11 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras opened this year

The newly opened Post Office Passport Seva Kendra at Metagalli in Mysuru. PHOTO: M.A.SRIRAM   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

To ease the load on the five Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs), in Bengaluru (Lalbagh Road and Marathahalli), Hubballi, Mangaluru and Kalaburagi, the Regional Passport Office (RPO), Bengaluru, has opened 11 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs) in Karnataka earlier this year.

The new POPSKs were opened in February and March. The first POPSK was opened in Mysuru last January. The new POPSKs have been opened at Belagavi, Shivamogga, Ballari, Davangere, Udupi, Gadag, Raichur, Bidar, Tumakuru, Hassan and Vijayapura.

Regional Passport Officer Bharath Kumar Kuthati said at a press conference here on Wednesday that the response at the new POPSKs had been “tremendous.”

“We are releasing 50 appointments per day in the newly POPSKs and are planning to increase it to 75 per day soon as the waiting time for an appointment in some places, like in Belagavi, is 20 days,” he said.

Karnataka has the unique distinction of having a single RPO, unlike other States such as Maharashtra and Kerala. The new POPSKs mean that passport applicants can now apply at the closest option for them, he added.

Bengaluru RPO saw an 8.53% increase in applications in 2017-18 compared to the previous year (7.22 lakh versus 6.66 lakh the previous year).

For appointments at the Passport Back Office in Koramangala, a system that was introduced in August last year, the RPO is looking to expanding the window for taking appointments from the current days.

The Back Office deals with ‘complicated cases’ such as adoption. RPO officials also said they were trying to “decongest” the number of people coming in physically by sorting out simpler cases coming in via social media and the grievance handle at that level.

Despite simplification measures introduced by the Ministry of External Affairs for application of passport, Mr. Kuthati admitted that there was no mechanism to facilitate the online application procedures for those who are computer illiterate or do not know English.

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Printable version | Jul 19, 2021 2:10:39 PM |

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