All passport offices to go online soon

CHENNAI, JULY 20. All passport offices in the country would have online connectivity soon, the Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Ajit Kumar Panja, said today.

Inaugurating the web site of the Regional Passport office, Chennai, Mr. Panja said 20 offices had already been computerised besides the three offices, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai, which had online connectivity now.

Also, efforts were being taken to link 30 embassies with the passport offices so that Indians abroad could obtain a fresh passport in case of loss. Renewal of passport too could be done online by Indians abroad. In the long term, the efforts would be directed at allowing for downloading of passport from the net, he said.

The chief passport officer, Mr. S.R. Tayal, said the passport office had embarked on a programme of hi-tech connectivity.

The Chennai office site (passport.tn.nic.in and www.tn.nic.in/passport) provided for application status enquiry. There is no need for applicants to go to passport office for routine enquiry.

The status would be updated on a weekly basis for the time being. Later, it could be updated daily. To provide for secrecy in accessing the status of the application, the information seeker would have to fill in the application number and the date of birth.

The site would not only provide details of deficiency, if any, in the application, but also details of how to complete the formalities and overcome the problem causing delay in the issue of passport.

The regional passport officer, Mr. V. Mahalingam, thanked the National Informatics Centre for its work on building the web site.

The Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Ajit Kumar Panja, inaugurating the website of the Regional Passport office at Rajaji Bhavan, in Chennai on Thursday.