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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Steps afoot to speed up issue of passports

We will ask the police to send us information online, says Passport Officer

Though it has been more than five months since the inauguration of Passport Seva Kendra (PSK), passport applicants are yet to derive the full benefits of the project. Lack of connectivity between the PSK and the police offices in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts is resulting in undue delay in the issue of new passports.

“We will ask the Special Branch police to send us the information online to reduce delay,” Passport Officer V.S.D.L. Surendra told The Hindu when the issue was brought to his notice on Tuesday. “About 60 per cent of the applicants are from East Godavari and West Godavari districts and Rajahmundry urban. Software has already been installed at these places for transmission of details online and we have told them that manual reports will no longer be accepted at the PSK after January 27. The other police offices are also expected to go online in the next few weeks,” he said. “Of the remaining 40 per cent applicants, 15 per cent are from Visakhapatnam city and rural areas and 25 per cent are from the Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. The Visakhapatnam city Police Commissionerate is said to be in the process of acquiring new systems and other SP offices are also expected to acquire the same in the next few weeks.” Meanwhile, it's learnt that the police are not keen on the online project due to manpower shortage. They are also sore that the PSK authorities, who are said to have initially promised to provide the computers, have put the onus on the police department.

TatkalThe city police are issuing Police Clearance Certificates (PCCs) for issue of passports under ‘Tatkal' only on emergency grounds like employment and health. This decision has been taken to restrict applicants who were going for Tatkal even when there was no emergency.

Applicants can register their details and generate Application Reference Number (ARN) online at any time. Submission of application online and booking of slots can only be done at 7.30 p.m. everyday. A total of 540 tokens will be issued for each day and slots can be taken for the next 15 days.

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