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Thursday, February 25, 2021

The toil and tears to get Chandigarh Mayor’s routine signature

A woman in Chandigarh has been coming to Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma'a office for the past five days to receive his signature on her daughter’s Aadhar enrolment form but to no avail.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 29, 2021 10:14:29 am
Chandigarh, Chandigarh mayor's officeRajwati and her children wait outside the Mayor’s office in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Express Photo

On a chilly winter morning, Rajwati, a widow in her 60s, sits with her children, a form in hand. Cowering behind a pillar as a cold gust ruffles her shawl, the elderly lady waits anxiously. It’s something she has been doing for days now—all to get the Mayor’s signature on her daughter’s Aadhar enrolment form.

For the last five days, barring the Republic day, Rajwati reaches the mayor’s office at 10 in the morning, and leaves around 2 in the noon without getting the elusive signatures.

This Thursday too, she waited in vain even though the Mayor was in his office. But he had other things to do, like attending to his guests which left him with no time to spare to sign on a paper. And then, as soon as the clock struck 1, he left for lunch, leaving Rajwati again in the lurch.

“A councillor’s signature is needed on the Aadhar enrollment form. But when we went to the councillor Farmila, she said that she is busy and the Mayor can also sign. Since then, I have been coming here everyday, but haven’t been successful in getting this form attested,” says Rajwati.

Officials at the Aadhar department (UIDAI) said that a councillor or a Mayor (who is also a councillor) or any Group A officer may sign the Aadhar enrolment form. The signature is required by the applicants who do not have all the documents needed to apply for an Aadhar card.

Finding it difficult to get local councillor Farmila’s signature, Rajwati has been coming to the Mayor’s office in Sector 17 from Dadumajra here, traveling by autorickshaw.

Even on Thursday, as Rajwati kept asking the Mayor’s staff about when will she be able to meet the Mayor, the security officer at the office told that “some guests from the UT Administration have come for a meeting and everyone has been asked to wait outside”.

The officials from the UT Administration left the Mayor’s office at 1.30 pm, when some party workers went in. An attendant kept taking cups of tea, accompanied by snacks, inside the office, as the meeting went on for long. Rajwati’s hope withered as, eventually, Mayor Sharma left his office— chit-chatting with some men, turning a blind eye towards the visitors, including Rajwati and her children who had been sitting there for long.

On being contacted, Chandigarh Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma said, “Today, I had an important meeting with the Architect office of the UT. It was regarding the community centres and street vendors. Proper coordination was required.”

As Sharma was told that a woman has been visiting his office for days, waiting to meet him for a signature, he said, “How come? My PA has been regularly getting people’s Aadhar enrolment forms and I sign them. I have done it for people in councillor Heera Negi’s ward too, as she is unwell.”

Moments after the Mayor was elected, the staff at his office were directed to function as ‘an open darbar for people’, so anyone may approach the Mayor with their problems. However, within the passing of a few days, the initial orders seem to lack effect.

Area councillor Farmila was also contacted by The Indian Express. She said, “I really do not know about Rajwati’s form. I get about 15 forms in a day and I sign them. You can please convey to her to come to my office in the evening and I will attest it.”

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