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Mumbai: Digital drive delays city birth and death certificates

Updated on: 11 July,2024 06:40 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Citizens face prolonged wait times as technical issues hamper the new registration system, leaving many without the essential documents

Mumbai: Digital drive delays city birth and death certificates

For a month citizens have been facing issues. Representation pic

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Mumbai: Digital drive delays city birth and death certificates

A national-level digitisation drive for the registration of births and deaths led to delays for a few thousand applicants last month in Mumbai. There are technical issues, and BMC officials are unable to assure when the issue will be resolved as it is at the state and national levels.

Birth and death registrations are being done at the ward level by the BMC. There is an average of 1.40 lakh births and 92,000 deaths registered every year in Mumbai. For almost the past month, citizens have been facing issues getting birth or death certificates. “My father died on June 4. As my brother had to return to his home in Singapore, he tried to complete all the formalities before leaving. But despite a few rounds to the ward office, he was unable to get the certificate, and they didn’t even tell him the issue,” said Snehal Kulkarni, a resident of Borivli.

She added that after making several rounds, she was informed that there is a new system and it will take time. “Now, whenever we call, they just say it will take time. It has been more than a month. All the legal procedures require the certificate, and we couldn’t start them,” said Kulkarni. “There has been an issue for the past few weeks as the system is in slow mode, but we are trying to issue certificates,” said a health officer from the western suburbs.

At the heart of the problem is a new portal for birth registrations by the Registrar General & Census Commissioner. The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023, was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 1, 2023. The Act aims to establish a comprehensive database for births and deaths in India, improve the entire registration process, and provide digital birth certificates. Applications for registration of births/deaths are acceptable even after 30 days but should be within one year. The portal has been operational in Maharashtra since last month.

“There are login issues apart from other technical issues along with poor network connectivity. But as it has to be resolved at the state and national levels, we cannot say when it will be solved,” said Dr Daksha Shah, executive health officer of the BMC. The issue is also faced by doctors registering birth certificates. One of the doctors told mid-day that they had to fill up the forms physically and then upload them. But now the whole system is online, and the system is very slow, with issues of getting OTPs on registered mobiles.

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