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IDENTITY PROOF

TT: How can instances of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants getting passports from Jharkhand be stopped?

Sanatan: A passport is not just a travel document, it is proof of identity and nationality. Police need to be more aware of the Indian Citizenship Act and more particular about verification

Canít the regional passport office beef up scrutiny?

Verification is the exclusive domain of police. So, applications from border districts such as Sahebganj, where infiltration is more, should be carefully verified

Police say they are pressed for time.

According to Right to Service Act in Jharkhand, verification has to be done in 21 days sharp

What if police canít verify on time or any application is complicated?

If something canít be verified, tell us so or say it is pending. Donít give us wrong information

State DGPís office is showing special interest in ensuring hassle-free passports through DGP Aapke Dwar programme. How helpful is it?

Very. In the near future, verifications will become simpler and more accurate

Do police need more training for verification jobs?

I canít comment on that. But if the police want help from us, we are ready to do so

How many passports do you issue a year?

In 2011, we issued 45,000. This year, we will touch one lakh. Numbers are up as we are people-friendly

How?

We are online and have asked Pragya Kendras to help illiterate or semi-literate people fill e-forms at a nominal rate of Rs 100. We have an SMS notification scheme at the rate of Rs 30 per applicant. We have a 24/7 call centre and our website is bilingual. Last year, the government of India awarded our office for best service delivery

The passport office on Ratu Road is inaccessible to many.

I agree it isnít at a centralised point. We are on rented premises and need to shift as per government norms to a permanent place by May 2015

Any success in office hunting?

Fingers crossed!


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