The black-and-white laminated voter identity cards synonymous with poll reforms in India - will soon be a thing of the past in Haryana as the state is set to follow in the footsteps of Uttar Pradesh and issue hard-plastic Elector Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) with colour photograph of the elector.
Based on the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI),the state government is likely to launch the project from August with the state governments Information Technology wing HARTRON being assigned the duty to issue the EPIC to the people from their respective district headquarters. Till date the EPICs for Haryana were being made from Chandigarh.
HARTRON has already worked out the modalities for launching the project. The new EPIC will be issued to the voter within seven days of applying. While the new ones will be issued free of cost,those who already have the paper EPICs will have to pay a nominal fee to get it converted into the new plastic card.
Orders for the machines to print the new EPICs will be placed soon as they are to be procured from Singapore,HARTRON officials said.
Haryana has 100 per cent coverage rate as far as issuing voter identity cards on the basis of electoral rolls is concerned. Last year,we issued over 10 lakh EPICs and on an average neary 22,000-25,000 cards are issued every month, Mukesh Bajaj,AGM,HARTRON,said.
After the publication of electoral rolls on January 15,Haryana has already issued about 80,000 voter ID cards.
While the new EPIC may not carry any hologram,like the existing ones,it will have an inbuilt security feature that could be seen only under ultraviolet rays. The new EPIC will carry all the personal details of the voter including his name,fathers name,photograph,sex and date of birth. It will also carry a unique number and the address of the voter.
The new plastic voter ID card will be similar to a driving license or a ATM card and can be carried in a wallet or card holder, a senior HATRON official said.
We have already completed the rounds of presentations and meetings with the concerned officials and final modalities for launching the project are being worked out. The new printers will arrive in about six weeks time. After that we will take about a week or so to initiate the printing process,Bajaj said.