New Delhi: In a bid to improve the quality of voter ID cards, the Election Commission has decided to introduce PAN card-like electors photo-identity cards which will have a colour photo and will be tamper-proof.
A proposal that this be taken up as a pilot project in the Uttar Pradesh capital and in Ghaziabad, adjoining the national capital, has been sent to the EC by the chief electoral office in the state.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Umesh Sinha informed that the new ID cards will be issued at a nominal fee, and added that all newly-enrolled voters will have new ID cards issued one the electoral rolls are revised.
The new cards will be printed on a PVC sheet and will be re-sized to 8.6 cm vertical and 5.4 cm horizontal with lamination coating. The existing cards have poor quality photographs and other flaws, making identification of the ‘real’ voter a problem, Sinha said.
The idea is to move to “standardised modern IDs that are sleek and trendy, he added.
During the pilot phase, no chip would be inserted, but the poll panel does not rule out such appendages and biometrics in the future. The state commission is also trying to issue cards ‘then and there’ from Citizen Service Centres (Jan Suvidha Kendras).
The idea is to cut the long waiting time from the time of application to the delivery of the card, Sinha said. This will be done in phases – first at the tehsil (sub-district) and then by creating voter registration centres at the block, kasba and district levels. Hopefully soon, a person could walk into a service centre, give either a passport, driving licence, PAN card or the official ID card issued by an employer and get a voter ID card pronto.
Initially, Sinha said, an ID from public sector undertakings or the like would be considered for the snap card service. Other initiatives are already under way.
In its bid to identify and connect more polling booths, 75,000 polling booths have already been mapped through the geo-information systems (GIS) that would enable voters to locate their booths on the net. The remaining 130,000 polling booths would be covered before the next Lok Sabha elections, scheduled in 2014, Sinha said.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, has 127.3 million registered voters, a figure that is estimated to go up to 130 million by 2014.