Administration: Hundreds gather at the Trashichhodzong every morning to process their citizenship identity cards (CID) or correct bio data. With the school vacation shortened, the crowd keeps growing. Some come as early as 8am.

They have come from all dzongkhags to avail faster services in the capital. They can get their cards printed within days.  In the dzongkhags they have to wait for months, many said. The cards are printed only in Thimphu.

Come June and the department hopes to cater to more people daily with an additional printer on the way.

There are only three printers currently. A printer takes two minutes and 40 seconds to print a card.

For the smooth functioning and convenience of service users the department has divided the dzongkhags and allocated them to three different offices, five dzongkhags at the Thimphu thromde office, another five in the Thimphu dzongkhag office and 10 at the civil registration and census office for those who reside in the capital.

To overcome space constraints, the civil registration and census  department (DCRC) office issues about 180 tokens to process CIDs a day.

DCRC officials attributed the unusual rush to rumours about delays in renewal resulting in penalties.

The department’s spokesperson, Dophu said, there is a rumour that one should get all the identity card related works done within the first three months of 2017 or they would be fined.

“Moreover, it’s vacation and there are more students who turned 15 and have come to print their ID cards,” Dophu said.  He said the department gives priority to students and teachers as their vacation is about to end.

“We’re also trying to help the elderly and sick people, those who are urgent with genuine reasons like going out for studies.”

A teacher in a Thimphu school, Tenzin Wangchuk who had come to renew his CID said: “It would greatly help the people if the department could at least announce in the news or issue a circular to clarify,” he said.

Kinley Wangmo and Sonam Wangdi, interns