There is some good news for passport applicants in the Madurai region.

By the end of this year, a sophisticated passport issuance centre called as “Passport Seva Kendra” would be established in Madurai and Tirunelveli, said Passport Officer (Madurai Region) Jose K. Mathew here on Monday.

The project was expected to transform the passport service delivery system easy and reduce the time to deliver a passport to three working days from the receipt of police verification, he told The Hindu. Following an agreement signed between the officials of the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the kendras were coming up in as many as 77 locations across the country.

Apart from Madurai region, the kendras were coming up in Chennai and Tiruchi regions as well in Tamil Nadu.

The kendra, which was expected to come up on a sprawling 15,000 square feet area of building each in Madurai and Tirunelveli city, would have state-of-the-art facilities for the visiting public and their companions. Computerised tokens would be issued to the applicants seeking fresh passports. “It will be a hi-tech office,” he summed up.

The front office operation would be handled by the TCS executives. The passport staff would be engaged in checking and verifying the documents furnished by the applicants. In the event of submission of all relevant papers, the application would be taken as approved on submission. On receipt of police verification (PV), the passport would be issued within three working days, Mr. Mathew said.

The authorities were also examining the modalities of getting police verification processed online as it would save time.

As and when the papers were sent for PV to the Superintendent of Police/Commissioner of Police, they could verify it from their data base and transfer it to the kendra for speedy issuance of passports.

Police officers in south zone had welcomed the proposal to establish two kendras as it would speed up issuance of passports. With a majority of the Superintendents of Police keen to furnish police verification online, the process of getting fresh passports was likely to become simple, they felt.

With encouragement from the State government to educate and train all police personnel in handling computers, getting a passport should no longer be an ordeal as experienced by many applicants, they added.

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