The Passport Seva Project (PSP), a flagship e-Governance initiative has been undertaken by the Ministry of External Affairs to comprehensively reform the passport issuance system. The PSP aims at delivering all passport related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible and reliable manner.
The PSP envisages setting up of 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) across the country, a Call Centre operating 24X7 in 18 languages, and a centralised nationwide computerised system for the issuance of passports. So far, 13 PSKs have been successfully launched including one each at Chandigarh and Ludhiana (Punjab).
The benefits to the citizens include service provisioning within defined service levels and larger number of access points for services, availability of a portfolio of on-line services with real-time status tracking and enquiry, an effective system of grievance redressals and adherence to the ‘First in-First out’ principle in rendering the services. The number of public dealing counters will go up from the current 350 to 1610 and public dealing hours will go up from the current 4 hours to 7 hours.
As on date, the number of passport applications pending at the 3 Passport Offices in Punjab are as follows:
1. Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh: 9319
(The figure also includes pending applications from a few districts of Haryana.)
2. Passport Office, Jalandhar: 25497
3. Passport Office, Amritsar: 4394.
The Government has taken several steps to streamline the process of issuing passports to the applicants and eliminate the delays, including:-
(i) special drives to reduce pendencies
(ii) expediting police verification process by coordinating with police authorities
(iii) holding of Passport Adalats at regular intervals to dispose of old passport cases
(iv) improvement in infrastructure
(v) augmentation of manpower
The Minister of State of External Affairs Shri E. Ahmed gave this information in Rajya Sabha today.