Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mobile users face Epic problem

HUBLI: Election Photo Identity Card (Epic) is supposed to be one the authentic documents to prove one's identity. But with the government's fresh directive to mobile service providers, several mobile users who had obtained mobile connection by furnishing their EPIC are facing the threat of disconnection.

"If your face is not clearly visible in the EPIC photo, then we cannot accept it as an authenticate ID proof" is what mobile service providers have been telling mobile users who are rushing to mobile service outlets in the city and elsewhere after their mobile screens flashed an emergency SMS.

V Savita, a homemaker in Vidyanagar here, had obtained Idea connection by furnishing a photo copy of her election ID card two years ago. She was shocked after receiving the text message a few days ago __ "Document submitted for this number does not comply with revised Govt directive. Pls submit valid docs before 31st Dec to avoid disconnection".

When panic-stricken Savita rushed to an Idea outlet with her election ID and a photocopy of the same, the staff told her that her face is not properly identified in the card, and "hence it was rejected during verification".

Savita, who does not have DL or other documents to prove her identity, is now under the fear of disconnection.

Another customer, Basavaraj Hiremat, a farmer in Sulla village, is also equally disturbed. After having his photo ID card rejected for the same reason by Airtel, he has been cursing the government agency for its negligence in clicking photographs in poor light. He says many in his village are facing the same problem.

A private mobile service dealer, on condition of anonymity, said they are left with no choice but to reject the voter ID proofs of several consumers because of mismatch or lack of clarity in photos. "Most of the ID cards that are not being accepted are either old or mismatch. The benefit of doubt goes against the mobile user as we have to send the data to the authorities every month. We have to face music for any fault. So we are strict about it," he added.

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