If you live in South Delhi, getting a passport will now be a really tough task. At least till January end.
North India’s biggest regional passport office at Bikaji Cama Place has shut down and is currently open only for tatkal applications. So, to apply for a passport or to get it renewed, you have to travel to the Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) in Ghaziabad’s Sahibabad industrial area, in Gurgaon’s Udhyog Vihar or Shalimar place in North West Delhi.
The regional passport office was shut for general applications earlier this month and the tatkal applications will be accepted only for 15-20 more days."We have stopped accepting general applications and in some time, we will shut the tatkal service here. Three PSKs are operational in NCR," said Anurag Bhushan, regional passport officer.
The Bikaji Cama office will become a central office for all backend operations. The government has outsourced these PSKs to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
“A PSK is coming up at ITO near the doll museum. It will serve residents of south and central Delhi but will start operations only by January end. Till that time, people have to go to Ghaziabad or the other PSKs to apply for a passport. Or they can go to counters run by Delhi Police at Nehru place, Laxmi Nagar and Turkman Gate. But these counters have not been upgraded and still run on old technology,” a senior passport officer said, requesting anonymity.
The PSKs will make the passport process more difficult for uneducated people who go abroad to work as labourers or domestic help as the application will have to be submitted online first.
Unlike the Regional Passport Office, you cannot walk in with your application at the PSKs. “The applicant has to apply online after which an application reference number would be generated and an appointment given,” the officer added.