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Getting certificates in home deaths taxing task for grieving kin in Hyderabad

Obtaining death certificates in cases of home deaths has become quite taxing for the kin of the deceased. They are often made to wait unendingly in order to go through the urgent and unavoidable processes for transfer of pensions and assets.

There is high pendency of death certificates pertaining to home deaths in the city reportedly due to the scam unearthed last year, when about 20,000-25,000 births/deaths, for which certificates had been issued, turned out be fake.

Following the scam, it is learnt that the staff/officials who are to certify the deaths have become extremely wary of fraud and are reportedly delaying the process. As per the norms, the home birth/death verification should be done within a week of the application through Mee Seva centres.

As of now, 1,684 applications for certification of home deaths have a pendency of more than the stipulated time. Also high is the pendency in case of corrections in the birth certificates already issued, at 694.

In total, 1,088 applications pertaining to births and 1,821 applications pertaining to deaths have not been processed for more than a week’s time.

GHMC Commissioner Ronald Rose recently held a meeting to address the issue, and a set of new guidelines for streamlining the process for birth and death certification is in the pipeline. When contacted, Mr. Rose admitted that while home births have been very few, high pendency has been noted in the issuance of certificates in cases of home deaths.

Part of the reason, according to sources, is that the Assistant Medical Officers of Health (AMOH), who are authorised registrars to certify births and deaths, are insufficient in number. While there are 30 circles in the city, there are only 17 AMOHs. This problem is being attempted to be resolved partly by allocating additional circles to the existing AMOHs and partly by authorising the Assistant Municipal Commissioners (AMC), who are the sub-registrars, to issue the certificates in localities where there is no AMOH.

But, AMCs are relatively inexperienced when it comes to the birth/death registrations and are being extra cautious in view of the recently unearthed scam, according to sources.

Officials, however, attributed the pendency first to the Assembly elections during which the sanitation staff, who were to conduct home verification, were posted as Booth Level Officers and later to Praja Palana programme in which they had to pay a key role.

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