By Pradeep Kumar
Itanagar,Feb. 15 (ANI):India’s Chief Passport Officer-cum-External Affairs Ministry Joint Secretary Mukesh Kumar Pardeshi today promised committed service on the issue of passports after inaugurating a Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) here today.
Terming this as the completion of the Ministry of External Affair’s passport foot print in North East India, Pardeshi said that the PSK would ease the passage for people of the state to obtain or renew their passports.
“My dream to set up a PSK in 26 states and seven UTs has been completed today,” said a visibly happy Pardeshi, who arrived here today on his maiden visit.
Pardeshi lauded the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, former chief minister Nabam Tuki, chief secretary and nodal officer Joram Beda for their cooperation in setting up the PSK.
Pardeshi, who was accompanied by Guwahati-based regional passport officer (RPO) Bibhuti Bhushan Kumar, exhorted Arunachalees to come forward in record numbers to obtain passports as a well-documented identity proof.
The passport would increase acceptability for the NE people travelling to various parts of the country and abroad with India’s speedy economic growth, he said.
India with total 5,70, 35, 943 valid passports is third in the world, after China and the USA.
About five to six percent of Indians have passports (about one crore and 1.2 core obtained passports in 2014 and 2015) while 1.35 to 1.4 core are targeted this year, he disclosed.
One could apply online with Rs 1,500 fee, while the scheme announced on January 25, 2016 ensures the immediate issue of a passport with Aadhar, voter, PAN card and an affidavit of no criminal record for police verification to follow.
Police verification gets delayed, particularly in the north east region, but online connectivity even to the districts and common service centres with a fee of Rs.100 would overcome the delay, he informed.
The service would be normalised very soon under the guidance of Deputy Passport Officer Lobsang Tsering.
Regional Passport Officer Kumar termed it as a great achievement that fulfilled the long felt need of the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
He said staff have been posted, including a DPO, three data entry operators and an engineer to work in a transparent manner.
Tsering, in his address, lauded the support of commissioner T T Gamdik, Beda, Itanagar DC S K Singh and the Police Housing Corporation for ensuirng the timely completion of the PSK building.(ANI)