Bengaluru

Aadhaar services stopped, passport appointments cut by half

While the COVID-19 scare has kept most people at home, those who want to make use of the situation and get work such as updating of Aadhaar or passport services will have to wait.

Most Aadhaar seva kendras in the city have stopped providing services as they have to take biometrics of people for every service. On the other hand, appointments at passport seva kendras have been reduced by half effective Friday as a precautionary measure.

“We have reduced appointments by 50% effective today. Applicants themselves are also refraining as footfalls have reduced. There are also a lot of travel restrictions in place. As a result, we have halved the number of appointments in all seva kendras across the State. In Lalbagh, for example, instead of 1200 appointments, 600 will be given,” Regional Passport Officer, Bengaluru, Bharath Kumar Kuthati told The Hindu.

With the Ministry of External Affairs’ directive to reduce appointments coming in on Thursday evening, officials had to request applicants at the Lalbagh passport seva kendra on Friday to return home if they were suffering from symptoms or did not want the passport service as an emergency.

“We are also encouraging applicants to refrain. Normally, applicants are allowed to reschedule appointments up to three times. But as this is a special situation, we have lifted the cap,” Mr. Kuthati said, adding that these arrangements would continue until April 4.

At the seva kendras, applicants are being asked to sanitise their hands before entering the facility. Thermal screening is also expected to be deployed soon.

COVID precautions are announced at regular intervals and people are asked to maintain distance while waiting for their turn.

“The staff are also getting sanitised and common areas are also being frequently sanitised. At Koramangala, we’ve completely stopped receiving any applicants till March 31. The biometric equipment is also being sanitised after every applicant. We are taking all basic precautions and not leaving anything to chance,” the regional passport officer added.

Although the Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar had last week announced that biometrics would be stopped in Vidhana Soudha , that decision is yet to be taken.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 6:08:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/aadhaar-services-stopped-passport-appointments-cut-by-half/article31117606.ece

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