Hyderabad: In order to reach remote areas to benefit the citizens, the Ministry of External Affairs would organise at least 250 Passport Seva camps across the country during this year, a top official said here on Friday.
"The plan is to conduct at least 250 camps all over India during 2015," Muktesh K Pardeshi, Joint Secretary (PSP) and Chief Passport Officer, Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters here.
"Last year, we did 61 Passport Seva camp days mostly in second half of the year. More than 16,000 applications have been received through 61 Passport Seva camp days organised in remote locations," he said.
384 passport melas were organised during 2014 and 1.99 lakh passport applications were received at these passport melas, he said.
"Through Passport Seva camps we are going to touch areas which are really outlined like Lakshadweep. We are going to have camps in entire North East, in Ladakh and Leh. The whole concept is to reach people who are living in remote and outlined areas. They should not remain outside the coverage of citizen service," he said.
In Telangana, Passport Seva camps would be organised in Medak, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Khammam districts while in Andhra Pradesh such camps will be organised in Chittoor, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur, Prakasam, Nellore and Guntur districts, he said.
"The government has social obligation to reach out to interior and far flung areas. The whole idea is that the government is committed to deliver citizen service, in this case, passport service in the most convenient manner to the applicants," Pardeshi said.
During the period January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 a total of 1.01 crore applications for passport and related services were processed by the Ministry of External Affairs.
While 87.03 applications for passport and related services had been received, 84.69 lakh passports and related documents had been issued through the Passport Seva System, Pardeshi said.
"For the first time, we crossed one crore applications.
There are only three countries in the world which are doing more than one crore passports a year?China, United States and now India.
"Last year (2014) the growth was 20 per cent. In 2013, it was 15 per cent and this year we are expecting around 20 per cent growth," he said.
Pardeshi further said 528 of the 724 police districts are on the district police headquarters model (DPHQ model) of Police Verification wherein the police receive the personal particulars online and also submit the police verification report online to the Passport Office.
"The target this year is to cover all 724 police districts under the DPHQ model," he added.