Department of Posts loses bundle of 36 passports

Department of Posts loses bundle of 36 passports

Most of the applicants are software engineers from Electronic City in southeast Bengaluru. Representation image.

The future of at least 36 passport applicants is in a limbo as the Department of Posts seems to have botched up the despatch and delivery of passports to the concerned addressees.

Most of the applicants are software engineers from Electronic City in southeast Bengaluru.

"It is true that around 36 passports have gone missing from the Department of Posts (DoP). Aggrieved applicants can approach the Regional Passport Office immediately and we will expedite the issue of their passports on a priority basis,” Bharath Kumar Kuthati, regional passport officer (RPO) said.  

As the applicants reached out to the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Koramangala, the concerned officials at the RPO wrote to the Department of Posts to inquire about the status of the passports. Department of Posts replied in a dated letter saying the Speed Post bag containing the passports is reported to be received at the Electronic City post office, but not delivered to the addressees until January 28.

The letter also went on to say the bundle of passports is untraceable and may be considered lost. A police complaint in this regard has been lodged at the Jayanagar police station, the letter said. However, the Jayanagar police maintained they have not received any such complaint.

Trip cancelled

Senior manager at an IT firm, Prasneh, had a business trip to Japan coming up. His wife was to join him on his personal expenses. Prasneh's wife applied for passport renewal on January 3, and received a message that the passport was despatched on the second day. They were sure that they would get the passport in a day or two and she can visit Japan accompanying her husband on the trip starting January 20 as planned.

But only Prasneh went on the trip, leaving his wife behind as her passport was not delivered.

After coming back, when Prasneh inquired with the Department of Posts, they responded with lame excuses, saying there were some 'technical' issues. Prasneh then wrote emails escalating the grievance to senior officials. But until now, there is not a clue about the bundle of passports - whether they are lost or stolen, no one seems to know.

“I am worried that these passports could be used for human trafficking. Passports could be smuggled to other countries too. It could turn into a problem for travels abroad,” added Prasneh, himself a frequent traveller.

DoP inquiry

“We have not treated the bag as lost, it is untraceable. We have initiated an inquiry among officials from despatch to recipients, and also officials from our transport department. We are sure that the bundle is somewhere in Bengaluru. We are doing a thorough scan to retrieve it," said a senior DoP official from the Bengaluru South division.

Meanwhile, officials from the RPO claimed that the staff at the Department of Posts (DoP) collected the bundle containing 36 passports, a day or two prior to the recent two-day Bharath Bandh on January 8 and 9. Since then the bundle is missing.