PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Passport Seva Project providing better services to citizens
Chennai, 4th January, 2013
Passport Seva Project has been declared by the Computer society of India as the best e-governance initiative launched by the Government of India. Shri Muktesh K Pardeshi, Chief Passport Officer (CPO) and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs disclosed this at a press conference in Chennai today.
The project, launched under PPP mode with TCS last year has transformed the passport issuance system in the country. It has ensured better access through increased network, transparency and accountability with an in-built mechanism for grievance redressal, Shri Pardeshi said. The project has 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) now.
Tamil Nadu has 4 Passport Offices and 8 PSKs which issued around 7.2 lakh passports during 2012, which is 23% more than 2011. The Passport Seva Kendras in Chennai handle about 1900 appointments a day, while walk-in facility is available for certain categories like senior citizens and physically challenged persons besides Tatkal and re-issue applicants and those seeking Police Clearance Certificates.
Answering questions, the CPO said made it clear that travel agents or touts have no chance of any manipulation in the issue of passports. He also ruled out the possibility of creating fake passports since the photographs and finger prints of the applicants are taken at the Seva Kendras to prevent any such malpractices. It is now proposed to make advance payment of passport fee mandatory at the time of seeking appointment itself, to curb fictitious appointments. There is a jumbo passport having 64 pages for frequent travelers, he added.
While Chennai Passport Office caters to 9 districts in Tamil Nadu besides Puducherry and Karaikal, a Passport Seva Laghu Kendra will be opened in Puducherry soon, Shri Pardeshi said.
Shri C.Senthil Pandian, Regional Passport officer, Chennai, Shri K.Balamurugan, Passport Officer, Trichy, Shri S. Manishwar Raja, Passport Officer, Madurai, Shri S.Sasi Kumar, Passport Officer, Coimabatore, Shri Ravi Viswanathan, Head of Operations, TCS, Chennai and Shri K.M.Ravindran, Addl DG, Press Information Bureau also participated.