Bangalore: To overcome sudden surge of demand for passports in Karnataka in the last few months, Regional Passport Office, Bangalore, is looking at bringing down the `appointment availability time` to one-day by June, a top RPO official said on Friday.
The demand for passports has increased by 88 percent in the last 11 months, Regional Passport Officer KJ Srinivasa told reporters here.
RPO Bangalore in conjunction with TCS is aiming at bringing down the appointment availability time to 15 days and then further down to one day by June as part of its appointment handling drive launched last month, he said.
The number of passport applicants per day in Bangalore has been increasing from 1,226 in 2009 to 1,700 in 2010.
As of today, RPO is giving 2,479 appointments per day (including Tatkal) across four Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) -- Bangalore (2), Mangalore and Hubli (one each), he said.
An action plan has been drawn up which includes opening 30 percent additional appointment slots daily in the four PSKs, a revised schedule of appointments based on an incremental appointment structure, release of tatkal appointments only one day in advance and release of slots freed due to cancellation/rescheduling only one day in advance, he said.
The office is currently catering to the specific time bound demand of Haj applicants with a special drive wherein 150 appointments are reserved for them at PSK Lalbagh.
"We are in the process of deploying more officers to PSKs to further increase our intake. The External Affairs Ministry has assured all support including deployment of additional staff from other passport offices located in southern India to clear the rush", Srinivasa said.
Due to these steps, close to 30 percent applicants (about 750) can now get an appointment the next day at any PSK.
The passport office, in conjunction with TCS, has now decided to further provide additional appointments to public by increase of 150 appointments each in Hubli and Mangalore PSKs to cater to ever increasing demand for northern, central and coastal Karnataka and a further increase of around 250-300 appointments per day in Bangalore alone.
It has been decided to accept passport applications in physical from at RPO, Koramangala with effect from May 2, 2011 to May 31 initially, to bring down the rush. This drive would not only provide an outlet for applicants who have not got appointments but also will be helpful in reducing waiting period for future applicants, he said.