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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Address glitch hits Aadhaar enrolment

KOLKATA: Debasish Mukherjee, a Tollygunge resident, is at a loss for words. So are several others in his south Kolkata neighbourhood. While filling up the Aadhaar application form, these people had mentioned their address as NSC Bose Road, Kolkata 700040. The circus, err... chaos started when they found that the UIDAI had established them as residents of Circus Avenue, Kolkata 700017. Not surprisingly, none of their unique ID cards made it to their residences.
Tollygunge isn't the only area affected by this glitch. If the number of complaints pouring in at post offices across the city is anything to go by, several areas are reeling under the problem.

While no figures are available yet, Ajit Kumar Gupta, an Aadhaar enrolment agent working at a nationalised bank in Netaji Nagar, admits that an error has crept in somewhere in the system.

"Initially, there wasn't any problem with the enrolment process, but somehow, for fresh applications, wrong addresses are getting captured. In many cases, Regent Park police station area has been captured as Circus Avenue, Bansdroni police station area has become Budge Budge. I have stopped fresh enrolments for now," Gupta said.

Incorrect addresses, however, is not the only problem the UIDAI is faced with. Technical glitches have ensured that family members living under the same roof have been issued Aadhaar numbers with different addresses.

A senior IT sector employee from Netaji Nagar had applied for Aadhaar along with her husband and son in the first week of April.

"Our addresses were, obviously, the same. But I didn't receive my Aadhaar card while they got theirs. On enquiring, I was told that my card had been successfully generated. I checked online to find that I have been established as a Circus Avenue resident. I made a formal complaint with the UIDAI complaint cell. They wrote back saying while I could start using my Aadhaar number, I would need to re-apply to get my address changed."

Debasish Mukherjee said, "I need to travel a lot for work. I don't know how I will find the time to re-apply."

Arundhaty Ghosh, chief postmaster general (West Bengal Circle), said, "We have taken up the address mismatch issue with the UIDAI authorities in Kolkata. Several post offices have also been affected by this issue. The matter is being addressed with utmost urgency."

Ghosh said a postal mismatch can take place for new districts or if post offices are freshly mapped to certain addresses.

An UIDAI spokesperson said, "The Kolkata postal department has informed us about the issue. We have initiated corrective steps to tackle it. Fresh codes have been shared with the postal department. We hope the issue will be resolved soon."

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