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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Jalandhar region sees 50% rise in passports issued in a year

According to the data, the Jalandhar RPO issued 4.48 lakh passports in 2017, of which 60% were fresh while the remaining 40% were cases of renewal or reissuance.

punjab Updated: Aug 29, 2018 10:36 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
(Representative image )

With the trend of settling abroad continuing to allure the youth in the region, the issuance of fresh passports witnessed a drastic rise at the Jalandhar regional passport office (RPO).

According to the data, the Jalandhar RPO issued 4.48 lakh passports in 2017, of which 60% were fresh while the remaining 40% were cases of renewal or reissuance.

The Jalandhar RPO covers Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Kapurthala, Moga, Gurdaspur, Batala and Pathankot districts. The passport figures were revealed during the event ‘Videsh Aaya Pradesh Ke Dwaar’, an initiative by the external publicity and public diplomacy division of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to interact with the regional media here on Tuesday. Joint secretary (external publicity) MEA Raveesh Kumar, joint secretary Dr Deepak Mittal, under-secretary Yatin Patel and Jalandhar regional passport officer (RPO) Harmanbir Singh Gill spoke on the occasion.

RPO Gill said the increase in passport issuance in 2017 is all-time high with over 50% rise as compared to 2.97 lakh in 2016. He said 1.32 lakh passports were issued in 2012, 1.83 lakh in 2013, 2.3 lakh in 2014 and 2.8 lakh in 2015.

He said in 2018, 3.01 lakh passports have been issued by the Jalandhar office till August 26.

Deportation cases on the rise

Gill said that with the increase in the number of people going abroad, the deportation cases have also seen a rise with the passport office processing 28-30 files of repatriation every day.

“A majority of deportation cases are related to overstay in foreign countries,” he added.

Raveesh Kumar said the objective of the initiative was to connect the MEA to the regional media and expand their outreach to the common people.

Dr Mittal said that in order to simplify the passport services, they have established 370 passport sewa kendras across the country and their aim is to establish one such centre in every parliamentary constituency.

“Earlier, the delivery of fresh passports used to take over 40 days. Now, they are being delivered within 15 days as the police verification has become faster. Now, applicants can apply for passports by using a mobile application,” he said. He said they had started a ‘tatkal’ service on trust basis in which the applicant in an emergency can get the passport within 2-3 days and verification process is being done after the delivery of passport.

Mittal said that in order to help the Indian diaspora, they are active on the social media and anybody can reach them using Twitter or Facebook.

“If Indians are facing any kind of trouble, they can also lodge their issues by accessing the MADAD portal, which is a 24-hour helpline. If anybody lodges an issue here, it directly goes to the embassy concerned and they have to sort out the issue in a time-bound manner,” he said.

Mittal said they bring Indians back in case they get trapped in a foreign country, bearing the expenses from the Indian Community Welfare Fund.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 10:35 IST