The Aadhaar applicants in Gangtok with their extraordinarily long queues in the Aadhaar enrolment centres are a common sight these days. People in Gangtok are seen making such a rush in the Aadhaar enrolment centre at DESME office at Sokeythang, near Tadong for quite several months now.
It has been more than eight years now that after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) started issuing Aadhaar through DESME in the State, the Sikkim people are rushing to the Aadhaar enrolment centre for either getting their copy of Aadhaar or correction of their certificates. Before this, people could avail the Aadhaar enrolment and other services close to their homes in the nearby private stands, but the new address of the Aadhar office at Sokeythang has added much to the woes of the applicants.
The worst part is that not only the people in the town areas but people from the far remote villages too are made to come to the same enrolment centre and then find an inadequate manpower to serve them with suitable services and assistance in their respective needs. Even after such long queues and harassments, the applicants are not sure as to whether their applications are under process or not. In fact, after spending a whole day at the centre their work remains half done only. On the first day of their visit, they would only receive the forms and then submit these after filling these up. They would then be provided with a next appointment date which is scheduled for new enrolment and corrections if any.
One of the Aadhaar applicants from Yangang village of South Sikkim expresses his experience in this way, “I am waiting here since the morning but do not know when my turn will come as the queue is long.”
Another applicant is a student who had to skip his classes for being to the centre. He says, “I was aware of the Aadhaar facilities being extended in the post offices and banks too but there too dates have been booked till the end of this year. The system here though takes time is convenient as the officials engaged do avail us with a date for taking photo and biometrics but the exact time of carrying out the process is not mentioned due to which the whole day is wasted.”
However, there are relaxations for the applicants but for that one has to be a senior citizen only.