Kolkata: To get rid of touts and help citizens in its 144 wards across the city with hassle-free registration of births and deaths, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is all set to introduce an online system.
KMC senior officials initiated the move in December last after the then West Bengal Health Secretary Malay De wrote to Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed requesting to take proper steps for introduction of the online system from April 1.
Incidentally, De's letter reached Ahmed after a written request to take necessary steps for digitisation of birth and death records came to the Health Department from the Centre.
"Digitisation of records and offering the citizens an online application opportunity for registration of births and deaths will help in getting rid of touts," a senior official of KMC health department told PTI.
It must be mentioned here that several attempts to crack down on the touts failed due to alleged nexus between them and a section of KMC health department officials.
Talking more about the process, the official said the KMC health department had started its initiative a couple of years ago.
"It was always on the cards. The KMC health department had started linking the birth certificate counters in the borough offices with the central server at the headquarters a couple of years ago.
"Now, we need to a tie-up between city's hospitals and nursing homes so that these healthcare institutes stay connected with the KMC health department online and exchange data related to births and deaths whenever needed," the officer elaborated.
Asked whether the KMC was planning to scrap the age-old manual system of issuing birth and death certificates after introduction of the online registration process, the officer
said, "We are not thinking of doing away with the manual system of registration right now. Because, we need to keep in mind the plight of those who do not have online access... We will keep the old system functional at the moment."
"A major chunk of city's population live in the slums and they do not have access to the internet... So we believe it will not be a bright idea to force them to apply for birth or death certificates online," the official said.
But to include residents of slums and make online registration of births and deaths a success, opening of cyber kiosks in all major slums across the city was also on the plans of the civic board, he added.