Getting a birth certificate from the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) is a nightmare for many parents, as the authority has still not completely computerised the process.
According to a CDA ordinance, after the birth of a child, parents must get a birth certificate from the authority within 30 days. This is easier said than done.
Official source told The Express Tribune that around 70 to 80 applications are submitted every day for the registration of births, but due to the manual system employed and the unavailability of staff, applicants face many problems.
The office has a single computer and only two staffers to handle the long queue of applicants for birth or death certificates.
People in the queues expressed their anger at the delays in getting these documents. “For two weeks, I have come here daily, but I have still not gotten my daughter’s birth certificate because of their long procedure,” said Majid Hussain of Bhara Kahu.
Others in the line complained about the need for one window or computerised systems, as applicants must go to multiple government offices to collect documents and stamp paper to complete the application.
“Facilitating the public is clearly not their priority,” said Aneesa, a new mother in the queue. She said she has to go abroad but cannot until the birth certificate is issued.
CDA Spokesperson Ramzan Sajid denied that the process was unnecessarily lengthy; however he admitted that the system needs upgrading, added that they had already signed agreements with NADRA and PLAN, an NGO.
National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Deputy Chairperson Tariq Malik said that they were trying to convince the CDA to get Child Registration Management System (CRMS) software for many months, which finally culminated in the February 10 agreement between CDA, NADRA and PLAN.
“Our staff will provide CDA with the software and training on how to operate it,” he added.
The project will be financed by PLAN. Project Director Iffat Jamil said that the NGO will launch a Universal Birth Registration campaign in the first phase of the project.
“We will start the campaign next month after setting up computers in their offices, after which it would be the CDA’s responsibility to maintain the system,” she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2012.