Marri Ramu

HYDERABAD: You get little information at enquiry counter, too little justice at ‘Adalat’ counter!

That is the experience of a good number of people approaching the Regional Passport Office at Hyderabad seeking solutions to their passport problems. The details given in the passport office website about various procedures connected to issuance and renewal of passports are inadequate.

No books or pamphlets listing out detailed procedures are made available to general public. The only option is to ring up the passport office but the landline phones are either continuously engaged or do not respond at all. All this naturally forces the applicant to go to the passport office directly.

Ironically, there is no mechanism at the passport office too, to elucidate on the method of approach or procedural norms. People are simply asked to stand in the queue at the General Inquiry Counter and get their doubts cleared. “But the staff rarely gives clear answers and mostly compounds your problems by creating confusion,” Sravan of Trimulgherry says.

A non-resident Indian (NRI), Mr. Sravan went to the passport office to find out the reason for holding up his passport renewal. ‘You have an adverse report’ was the curt reply from the enquiry counter. But the RPO employee was not willing, for inexplicable reasons, to explain the contents of the report.

“Unless I know its contents, how do you I proceed to get the passport renewed?” asks Mr. Sravan. More confused and worried is M. Ravinder Reddy of Ramanthapur with his experience at the Adalat counter that is open only once in a week. He along with his wife had applied for passports a couple of months ago and complained to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) about the inordinate delay in issuing them.

The MEA officials responded by sending an e-mail. Carrying a hard copy of the e-mail, he approached the Adalat counter the other day only to be shocked by the reply from the staff. “This counter is for namesake. Do you believe everything we say is done correctly. You have to wait,” they reportedly said. Finally, he was told that the files pertaining to him and his wife were not ‘found’ and that the passports would be given as and when they are found.

The system of Public Relations Officer is of little help to people, Mr. Reddy charges. He had been running from one person to another at the passport office but no one is ready to even explain how to meet the higher-ups. Mr. Sravan, Mr. Reddy and scores of other passport applicants say they would not mind if the procedures take longer time.