Saturday, December 26, 2015

People new to city still prefer postal ID cards


Identity cards issued at post offices continue to be popular with people who have recently shifted to the city. On an average, post offices receive 4,000 applications for ID cards every month.

The cards are used to open bank and postal accounts, get LPG connections, ration cards and driving licences. However, residents demand that the cards used for address proof must be delivered soon. “Many people who migrated from north-eastern states apply for the cards. But, we do not provide cards to people who do not have proper accommodation. We ask for authorisation letter from house owners and our postal staff members also go on a verification drive,” said a postal official.

It is also an accepted ID proof to produce during train travel. Sources in the Transport department said they accept postal ID cards as an address proof document. But, the applicant also has to attach an affidavit as it is not listed as accepted document in the government procedure.

Efforts are on to have postal ID cards accepted as a valid document to get passports.

Since the launch of the service in 2008, nearly 3.5 lakh cards have been issued in Chennai city region. Customers need to pay Rs.270 to get ID cards and Rs.600 under tatkal system.

The card is valid for three years. While cards applied under tatkal process are delivered in a fortnight, customers complain that they have to wait for more than a month under the regular process.

A consumer activist said the service needs to be popularised in suburban areas. “The department must also introduce a system to alert customers about expiry of the validity period. The procedure to renew the card must be hassle free and done at a less cost,” he said. Officials said the cards are now delivered through registered posts.

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