The center charges Rs 150 from all the applicants who visit to get an Aadhaar card issued. Meanwile, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) remains unaware of the illegal practice.
The center was established over two months ago and is run by Pravin Nikalje. “I am uneducated so I didn’t know that the card can be issued for free. I paid the center Rs 150 yesterday. When I asked them, they said that since I reside in Dadar, they were charging me Rs 150 for the card,” said Padma, 35.
Another woman had a similar story to narrate to iamin. Rajesh Verma, 40, who resides in the area, said, “A lot of people are aware that the center is running illegally. However, several others continue to get tricked by the main person of the center Pravin Nikalje.” He added, “As many as 30 people visit the center to get cards issued. So you can imagine how much money the man is making on a daily basis.”
When iamin confronted Pravin Nikalje, he said, “I charge Rs 150 for lamination purpose.”
Meanwhile, Anuj Kumar Pandey, assistant of UIADI’s regional office, Mumbai, he said, “No center can charge its applicants to issue Aadhaar cards. It is free of cost. Minimum of Rs 15 needs to be paid if the holder needs to change his/her address in the card. For that too, a receipt is given to the applicant. We will complain about this center to the higher authorities soon.”