All 42 post office passport seva kendras (POPSKs) in West Bengal are likely to introduce online connectivity with the passport office to reduce the time taken to issue passports, officials at the Kolkata regional passport office said on Thursday.
Passport applicants in West Bengal can book their interview slots online at either the passport seva kendras (PSK) — one is in Kasba and the other in Berhampore in Murshidabad — or at any of the 42 POPSKs.
The applications submitted in PSKs are transferred online to the respective police districts for verification within minutes of the interview.
But in case of POPSKs, the applications are transferred manually from the post office to the passport office, which sometimes takes weeks. The time taken to transfer the applications will be reduced significantly once online connectivity is established between the POPSKs and the passport office, said officials.
Regional passport officer, Kolkata, Ashish Midha, said on Thursday that internet connectivity was likely to be introduced in all POPSKs across Bengal by the end of this year.
“We are working on this. It is expected that there will be online connectivity in the POPSKs that would expedite the back-office job to a large extent by the end of this year,” Midha said at a media conference, in the presence of Ausaf Sayeed, secretary (consular and diaspora), external affairs ministry, and Bramha Kumar, joint secretary (overseas employment) and protector general of emigrants in the ministry.
Kolkata has several POPSKs; two of them are in Jadavpur and on Beadon Street.
Many who had applied through a POPSK because it was closer home than the PSK got passports later than those who had applied to a PSK.