April 29: The newly opened Passport Seva Kendra at Christianbasti will soon have a cell at state police headquarters in Ulubari to reduce time for issuance of new passports.
Sources in the passport office said the new cell would coordinate between the regional passport office, Guwahati, and police for verification of documents submitted by applicants.
“In normal procedure, the regional passport office issues passports only after receipt of the police verification report but the process sometimes takes a long time causing inconvenience to people. So, we are planning to open a cell inside the police headquarters that will keep track of the passport applications pending for police verification and thereby try to reduce the time,” the official said.
The Passport Seva Kendra has developed a passport service software, using which it would be able to maintain records and status of the police verification in different districts of the state.
“Earlier, the regional passport office used to wait for manual delivery of files by police after verification by the local police station. Now, once the police verification is complete, our cell at the police headquarters will immediately give online clearance to the Passport Seva Kendra, which will issue the passport. Once the cell gives clearance about police verification, the Kendra will no longer wait for the file to reach its office and print the new passport,” the official said.
Normally, an applicant, after filing his application for a new passport at the regional passport office, has to wait for long for conduct of police verification and in many cases their files remain pending in the local police station.
The Passport Seva Kendra, the 65th centre of the country, was opened in the city on April 17 with an aim to help the rising number of applicants seeking passports from across the Northeast.
The Kendra was set up in public-private-partnership mode between Tata Consultancy Services and the ministry of external affairs.
The centre, being set up under the e-governance programme was inaugurated by chief passport officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi.
The centre was opened to cater to the increasing number of passport seekers in the Northeast. The regional passport office, Guwahati, had received 21,000 applications seeking passports in 2005 and it had gone up to 54,483 in 2011.
Pardeshi recently held a meeting with police departments of all the seven states of the Northeast and requested them to take steps to speed up the process of police verification.
The official said the Passport Seva Kendra was also planning to integrate the new cell with the crime and criminal tracking network system of the Union home ministry for police verification.