BENGALURU: The Regional Office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for South India, located in the heart of Bengaluru, is mulling over relocating to Tamil Nadu after its bitter struggle over getting a piece of land to set up a permanent office.
The regional office, which has been functioning out of Bengaluru for nearly 10 years, has been looking for five acres of land for the last three years but in vain, said sources. The UIDAI office is now situated in the South Wing of Khanija Bhavan on Race Course Road. A highly-placed source said, “UIDAI takes care of enrolments for Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and Lakshadweep. The average number of visitors ranges between 300 and 400 a day. Many also come from North Karnataka. We need a better space for our activities. Now, we pay a rent of Rs 8 lakh per month here,” he said.
The country has eight regional offices, while plans are on to set up state-wise centres. Tamil Nadu has come forward to offer land to UIDAI to set up a state-level office. “If they can offer us a larger plot of land, we are thinking of relocating there. We are looking at an area like Hosur, which is not far from Bengaluru,” the source said.
UIDAI not priority, need to wait for more time: Official
“We are okay even with three acres. We were trying at Yelahanka and now at KR Puram,” he added. Top UIDAI officials recently met the Chief Secretary and he asked them to inspect a piece of land at KR Puram. “Officials from UIDAI and other government departments reached the spot. But the tahsildar, who is a key person in such issues, did not turn up.
He later asked us to speak to the area MLA if we want land in that place,” the source said. Deputy Director General, UIDAI, RS Gopalan refused to comment. Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development, Rakesh Singh, said UIDAI officials should follow it up with the government. “Being in charge of urban development, their struggle for land comes as a shock to me,” he said.
A senior government official said land is scarce in Bengaluru and there are requests from countless departments. “UIDAI is not a high-profile department for us to give priority. They need to wait for some time,” he added. Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar and KR Puram MLA and Urban Development Minister Byrati Basavaraj were not reachable, despite repeated attempts.