RPO proposes to centralise Tatkal passport facility only in Chandigarh
The move is aimed at mitigating the suffering of genuine applicants and also speedy disposal of appointments for Tatkal passports in case of re-issuance with a clear police report and minor children.punjab Updated: May 15, 2018 11:29 IST
A Tatkal passport is issued between one and three days, against the three weeks of processing time for a normal passport. If the proposal is accepted, Chandigarh’s quota for Tatkal appointments would be raised to 250 or 260 a day from the current 120. The 70 slots each for Ludhiana and Ambala will be cancelled.
“Applicants were misusing the provision of Tatkal passport for reasons varying from dodging the law-enforcement agencies to petty reasons, like not wanting to wait for the three weeks it takes to get a passport in the normal course,” RPO Sibash Kabiraj told HT, adding that he had sent a proposal to the Union ministry of external affairs to offer the facility only in Chandigarh.
“Applicants are misusing the provision of Tatkal passport for reasons varying from dodging the law-enforcement agencies to petty reasons, like not wanting to wait.” Sibash Kabiraj, regional passport officer
The move is aimed at mitigating the suffering of genuine applicants and also speedy disposal of appointments for Tatkal passports in case of re-issuance with a clear police report and minor children. “Once Chandigarh becomes the hub for Tatkal appointments, the passport, once granted shall be dispatched the next day. Normal appointments at Ludhiana and Ambala will also be disposed of quickly. If case of an appointment here, we can also better judge the authenticity of the claim,” the RPO added.
‘Ludhiana, Ambala ill-equipped to detect false info’
“Passport Seva Kendras in Ludhiana and Ambala are not equipped to catch false information or forged documents. This poses a national security risk,” Kabiraj added. Referring to a recent case, where more than 500 ghost passports from Punjab and Haryana were detected, only to be later revoked, he added, “These cases pertained to ‘Police Verification on a Post-Passport Issuance Basis’, where the passport had been issued.”
He added that in cases where police verification is not required for Tatkal passports like re-issuance and for minors, the document is dispatched within one working day, excluding the date of submission of application. In cases, where police verification is required on a Post-Passport issuance basis, the passport is dispatched on the third working day, without waiting for the police verification report.
‘Project tried on experimental basis’
The RPO added that for the past two-three days, the Chandigarh office had asked Ambala and Ludhiana offices to send applicants for Tatkal appointments to them on an experimental basis. “Only 20% of applicants turned up. It can be anybody’s guess that the rest did not turn up due to the fear of being caught making false declarations,” the officer added.