Bengaluru to Hubballi, just for a passport

Bengaluru to Hubballi, just for a passport

The Passport Seva Kendra at Lalbagh, Bengaluru. DH FILE PHOTO

Many Bengalureans are increasingly travelling to Hubballi and other districts for a new passport.

Long waiting period at the three Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) of Bengaluru - Lalbagh, Jalahalli and Marathahalli - are forcing Bengalureans to head to the north of the state, where the waiting period is less.

The waiting period is said to be the lowest in Hubballi, Bengalureans preferred choice, while it is around 30-40 days at present in Bengaluru’s PSKs. According to passport department officials, they handle at least six such cases on a daily basis.

Having noticed the developments, passport department officials are nudging applicants to districts with less waiting period. This is now possible as the Ministry of External Affairs recently relaxed the rules. A person can now apply for a passport from anywhere in India. However, the application will be subject to police verification, Bharat Kumar Kuthati, Regional Passport Officer told DH.

In case an applicant needs a passport immediately, he or she is called to the passport head office in Koramangala, where a special counter is set up to assess the emergency and issue a passport, he added.

The MEA is also working on addressing the issue of the long waiting period in Bengaluru. Soon, Lalbagh PSK will handle 50 more applications from the existing 1,500 per day, while Marathahalli will handle 25 more from the existing 575. Jalahalli PSK will handle about 80, double the existing number.

A new PSK will also soon be set up in Bagalkot to handle the rush. “Passport Melas are also being held regularly, where around 1000 applications are processed in a day,” he said.