Friday, March 18, 2016

Migrants drive demand for postal ID cards

CHENNAI, March 17, 2016 

Every day, staff members at the Anna Nagar post office handle queries from workers from other States, who wait to get applications for a postal identity card. Migrant workers submit nearly 50 per cent of the applications that the post offices receive for these postal ID cards.

The postal ID card is the most preferred photo identity proof for many who do not have any other documents. However, some of the migrant workers continue to have problems in getting the cards as they are unable to produce the relevant documents while applying for them.

When V. Rakesh, who works at a hotel in Kilpauk, applied for a postal card, he had to produce a letter from his house owner to get one. Moreover, his application was rejected as he was staying in the accommodation provided above the hotel.

On an average, post offices in the city receive about 4,000 applications for ID cards every month. Officials of the postal department said students and people who shifted to the city to work in hotels and shops as well as construction workers opt for postal ID cards as a basic document to get any other address proof. Many Chennai Metro Rail Limited staff too prefer it.

Besides serving as a valid document to open bank accounts, it can be produced as proof during train travel and also to obtain services like LPG connections. However, some face difficulty in getting applications. They are required to furnish a letter from their house owner, but many landlords do not provide their address proof.

Officials of the postal department said rental agreement or rent receipt is also accepted as a document along with the application. “We have simplified the verification process to reduce rejection rate, but do not issue them to people who cannot read or write as it may be misused by others,” said an official.

Since the introduction of the service in 2008, nearly 3.7 lakh cards have been issued in the Chennai city region.

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