Pandemic prevention work holds up issuance of sanitary certificates

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 20:49:09 

A number of institutions, including government-aided private schools, are facing difficulties in getting sanitary certificate from the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hostels, schools, colleges and child-care institutions in the aided and private sectors are waiting for weeks to get their sanitary certificates renewed.

They have alleged that officials have not acknowledged receipt of the applications submitted online.

An administrator of a government-aided school in the Tondiarpet zone, who had applied for the sanitary certificate online, complained that health officials were yet to issue it, though all norms for renewal had been complied with.

A similar issue was faced by a person who runs a child welfare home at Kilpauk. He rued that he was having to wait for more than two months after applying on the GCC portal. In the absence of the sanitary, fire safety and building certificates, the child welfare home faced the risk of being shut by the Social Defence Directorate.

A senior official of the GCC, however, said more than nine services, including renewal of sanitary certificates, trade licences and building plan approvals, had been computerised.

The aim of the system, launched in February, was to bring about more transparency and avoid human interface, he said.

The official said the delay could be because of health officials being involved in COVID-19 prevention work, and the problems would be sorted out in a month.

Those operating hostels, child-care centres and government-aided private schools urged the government to issue all mandatory certificates with validity for three years rather than one year.

While sanitary certificates are issued by the civic body, fire licences are issued by the Fire and Rescue Services and building licences by the Chennai Collector.

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