Srinagar: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will approach the Union cabinet for expanding the network of Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) in the country beyond the existing 77 outlets.
"I might have to go back to the Cabinet for expanding the number of PSKs in view of the large number of requests from MPs for opening these kendras in their (respective) states", Krishna said here after e-inauguration of PSK Srinagar and PSK Jammu.
The External Affairs Minister said more than 7.3 million passport-related services were provided by the Passport offices and PSKs across the country last year.
There was a 39 per cent increase in the passport related services provided to people in Jammu and Kashmir in 2011 compared to 2011, he said.
"Over 89,000 passport related services were provided in the state in 2011", Krishna added.
Krishna also said the Passport Seva Project - a citizen-centric e-governance initiative - has been completed with the operation of PSKs at Srinagar and Jammu. "But that is not the end of it", he added.
A pilot project will be launched in Bangalore very soon in which all the police stations of the city will be digitally connected to the Passport Seva Kendra for ensuring speedy police verification of the antecedents of the applicants, he said.
"I am sure the Bangalore project will be successful. In the next couple of years, it can be replicated elsewhere in the country", he added.
The External Affairs Minister laid the foundation stone of the Passport Bhawan Srinagar, which will be the first permanent office of the Regional Passport Office in the Valley.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah were also present on the occasion.
Farooq Abdullah urged the Chief Minister to expedite the intelligence clearance of the passport applicants.