To process more applications

“Online applicants need not wait for days together”

MADURAI: The Madurai Passport Office will accept increased number of applications for new passports following an overwhelming response from the people of southern districts.

“We will receive up to 400 applications every day for new passports under the normal scheme,” Tiruchi Passport Officer S. Balachandran said on Thursday.

The office, which was commissioned on December 17, has been getting up to 125 applications under the tatkal scheme.

“Rumours that the fee for issuing passports will go up after December 31 [2007] led to people swarming here in large numbers. But now that they have realised the fact the number of applications has come down to the normal level,” he said.

Opens early

The office gate would be opened at 6.30 a.m. so that the people coming from far off places need not wait outside, he said. “Touts have a free run, exploiting the people waiting outside for longer duration.”

Henceforth, those who had applied for appointment online need not wait for days together, he said. Till date, three police verification reports had been received (after commencement of the office). The office would become busier once the police reports start to come in large numbers, Madurai Passport Officer V. Sundararaman said.