POST TIME: 8 December, 2017 12:29:51 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 December, 2017 08:41:36 AM
Old NID cards to be blocked by June

Old NID cards to be blocked by June

The existing laminated NID cards will not be functional from June next year. They will be blocked after being replaced with Smart NID Cards. National Identity Registration Wing (NIDW) sources said all citizens would have to collect their Smart NID Cards by replacing the old laminated cards, which would be blocked in phases once smart card distribution is over. The step is being taken for security reasons, they added.

Dhaka residents yet to collect their Smart NID Cards will get a second chance to do so in the beginning of next year, said the sources.It has been found that many people are yet to collect their Smart NID Cards and showing reluctance in this regard. These people should remember that their laminated cards would be blocked eventually, according to NIDW officials.

“The Election Commission (EC) plans to block the existing laminated NID cards after replacing them with Smart NID Cards by June next year,” NIDW director general Brig. Gen. Mohammad Saidul Islam told The Independent recently.

“The existing cards don’t have any security features. Anybody can duplicate them easily for illegal purposes. But Smart NID cards have several layers of security features,” he said.

“We know that many Smart NID Cards have still remained undistributed in the capital and elsewhere. Moreover, the cards of many citizens have not been printed yet due to various reasons. For example, the names of some persons are so big that they don’t fit in the Smart Cards,” he explained.

“We've issued letters to field-level offices of the EC to rectify the existing problems so that citizens don’t face any problems in replacing their laminated smart cards,” he said.

“The digits of laminated NID cards are different from those of Smart NID Cards. Thus, the laminated cards would be blocked eventually,” he also said.

“Many Smart NID Cards are lying undistributed in the capital. People will get another chance to collect them from the distribution centres in the beginning of the next year. We hope that all citizens will collect their Smart NID Cards,” he added.

Saidul Islam also said that citizens who have found errors in their Smart NID Cards will also get an opportunity to get them corrected.

About the distribution of Smart NID Cards, the NIDW chief said that they have started their distribution in 37 districts simultaneously to complete the job as soon as possible.

At present, the NIDW is printing Smart NID Cards under its own management because the World Bank (WB) has stopped financing the project and the French company Oberthur Technology, which had signed a contract with the EC in 2015 for preparing and distributing the cards, could not provide the nine crore such cards as per the deal.

The French company supplied 7.73 crore out of the targeted nine crore Smart NID Cards. For its failure to supply the rest of the cards in time, the company has already paid a compensation of Tk. 139.9 crore. “Earlier, the French company used to produce only 30,000–40,000 Smart NID Cards every day from 10 achines. But now, we've increased the production speed. We're producing around 1.5 lakh cards daily,” said Saidul Islam. He also said that they have been negotiating with the government to undertake the project.