapon, thereport24.com, Dhaka:

People coming to the National Identity Card Project office in the capital Dhaka from different areas across the country are being subjected to numerous hassles as they are not getting timely and proper assistance from the officials concerned despite paying repeated visits to the office.

Although there exists an information centre at the project office, it is common scenario that most of the time during office hours, the centre remains empty and there is none to look into the issue of the people’s hassle.

On one hand, complainants usually find no official at the information centre they can get assistance from. On the other, there are allegations that visitors are often face misbehavious by the officials posted in other section of the office. Worse, these problems are hardly addressed even if the victims lodge complaints formally with the Election Commission.

At the project office, this correspondent talked to a man named Ashok who hails from Narsingdi. He came to the office to apply for a new card as he had lost his old one but got very annoyed with the service he received there.

“I lodged a general diary with police station after I had lost my national identity card. Now I have come to the project office to collect a new card. The service I am getting here is very poor and appalling. No official here seems to be interested in assisting me. They talk to people just when they wish to. Otherwise, they don’t answer any question,” Ashok said in an irritated voice after receiving master like behavior of the ID project officials.

“I’ve to wait in the queue for long to collect the form for a new card. But I’m not sure if I’ll be able to collect the ID or not. Moreover, I have to spend another day to submit the form even if I could collect it today. I have come from a place far away from the capital for this and it’s a big hassle as I cannot return home in a day after completing what I am expected to do,” he added.

Similar experience was shared by many other complainants who travelled a long way to come to the ID card project office in order to have corrections of minor mistakes in their ID cards. They say this is a very annoying situation that can be avoided if the local election offices in the districts around the country were armed with arrangements necessary to solve such small and silly problems.

The administration must consider the initiative for minimizing the hassle of the people over their ID problems and mistakes, they told thereport24.com.

Some complainants alleged a group of brokers offered them quick services in return for extra money.

“The authorities, however, are seemingly indifferent to this,” they said.

Interestingly, many officials working at the project office admit there is almost no one there to look into complaints about the poor services. They say most of the employees here are novice and complaints about professional misconduct are barely dealt with. They also admit some brokers are trying to cash in on the sufferings of the people who expect first-rate service but are frustrated once they reach the office.

Sources say some corrupt officials at the office are backing the group of brokers behind the scenes and victims of the poor service are thus being compelled to approach the middlemen to save time in order to get their job done.

When asked, Project Director Brigadier General Akhtaruzzaman Siddiki told thereport24.com the office is suffering from lack of adequate manpower.

“But we are hiring. I believe problems will lessen a bit once we have additional staffers to handle the situation,” Siddiki said.

“We expect all the problems we have right now will be gone if we are able to transfer the entire data in all server stations across the country within seven to eight months. In order to do that, we are now preparing some legal provisions,” he added.

(This report has been translated by Mahmudul Islam and edited by Md. Al-Amin for thereport24.com/English)

Ends/thereport24.com/AMA/Feb 05, 2014

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