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Floods hit NRC update process

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Aug 23 - Two waves of major floods have severely affected the NRC (National Register of Citizens) update work as the officers engaged in the process had to get involved in flood relief works. However, the officers involved in the process are confident that they would be able to meet the deadline of December 31 fixed by the Supreme Court to publish the draft of the NRC.

Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that as the process of verification of the documents is now on, senior officers posted in the districts including the deputy commissioners, circle officers, etc., have to be involved in the process. But all such officers are now involved in flood relief works, which slowed down the process. It may be mentioned here that the State so far faced two waves of floods this year starting from March 31. Because of the severity of the floods, almost all the district-level officers including the deputy commissioners had to devote their time and energy in relief and rescue operations. Under the circumstances, the officers had very little time for the verification of the documents for NRC update.

However, sources said that the process of verification of the documents will be expedited now as the flood situation is gradually improving and �we are confident of meeting the deadline set by the Supreme Court for publishing the draft of the NRC.�

On the progress of verification of the documents, sources revealed that around six crore documents had to be verified and so far around 95 per cent of the work is completed. Though the response from the other states improved considerably after a directive from the Government of India, till now, the office of the NRC coordinator is yet to receive a good number of verification reports. Sources disclosed that around 4.55 lakh documents were sent to different states for verification and reports of only around 1.09 lakh of it have been received so far. �We hope that after the directive from the Government of India, the concerned states will expedite the process,� sources said.

After the completion of the process of verification of the documents, the family linkages and family tree linkages will be carried out before publishing the draft of the NRC.

On the issue of problems faced by the office of the State coordinator for NRC update works, sources said that the issues have been largely streamlined and the Government of India has so far sanctioned Rs 905 crore. �We have requested the government to provide some additional funds and we hope to receive the money soon,� sources added.

On the reports that the data entry operators were not getting salaries regularly, sources said that the NRC coordinator�s office outsourced the job and the Wipro was given the task of data entry. It is up to the Wipro and the data entry operators engaged by them to decide the salary structure and the payments. The NRC coordinator�s office has nothing to do with it. At the peak time of the job, around 7,500 data entry operators were engaged but the number has been reduced to almost half now.

Sources also said that as the process of NRC update is coming to its closing stages, the possibility of certain sections trying to stall the process or at least delaying it by creating some controversy or other cannot be ruled out. However, as the Supreme Court is closely monitoring the process, it would not be possible for any unscrupulous person to stall the process, sources asserted.

So far, more than 220 FIRs have been filed against persons who submitted false or forged documents to get their names included in the NRC. The actual number of such persons will be much more as in most such cases, several names were included in each FIR, sources added and revealed that the police has been directed to take appropriate action against such persons as per law.

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Floods hit NRC update process

GUWAHATI, Aug 23 - Two waves of major floods have severely affected the NRC (National Register of Citizens) update work as the officers engaged in the process had to get involved in flood relief works. However, the officers involved in the process are confident that they would be able to meet the deadline of December 31 fixed by the Supreme Court to publish the draft of the NRC.

Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that as the process of verification of the documents is now on, senior officers posted in the districts including the deputy commissioners, circle officers, etc., have to be involved in the process. But all such officers are now involved in flood relief works, which slowed down the process. It may be mentioned here that the State so far faced two waves of floods this year starting from March 31. Because of the severity of the floods, almost all the district-level officers including the deputy commissioners had to devote their time and energy in relief and rescue operations. Under the circumstances, the officers had very little time for the verification of the documents for NRC update.

However, sources said that the process of verification of the documents will be expedited now as the flood situation is gradually improving and �we are confident of meeting the deadline set by the Supreme Court for publishing the draft of the NRC.�

On the progress of verification of the documents, sources revealed that around six crore documents had to be verified and so far around 95 per cent of the work is completed. Though the response from the other states improved considerably after a directive from the Government of India, till now, the office of the NRC coordinator is yet to receive a good number of verification reports. Sources disclosed that around 4.55 lakh documents were sent to different states for verification and reports of only around 1.09 lakh of it have been received so far. �We hope that after the directive from the Government of India, the concerned states will expedite the process,� sources said.

After the completion of the process of verification of the documents, the family linkages and family tree linkages will be carried out before publishing the draft of the NRC.

On the issue of problems faced by the office of the State coordinator for NRC update works, sources said that the issues have been largely streamlined and the Government of India has so far sanctioned Rs 905 crore. �We have requested the government to provide some additional funds and we hope to receive the money soon,� sources added.

On the reports that the data entry operators were not getting salaries regularly, sources said that the NRC coordinator�s office outsourced the job and the Wipro was given the task of data entry. It is up to the Wipro and the data entry operators engaged by them to decide the salary structure and the payments. The NRC coordinator�s office has nothing to do with it. At the peak time of the job, around 7,500 data entry operators were engaged but the number has been reduced to almost half now.

Sources also said that as the process of NRC update is coming to its closing stages, the possibility of certain sections trying to stall the process or at least delaying it by creating some controversy or other cannot be ruled out. However, as the Supreme Court is closely monitoring the process, it would not be possible for any unscrupulous person to stall the process, sources asserted.

So far, more than 220 FIRs have been filed against persons who submitted false or forged documents to get their names included in the NRC. The actual number of such persons will be much more as in most such cases, several names were included in each FIR, sources added and revealed that the police has been directed to take appropriate action against such persons as per law.

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