With the demand for passports expected to reach one crore next year, the government is planning to take up a project to link Passport Seva Portal to district police headquarters.

Officials of the Ministry of External Affairs said the Central Passport Organisation under the Ministry issued 55 lakh passports in 2009, and the annual growth is expected to be 18 per cent to reach one crore by 2011.

“The growing profile of India in the recent past has created a situation where we are anticipating a larger number of applicants for passports,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters here on Saturday. “We are linking Passport Seva Portal to district police headquarters so that reports are received expeditiously,” he said.

As many as 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) are proposed to be opened across the country in the next eight to ten months, Mr. Krishna said after opening a PSK here.

He said in this regard a data centre and a network operation centre had been opened in Delhi and a disaster recovery centre in Chennai.

Mr. Krishna said a pilot scheme to link Passport Seva Portal to district police headquarters would be launched soon. Trial runs have been “very successful” as per initial estimation.

Acknowledging that getting police clearance for passport is a “time-consuming” affair and an “onerous” responsibility, he, however, asserted that there would be no compromise on such security checks.