The members of the Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee on Thursday was taken into police custody after they decided to protest the delay in issuing birth certificates to people who were forced to wait in a huge queue.
After a heated argument with officials from the sub registrar’s office, six women from the Congress Mahila Committee resorted to sitting in protest on the floor of the office only to be led away by the Fatorda police.
While speaking to the sub-registrar, the Congress Mahila president Pratima Coutinho said it was wrong on the part of the office staff to keep people including senior citizens waiting in a queue for hours.
“These are people who have children that need to be dropped and picked up from school. Will they wait the whole day to collect their birth certificates? This is unacceptable” she said.
Speaking to media the civil-cum-sub-registrar, Salcete Domingos Martins acknowledged that there was a shortage of staff to clear applications. “On a daily basis we receive 150 applications per day, sometimes there are over 200 applications. We have written letters to the government to increase the staff. At the moment, we have only four staff members and it is difficult to clear all applications quickly,” he said.
According to Martins, the office recently adopted a token system where about 70 tokens are issued to people daily. But very often due to staff shortage only 50 are cleared. The next day, in addition to the 70 daily tokens, 20 from the previous day also wait in the queue. Martins further said that following the Mahila Congress protest, he will inform the government about the staff requirements at the office.
Meanwhile a lady from Benaulim said, “I was waiting in the queue with the token and receipt to collect my child’s birth certificate. Thursday happened to be the fourth day that I am waiting in the line”.