Employees of Kochi Corporation will now be forced to think twice before they shirk work and stay away from office.

With the introduction of biometric attendance system from Wednesday, officers and staff will have to report for duty on time. The corporation had decided to introduce the system following public complaints regarding the absence of staff in the local body offices across the city.

According to mayor Tony Chammany, the corporation has come up with the new system after it noticed that many employees were absent even though they were marked present as per office records. City residents were unable to complete their transactions with the local body in a stipulated timeframe due to the absence of staff.

"With the introduction of biometric system, the staff will have to punch in and punch out at regular timings. As we have incorporated the impression of index fingers in this system, the employee will have to record his attendance in person," he said. Hinting at the civic body's earlier attempt to electronically record attendance, the mayor said that the corporation had lost faith in the system of swiping cards.

"That system failed because employees, who were not on duty, ensured that their cards were swiped by someone else. Moreover, there was stiff resistance from various unions," said Chammany.

The system has been put in place by Keltron by spending Rs 15.4 lakh. A unique number has been provided with the ID card. Field officers, including corporation secretary, will have to punch in and punch out each time they enter and leave the office. The system will also function as a movement register. The ID number is mapped to the finger print and as the e-governance system comes into force these data will be linked to employee's profile...