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Pune’s new regional passport office operational by July-end

With a built-up area of 15,000 sq ft, the office in Baner is designed to have ample parking space

pune Updated: Jun 11, 2019 14:45 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,passport,Baner
Currently, the regional passport office operates from Senapati Bapat road.(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)

The regional passport office currently situated in Senapati Bapat road, will be operational from Baner by July-end.

Anant Takwale, regional passport officer, Pune said, “While we have begun shifting our office, it will take another month-and-a-half for the Baner office to be completely operational.”

Senior officials, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The permissions for the clearances for connectivity to the servers are still awaited. A letter requesting the same has already been sent to the external affairs ministry. Once all the permissions are received, Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) will start working on the setup.”

Currently, the regional passport office operates from Senapati Bapat road.

The new building in Pune will be known as Passport Bhavan. After accommodating all sections of the regional passport office, a mini passport seva kendra will be setup, if required, to benefit applicants living in the western part of the city, stated officials.

With a built-up area of 15,000 sq ft, the office in Baner is designed to have ample parking space.

The estimated cost of setting up the office is Rs 17 crore, of which Rs 50 lakh has been sanctioned by the ministry of external affairs (MEA).

4,12,153 passports issued in 2018, highest in the past five years

The number of passport applications has risen by 75,452 applicants in 2018, compared to the past five years.

According to the passport officials, a total of 4,12,153 passports were issued in 2018, the highest in the past five years.

Anant Takwale, regional passport officer, Pune, said “Technological advancements along with increase in accessibility of passport offices, can be attributed to the significant rise in passport applicants over the years.”

According to Takwale the process right from getting an appointment, to passport distribution has been properly streamlined by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

He added, “Along with the technological advancements in the passport offices, the time taken for police verification has also reduced. In the last six months, the police department has expedited their process, owing to their shift to technology while verifying applicants.”

“The number of passport centres in the Pune division has also increased. Currently, passport centres at 12 different places in Pune region are operational. With the rise in the accessibility, citizens have exhibited larger interest in applying for passports,” said officials.

The Pune region of the passport office serves a total of 12 districts from western Maharashtra and Marathwada.

The Pune region passport office initially had jurisdiction over six districts in western Maharashtra; Pune, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur. In November 2017, six additional districts of Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalna and Beed were added to the office’s jurisdiction.

First Published: Jun 11, 2019 14:44 IST