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Friday, June 22, 2012

Passport offices in seven cities to stay open this weekend

New Delhi, June 22
Stung by reports of delays in processing online passport applications, the government today announced that passport offices in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Amritsar will function normally tomorrow and on Sunday.

“In order to address the unprecedented demand for passport services during these months, the MEA has decided to open regional passport offices, including passport seva kendras (PSKs) under their jurisdiction on June 23 and 24” at these seven centres, an official statement here said.
At a media briefing, senior MEA officials said that 25,000 to 30,000 passport applications were proposed to be handled over the next two days at the PSKs in these seven centres.
The MEA also defended what it called the citizen-centric online application system and said it has successfully completed the setting up and operationalisation of 77 PSKs in the country.
The applications for all passport-related services “other than tatkal” shall be accepted during the 'Passport Mela', the officials said.
Based on its success, such ‘melas’ will be organised on a regular basis not only at these seven centres but at other places too.
Taking note of reports in the media about applicants being fleeced by touts and middlemen for uploading applications and arranging appointments, the ministry clarified that the appointment system has been introduced in keeping with the objective of making government services accessible to the common man through common service delivery outlets.
The process is aimed at ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs.
The MEA is also improving governance in passport offices by focusing on citizen-centricity, service orientation and transparency.
Clearing Backlog
* Delhi, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Amritsar passport offices to have working weekend
* 25,000 to 30,000 passport applications will be handled in these two days at the passport seva kendras in seven centres

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