Madurai

Beware of fake websites: RPO

MADURAI

Cautioning user public of fake websites, the Regional Passport Officer T Arun Prasad has appealed to them to check and use the government website for appointments and issuance of passports and related issues.

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, he said that though there were no complaints or any cases of gullible persons being deceived in the Madurai region, the officers in the passport office had taken the pro-active step to create awareness among the people to be guarded as they should not be cheated by anonymous tricksters.

In the recent times, there are reports of fake websites inviting applications from the public for issuance of passports. As and when the issue was taken up with the authorities concerned, the sites were blocked, he clarified and urged the public to read the government website www.passportindia.gov.in thoroughly.

“The user friendly government website guides the applicant at every stage of filling up information and allocation of timing/appointment. Even in the case of any mistake, the staff at the counter ‘A’ in the Passport Seva Kendra would assist them in making changes...” he noted.

The applicants, he insisted, should be present at the PSKs at the appointed hour and there was no need for them to come early. The PSK in Madurai and Tirunelveli can accommodate about 70 persons at any given point of time.

He appealed to applicants, especially those above 18 years and up to 60 years, that they need not be accompanied by family members or attendants as it made the task cumbersome for the staff. The idea of the PSK is to decongest traffic. However, for elderly citizens and minors, the PSKs permitted a person to assist.

The Madurai region, which comprises Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari, has two PSKs (Madurai city and Tirunelveli) and eight PO-PSKs (Post Office Passport Seva Kendra). The objective of the Ministry of External Affairs is that no person should travel beyond 50 km for seeking a passport.

Attributing the speed of issuance of fresh passports to the applicants due to the technology and support from the PSK and officials at the passport office and swift verification by the police, Mr. Arun Prasad said that they were able to issue within six working days to the applicant.

“Till 2017, the passport officials took 18 working days and there was scope for further reduction in the time taken,” he added.

The highest number of applications was filed from Kanniyakumari district followed by Ramanathapuram in Madurai region, he said and till September 30, they had issued 1.90 lakh passports.

On an average, the Madurai RPO handled close to 1,200 applications through its PSKs and PO-PSKs. The RPO Madurai had issued 2.97 lakh passports last year and hoped to touch the same figure this year too, Mr. Arun Prasad added.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 3:38:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/beware-of-fake-websites-rpo/article29692465.ece

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