DGP Rajeev Kumar will host one-to-one video conferences with citizens facing problems in passport verification
Is your passport verification being delayed? Have police harassed you during the process? Have you been asked to cough up money? Frown not, fret not; the DGP is your personal troubleshooter from next month.
With the objective to offer on-the-spot redress for every valid gripe, the Jharkhand police department will launch DGP Aapke Dwar a first-of-its-kind on-camera one-to-one with citizens seeking permit to travel overseas ahead of November 15.
Additional DGP and state police spokesperson S.N. Pradhan said the decision was taken at a meeting at the police headquarters two days ago and modalities had been worked out. It is our maiden drive to involve the state police chief in streamlining the passport system. For starters, we will deal with verification delays, he said.
Detailing about the initiative, he further said: The DGP and special branch officers will conduct video-conference with citizens. At every district headquarter, the SP concerned will be present during the session, while people share their problems one by one. As of now, we wish to launch the initiative before Statehood Day.
This, Pradhan stressed, would increase accountability of police and offer people a hassle-free platform to air their grouses. The aim is to take exemplary decisions. For example, if someone complains of harassment or bribe demand, the police officer concerned may face suspension. Decisions, depending on the situation, will be taken on the spot, he added.
Despite an online system being in place since July this year, backlog continues to trouble the regional passport office in Ranchi. Also, the police verification process has been brought under the Right to Service Act, which means the same needs to be completed within 21 days from the time a request is received from the passport office.
Figures made available by the regional passport office indicate that till Thursday, around 3,000 passport applications are hanging in balance for want of police verification.
Though passport officials claimed that compared to six months earlier when the backlog had hovered over 5,000 the load had eased, the number of pending cases is still on the higher side.
Regional passport officer Sanatan said he had written to DGP Rajeev Kumar, requesting him to direct all district police chiefs to speed up the process. Our target is to issue one lakh passports annually. In this context if you see the backlog, it is two per cent and above, which is obviously higher. But, compared to earlier times, things have improved when it comes to police verification, he said.
Pradhan said they were already working on the issue.
Look, the rate of pendency will always be there. In small districts, it will be between 100-200, while in big cities 500-600 because new applications keep coming. A year ago, we started an email system for police verification at the headquarters level. Now, we have directed districts to send daily data to help us keep track, he added.
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