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Par panel unhappy with delay in Passport Seva Project launch

Expressing concern over delay in the launch of Passport Seva Project, a Parliament Panel has blamed the Ministry of External Affairs for its failure in adhering to several proposed dates and asked it to start it at the earliest.



New Delhi: Expressing concern over the delay
in the launch of Passport Seva Project, a Parliament Panel has
blamed the Ministry of External Affairs for its failure in
adhering to several proposed dates and asked it to start it at
the earliest.

The Standing Committee on External Affairs said it took
serious note of "inordinate delay and repeated postponement of
the launching of the pilot phase of Passport Seva project. The
project was due for launching in July-August 2009 but revised
to October 1, 2009."
The Passport Seva Project aims to issue passports in
three days as against the current period of 45 days.

It also noted that the Government had assured that the
pilot phase would be launched on November 13 in Bengaluru and
Chandigarh.

"But the committee was surprised to find that inspite of
Government`s categorical assurance, the project had not been
launched so far," the Committee headed by BJP MP Yashwant
Sinha said.

The committee said it wanted the project to be launched
without further delay and "after due testing and checking of
the software and taking into account the feasibility and
results, the government might implement this project on
pan-India basis."

"...the ministry has failed in adhering to several
proposed dates for launching the project and that the process
is still going on," it said.
The Committee said it desires that it may be apprised in
this regard from time to time.

The panel also said that the e-passport service should be
extended to general category in a phased manner.

"The committee, therefore, reiterates that all issues
related to technical aspects should be taken care of so that
the issuance of e-passports for general category may start at
the earliest and it may be extended to all ordinary category
passport holders in due course," it said.

The contract for implementing the Rs 1,000-crore project
was given to TCS in October 2008 with an implementation
time-line beginning in June 2009.

The Passport Seva Project, based on a public-private
partnership model, aims to provide passport-related services
to citizens in a speedy, convenient and transparent manner.

PTI

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