Regional passport office launches 'no refusal' system

Bringing cheers to hundreds of passport applicants in the State, the Regional Passport Office recently started a “No Refusal” system for applicants with valid appointments.

Under this system, applicants with valid appointments, including those with incomplete/deficient documents, will not be refused service and will be issued tokens and processed in the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) with the option to submit the documents within one year from the date of registration of their file.

Speaking to mediapersons on Friday, the Regional Passport Officer P S Karthikeyan said the system was already in place at Mangaluru and Hubballi and has now been extended to the City.

He said appointments for Tatkal applications had gone up from 60 to 160 a day at the Marathalli PSK and from 140 to 240 at the Lalbagh PSK. Similarly, compared to last year, the daily appointments have also gone up from 1,610 to 2,500 across all the PSKs at Hubbali, Mangaluru, Lalbagh and Marathahalli.

He said five passport melas had already been held this year and the sixth would be held on Saturday, December 20. One of the achievements of the RPO this year has been zero pendency.

Karthikeyan said the Regional Passport Office was the second highest passport-issuing RPO after Hyderabad as per the statistics of 2013. This year, the RPO has issued five lakh passports, while 4.36 lakh passports were issued last year.

He said owing to police cooperation, the average police verification report time in the State had come down to 26 days from 43 days in 2013. In the days to come, this will be further brought down to 21 days.

Staff shortage

However, the Regional Passport Office is short-staffed. The office is managing its workload with only 68 staffers, while the sanctioned strength is 93. This number was sanctioned a decade ago.

On the matter pertaining to touts and agents thronging the PSKs, he said the office had installed CCTVs, which were closely monitored. Besides, several structural changes have been made such as online applications, and tracking facility available to applicants which have been quite successful in keeping touts at bay.

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