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Saturday 02 August 2014
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Passport Seva Kendras to usher in all new system

Nandini Chandrashekar Bangalore:

Payment by cash only for new applicants

Be ready for changes if you are planning to apply for a passport, as the Regional Passport Office in Bangalore will stop accepting passport applications from May 21.

With the opening of two Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) in Bangalore, one on Lalbagh Road and another on Marathahalli Outer Ring Road, all applications will now be collected at these two centres. Even Bangalore One centres will stop accepting applications in two months time.

The new system will bring about changes like recording the biometrics and taking the applicant’s photograph at the centre. But it will translate into long travel timing and restricted timings to citizens used to going to the nearest Bangalore One centre to submit their applications. Bangalore One centres were collecting applications for fresh submissions, renewals and minors for the the last four years. Now the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is phasing them out as these centres will be unable to capture biometrics and the photograph of the applicant.

“Not true. It is a cheap contraption and we are already using biometrics at our centres to capture attendance for employees,” responded Secretary, e-Governance M N Vidyashankar.


He contends that the PSKs will definitely inconvenience the citizens, because they are open only five days a week and have set timings between 8.30 am to 4 pm.
Bangalore One centres on the other hand are open seven days a week and are open from 8 am to 8 pm, he added.

The Department of e-Governance is now pursuing the matter with the MEA to allow them continue offering services to the citizens.

“We are ready to install these systems at our own expense,” underlined Vidyashankar.
As of now, Bangalore One centres will be accepting fresh applications (including minors), but payments will have to be made only through Demand Drafts. Reissue and renewals will have to be submitted at the PSKs from Friday. Documents will no longer be forwarded to the Police Commissioner’s office directly from Bangalore One.

The travel time to these two PSKs is bound to inconvenience a lot of people, as the travel time itself is too great, with one centre in Marathahalli and the other at the heavily congested Lalbagh Road.

Changes galore

But these are not the only changes being brought about with the opening of the two PSKs. New applications have to be downloaded from their website or purchased from the PSKs or the Passport Office. The form is simplified and has only two pages. No photographs are required under the new system, as they will be taken at the centre. Online appointments and forms are available at www.passportindia.gov.in
The PSKs in Mangalore and Hubli will be open from May 24 and all the applicants have to be present in person at the time of submission of the form at any of the centres.

According to Passport Officer R Ravindra, even minors of any age will have to be brought to the centres for capturing fingerprints and photographs. He requested applicants to turn up half an hour earlier to collect tokens at the PSKs.

“There will be a lot of confusion in the coming week. We expect the situation to stabilise in 45 days,” he said.

-PSKs to start accepting applications for all services in Bangalore from May 21. Payment will be through cash only.

- Appointments can be made either by calling toll free at 1800 258 1800 or by logging on to www.passportindia.gov.in

- All applications have to be submitted with the new application forms.

- Passports to be processed within 3 days of the Passport Office receiving the police clearance certificate.

- Those who have applied for passports under the old system can continue tracking the status at www.rpobangalore.gov.in

- Bangalore centres are located at:
Prestige Libra, #45, Lalbagh Road, Near Urvashi Theatre and Sai Arcade, Survey No 56/P, Devarabisanahalli, Marathahalli Outer Ring Road (Opp Intel).

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