By Nisha Nambiar
After LPG subsidy and registration of flats got Aadhaar-linked, it is the turn of voter identity cards. Taking a cue from Andhra Pradesh, voter identity cards in Maharashtra will be linked with Aadhaar numbers under the Election Commission’s National Electoral Rolls Purification and Authentication Programme that was launched on March 3. It will be on till July 30.
Pune district has 70 lakh voters and Electoral Photo Identity Card (with a coverage around 91 per cent). The programme will link EPIC cards with Aadhaar card as well as voter data and urge voters to submit details under a special form that asks EPIC number as well as Aadhaar number that needs to be submitted.
“The special drive will focus on collection of details of Aadhaar card, voluntary disclosure of duplication of names, improvement of image quality in the electoral roll as well as giving mobile number and email addresses,” said district collector Saurabh Rao.
Rao said he would discuss the issue with all political parties and initiate a special drive on April 12 as well as some Sundays till July and plan it in tandem with electoral officers. Linking Aadhaar number with EPIC database will be done as per methodology indicated in separate instructions being issued by the IT division of the Commission.
The ECI, under this special drive, wants to have a clean electoral roll and in spite of completion of summary revision it had come to notice that there were errors and the drive has to see that the electoral roll should be without any defects, errors or multiple entries.
Feeding of Aadhaar number in EPIC database will be done through a National Voters Service Portal using web services through Election Commission website, or through an SMS to 51969 or by email or by a mobile App (though the App is still being developed).
The process can be initiated by calling at 1950, toll-free number, or by submitting Aadhaar number and EPIC number in a duly filled format along with a photocopy of EPIC and Aadhaar card. The district administration will be initiating BLOs for the drive who will collect the data while Electoral Registration Offices too will collect the same through voters facilitation centres, e-seva centres and citizen service centres authorised by the Deputy Election Officer.
Presently, Aadhaar card coverage is 77 per cent and the district aims to increase coverage by covering more people with available machines at CFCs, said collector Rao.
For the special drive, the ERO will ensure that an updated copy of the electoral rolls is available at each polling station and all such places where special camps are being organised.
The programme is aimed at achieving 100 per cent coverage by July as per ECI guidelines. while the Commission has asked the CEO to monitor the programme closely while taking stock of the situation, the target achieved and the review of the remaining work.
district is 77 per cent, with Haveli registering highest 98.64 per cent coverage. At 64 per cent, Velhe has the lowest coverage.
The district will undertake special drives for the age group of 0-6 years in the district. At present, there are 84 machines and Collector Saurabh Rao has instructed that they should be put to maximum use as they have also got 165 trained people from the IT department to ensure a better coverage.