They feud, people suffer

Dhaka South City Corporation has suspended issuing birth and death registration certificates for more than a month over a feud regarding the revenue generated from these activities, leaving citizens in utter distress.

The corporation has to spend Tk 100 to issue a certificate, but the fees paid by the people for the service go to the government exchequer, said DSCC officials.

The corporation has to bear all the expenses, including salaries and allowances for employees and printing costs.

“We bear all the expenses. For example, the printing cost of a birth or death certificate is Tk 40. We have to provide salaries and allowances to the people who do the work, but we don’t get the fees that people pay for the certificates. So, we have temporarily suspended the services,” said Mizanur Rahman, chief executive officer of DSCC. 

We have held several discussions with the LGD division over the issue. We will resume the services once the issue is sorted.

— Mizanur Rahman Chief executive officer of DSCC

“We have held several discussions with the LGD division over the issue. We will resume the services once the issue is sorted,” he added.

Meanwhile, thousands of citizens are left helpless as they are not getting the much-required documents.

Monju Ara Begum, a resident of Kamalapur, said she has been shuttling back and forth to the city corporation office for the past one month for her one-year-old son’s birth registration.

“I want to get my son’s passport done, and for that I need his birth certificate. But I was told by the corporation that the birth registration process is on hold for the time being on the orders of the mayor. No one knows when the services will resume,” she said.

Mehedi Hasan, a resident of Armanitola, said, “I need a birth certificate for my daughter’s school admission, but I didn’t get it. As I went to the city corporation’s office, they said due to server problems at the Birth and Death Registration office, they won’t give me the certificate.”

Birth certificates have been made mandatory for 19 citizens’ services, including admission to educational institutions, issuance of passports and national identity cards, and visa applications.

However, Dhaka North City Corporation is registering and providing birth and death certificates as before.

Contacted, Office of the Registrar of Birth and Death officials denied having problems with the server.

“There is only one server for the entire country. If the birth registration process is normal throughout the country, why will there be a problem in areas that are under DSCC’s jurisdiction? The server is perfectly fine,” Registrar General Rashedul Hasan told this newspaper yesterday.

“We don’t receive any fees. The entire fees for the birth and death certificates are directly deposited into the government fund,” he said.

A discussion, between DSCC and the local government department officials, was held last week in this regard. According to local government officials, the matter has been discussed, but no final decision has been taken yet.

In Bangladesh, the Birth Registration Act was enacted in 2004, but it came into effect in 2006.

When the server was changed in 2010, it was found that many certificates made before 2011 were not available. As a result, many people have to get new birth certificates for availing required services.

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