THE REGIONAL Passport Office (RPO) has witnessed an increase of 25 to 30 per cent in the issue of passports this year in comparison to last year. In 2014, a total of 2.14 lakh passports were issued by the Pune Regional Passport office by December end, officials said.
The passport officials are estimating that by this year end, the number is expected to touch 2.8 lakh which would be about 25 per cent hike in the annual passport issuance.
The rise could be attributed to increased demand for the document due to increase in financial strength as well as seamless and transparent issuance process.
“In recent years the Indian economy has strengthened, the international travel has become more affordable. Pune being an IT city a good number of techies go abroad for training or on performance-reward tours. Another major reason is that students also compulsorily need passports to appear for exams like the IELTS, GRE and SAT. This has shot up the demand,” said Atul Gotsurve, Regional Passport Officer. Pune, officials said, remains among the top cities in the country – excluding the metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad – when the number of application receipt per month is considered.
At present, Passport Seva Kendra, Mundhwa processes 1,400 applications every day which include fresh applications, renewals, walk-ins, tatkal, on-hold, ECR among other categories. The increased capacity and special camps held in last one year has also helped speedy delivery of the passport.