As part of its efforts to reduce the “appointment availability cycle”, which causes delay in applicants getting their passports, the Regional Passport Officer, Pune, will hold a month-long passport camp at centrally-located Koregaon Park where 200 applications will be processed daily.
This facility will be in addition to the about 1,400 applications that are being processed daily at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK), Mundhwa. The Regional Passport Office has also been processing 125-odd applications daily at the Senapati Bapat Road headquarters for over a week now. This exercise too will continue till April 17.
The special camp may commence by April 20. The Regional Passport Officer in Pune at present processes 1,000 normal applications daily. Due to the high demand, an applicant seeking an appointment in normal quota has to wait for about 45 days for processing of application. The PSK also processes 160 Tatkal applications for which appointment can be booked two to three days in advance. A normal application costs Rs 1,500 (36-page booklet) while a Tatkal application costs Rs 3,500.
Officials said they had expedited the process of printing of passports. At present, printing and dispatch of passports is happening within 48 hours of successful processing of the passport application. However, the delay in applicants getting passports is caused due to the time it takes to get an appointment.
Regional Passport Officer Atul Gotsurve said, “A few months ago, the appointment availability cycle was over 50 days for normal applications. Due to our efforts on various fronts, we have succeeded in bringing it down to 42 days. With the latest initiative coupled with other things like passport melas, our aim is to bring it down to 25 days. After reviewing the situation, we may increase the daily application processing to 500 and may extend the camps to a few more months.”
He added that the passport office staffers deserved a pat on their back for putting in the extra effort. “A passport mela means that they have to work on their holidays. Their dedication, however, has helped us give better service,” he said.
Gotsurve said additional staffers from other passport seva kendras would be deputed at Pune for the month-long camp.
“We are in the process of finalising the venue. Once it is done, we will announce the dates as well as the process for booking appointment slots at this centre. The camp should start by April 20,” said Gotsurve.