Agitations coupled with festival celebrations and international conferences in the last four months were the main factors contributing to the inordinate delay in completing police verification of passport applications, say officials.
First it was the Bonalu festival followed by the Assembly session, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, Telangana March, CoP-11 and now the Dasara festivities that kept the policemen busy with bandobust duties.
Officials say the Special Branch personnel, particularly in Telangana districts, were busy with the Telangana March, while their counterparts in other districts were engaged for Bonalu and Ganesh Chaturthi festivals’ security in the city as well as their own districts.
Rules stipulate that the Special Branch officials in the city and Cyberabad Police Commissionerates along with the offices in the district Superintendents of Police have to complete the verification within stipulated time of 21 days and forward them to the Regional Passport Office (RPO) here.
However, the policemen were taking more than the prescribed time for all these reasons.
Sources say that Vijayawada police was taking the maximum days to clear pendency cases followed by Nellore and Guntur Rural, and in some cases they were taking more than 100 days.
In districts like Hyderabad, Nalgonda and Kadapa, the police personnel were taking over two months, while Rajahmundry Urban and Ranga Reddy districts were taking about a month.
The flow of passport applications is obviously more in Hyderabad being the capital and there is more pressure on the police here.
“It’s a tricky situation for us as we have to deal with security-related issues on a continuous basis. This is certainly affecting the police verification of applications,” admits a senior official of Special Branch in the city.
8,500 passport applications
He says efforts were on to strengthen the mechanism by procuring additional infrastructure.
“We expect the problem to be resolved shortly,” he says, adding that close to 8,500 passport applications were pending with the police as of now.