Police verification for passports to be fast-tracked: Official

The police verification process for issuance of passport has been found to be more time consuming in Maharashtra.

Pune: The police verification process for issuance of passport, which has been found to be more time consuming in Maharashtra, will be fast-tracked and made uniform in the state, a senior passport official has said.

Noting that the average police verification period in Maharashtra stood at 70 days, which was much higher than other states, Chief Passport Officer and Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Muktesh Pardeshi, told reporters here last night that, "Steps are being taken to reduce this period in coordination with police department."

Pardeshi, who interacted with members of Passport Grievance Committee formed by citizens, said the appointment slots for applicants in Pune were being increased in view of the floating students` population of the city, an IT and Auto industry hub with a growing demand for passports.

"There has been significant increase in the volumes of passport applications processed in Maharashtra and mindful of this change, we have customised the systems and processes accordingly," he said.

"As part of MEA`s e-governance initiatives, the Passport Seva Project (PSP) has transformed the passport issuance system across India with an increased network and the ministry is improving governance in passport offices by focusing on service orientation and transparency," he said.

Opened for the public in the first half of 2012, the Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) in Maharashtra have successfully processed 6.7 lakh applications of which about five lakh passports have already been issued till March 31 this year, Pardeshi added.