A whopping number of passports — 16,000 and no less — have not been dispatched from the regional passport office, Jalandhar, to applicants from Doaba region in the absence of passport booklets.
The reason: production of passport booklets at the Indian Security Press at Nasik in Maharashtra — where passports, stamps, postcard, envelops are printed — has been low for some time.
It has been learnt that passport offices across the country are facing a shortage of these booklets of late.
Passport officials said the Indian Security Press has been unable to procure raw material from abroad due to some technical glitch, resulting in shortage of of passport booklets at all passport office across the country.
The regional passport office in Jalandhar has been facing the problem for over a month, officials informed.
The issue was also raised in the annual regional passport officers' meeting in New Delhi and the ministry of external affairs had assured the offices to solve the problem immediately.
Meanwhile, the local passport office claimed that not many applicants are facing the problem since those who need a passport immediately for genuine reasons are approaching the district passport officer and their case is taken up on priority and they are dispatched passports timely.
"Due to the delay in issuing of passports, many people come querying about their cases.
The applicants get panicked some time due to the delay but we clear the 'tatkal' and 'jumbo' passports on time," regional passport officer Haramanbir Singh said.
"We have taken up the issue with the ministry concerned and they have assured us that the supply will be resumed from the next week," he further said.
Currently, the Jalandhar passport office dispatches 600-700 passports on a daily basis.
Once the supply is resumed, the branch will dispatch 2,500 passports on everyday basis, a passport official claimed.
Where lies the trouble
Production of passport booklets at the Indian Security Press at Nasik in Maharashtra — where passports, stamps, postcard, envelops are printed — has come down recently
The Indian Security Press has been unable to procure raw material from abroad due to some technical glitch
The regional passport office in Jalandhar has been facing the problem for over a month