“No need to surrender existing passports to get the new ones”
Three hundred and eight passports, with additional security features, were dispatched on Thursday, marking the launch of a new variant of passport.
C. Senthil Pandian, Regional Passport Office (RPO), Chennai, said that since Wednesday morning, officials in the Chennai RPO were coordinating with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials in New Delhi and Tata Consultancy Services professionals to make changes in the software and alignment procedures to synchronise the printers at the RPO office, Chennai.
Mr. Pandian said that only six new passports could be printed on Wednesday as only one printer at the Chennai RPO got synchronised with the MEA office, New Delhi. On Thursday, three more printers were synchronised with the MEA, which facilitated the printing and dispatch of 380 passports. Two more printers had to be synchronised.
Mr Pandian said that if all the six printers got synchronised, the RPO Chennai would be able to print and dispatch 1,800 passports a day.
New security features
Personal particulars of the passport holder, hitherto printed on the inner cover page, would be printed on the second page of the document. This had been done to prevent criminals from producing fake passports. Under the existing method, there is scope for smudging when the lamination is done.
Another added security feature in the new type of passport is the ghost picture of the holder, which will be found on the right side of the second page.
Similarly, the details of the holder, now printed on the last page, would be taken to page 35. The signature and seal of the passport issuing authority would be printed on front overleaf page instead of page one.
There is no need for the passport holders to surrender their existing passports and obtain fresh ones from the RPO Chennai office. Such passports are valid till their expiry date, Mr. Pandian added.