Document will be replaced with a plastic card embedded with an electronic chip

Work on the much-awaited e-passport project aimed at checking the problem of fake passports and to ensure higher security to the data of passport holders is making swift progress and is awaiting security clearance from the Union Government, Chief Passport Officer Muktesh K. Pardeshi has said.

Tamper-proof

Once implemented, the face of passport would undergo drastic changes with the first and foremost change being replacement of the passport document with a plastic card embedded with an electronic chip. It will also help avoid people carrying multiple documents in case they are frequent travellers to other countries.

Under the project, an electronic chip containing all the details of a passport holder would be embedded in the card. “Tampering with the details of a genuine passport holder will become very difficult in the e-passport system”, Mr. Pardeshi said.

The process of filing tenders for the e-passport project was completed with six bidders filing their quotations. However, selection of a successful bidder would take time as all the bidders were foreign companies and they required security clearance from the government, Mr. Pardeshi said while addressing a press conference after inspecting the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) at Ameerpet here on Thursday.

Pre-payment system

They would introduce pre-payment system by this year-end for booking of appointment slots as about 25 to 30 per cent of such slot bookings were being wasted by the applicants due to various reasons.

The pendency of passport applications in the State had come down to 20,000 as on November 14 from 70,000 in August this year, RPO K. Srikar Reddy stated on the occasion. The pendency would be cleared completely in the next few weeks. They were providing walk-in facility for a month from November 20 for re-issue of passports on trial basis, Mr. Srikar Reddy said. He stated that work on re-modelling the building provided by the civic body for mini-PSK at Karimnagar was in progress with Rs. 18 lakh and the site for Bhimamvaram mini-PSK was finalised.