Close to 1,175 Aadhaar cards were found strewn across a river bank of the Mulliyaru river near Thiruthuraipoondi in Thiruvarur district, most of which were given soon after the Unique Identification Authority of India began issuing the cards.
Speaking to TNM, Thiruvarur Tahsildar Rajan Babu said that there would have probably been about 2,000 cards, but villagers who rummaged through the pile and found their cards, took them.
“These are from the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, at a time when the cards were given to an agency and would then get delivered to people by post. What should have been delivered by post was dumped,” he says. Till 2015, Aadhaar cards were not online and people were required to have physical copies.
Rajan Babu says that they can’t assume if it was the post office that didn’t deliver, or the agency itself. The cards belonged to people from a few villages, including Sekal, Kattimedu and Aathirangam.
The village administration has filed a complaint with the police in the matter.
When asked how the people of the villages were availing the benefits of any scheme without receiving their Aadhaar card, the Tahsildar said that there were still using Enrollment ID number (EID) as they didn’t get their cards.
“Till they get the card, they use this number. But, it’s been two years since they actually got their Aadhaar cards. Because it wasn't delivered, it was dumped. It’s been revealed only now,” he said.
"If the cards were inside pasted covers with the postal seal we could have come to the conclusion that our staff were involved. However, in this case, all the cards were found without any cover. So, it is the revenue authorities who have to explain,” an official from the Trichy head post office told the Times of India.
Post office officials told Deccan Chronicle that a departmental inquiry had been initiated. According to the report, there is no clarity on when the cards were discarded — before or after delivery.