— Dawn
— Dawn

FAISALABAD: The e-Khidmat Markaz has failed to deliver as people, especially students, have to wait for hours daily to get documents such as domicile, marriage, birth and character certificates.

No special arrangements have been made at the centre during admissions to educational institutions for which domicile is mandatory and hundreds of students have applied.

During a visit on Friday, it was observed that dozens of men/boys had been waiting outside the centre’s main building as the entry gates were locked. People from all walks of life from the city and even far-flung areas visit the centre daily and wait for hours to get the desired documents, thanks to the insufficient staff for the influx of visitors.

The Punjab government had launched the centre in Faisalabad about two years ago.

Nasir, who was waiting to receive the domicile, said he had to wait for three hours when he applied for the domicile a couple of days ago. And today (Friday) he had been again asked to wait outside the building to collect the document. He said applying for and receiving the domicile was a cumbersome job.

People claimed that the staff was not providing them forms and forcing the visitors to go to the district courts to get these and stamp papers.

Ali, who applied for his domicile, told Dawn that he had to wait for more than five hours to apply for the domicile. He said instead of facilitating the visitors, the centre staff made them a rolling stone between the bank and other departments.

“I had obtained challan form e-Khidmat Markaz and then had to rush to the National Bank of Pakistan to deposit Rs200 fee. I had waited for more than two hours to deposit fee with the bank which is away from the centre and on Friday, I had to wait a lot to deposit my documents,” he said.

The federal government has introduced an effective system at the executive branches of the passport and Nadra where the applicants submit fee and documents under one roof.

Akram Ali, who wishes to apply for a computer science degree in a state-run university, said on Friday he had been denied entry by the centre staff who said first women would be served and after 12 noon men would be allowed to enter.

He said the centre staff had locked the main gates leaving men on the road where there was no shed, chair or water. Ali claimed that he saw some people managing to enter the centre using their influence.

A district administration official told Dawn that due to load of the masses, the applicants had to wait. “We are trying our level best to serve the public. The staff at the centre issues computerised slips to the applicants and it’s not possible to favour anyone,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2019