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Updated: April 24, 2013 11:13 IST

Regional Passport Office cuts red tape further

Staff Reporter
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The Hindu

Many people-friendly measures for some categories of applicants

After introducing the walk-in facility at the Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) for certain categories who have obtained their Application Reference Number (ARN) after online submission of applications earlier this year, the Regional Passport Office (RPO), Bangalore has announced yet another applicant-friendly measure. Some of them can now go to the nearest BangaloreOne/KarnatakaOne centre to submit their application online and obtain the ARN. (See graphic for those eligible.)

Announcing this at a press conference here on Tuesday, acting Regional Passport Officer L. Madan Kumar said this would benefit those who are not net savvy to fill the online application, persons with disabilities, senior citizens and minors, among others.

No agents

“Through this, we will be eliminating the agents who charge at least Rs.1,000 for the procedure. Citizens in these categories can now walk into a BangaloreOne centre and get their ARN for Rs.25,” he said.

After visiting the BangaloreOne/KarnatakaOne Centres to submit their applications, the applicants can walk in to the PSKs to submit their documents for issue of passports.

The RPO is tying up with the State’s Department of eGovernance to implement the new facility. “We give anywhere between 1,500 to 1,700 appointments at the PSKs in Bangalore every day and close to 40 per cent of this is through walk-ins,” Mr. Kumar said, adding that close to 2,000 passports are issued every day. While those applying through Tatkal receive their passports within three days, the other applicants are given theirs within a month.

Asked if the new service would facilitate either a reduction in the duration of issue of passports or an increase in the number of passports issued, Mr. Kumar said it was too early to tell.

Live streaming

Another measure that the RPO is looking to introduce within the next 10 days is that of streamlining CCTV footage from all PSKs so that the Regional Passport Officer can watch the footage.

“This is aimed at curbing complaints of misuse of power by certain officials,” Mr. Kumar said. While each PSK has around 15 CCTVs, the back office has 30. There is a proposal to extend this to all the 77 PSKs in the country, he added.

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