Just one passport office for 6 districts
As the Passport Seva Kendra in Mundhwa is the only place where people from Pune, Sangli, Solapur, Satara, Ahmednagar and Kolhapur districts can get their passports made, people have to wait for hours to get their documents verified.
Getting a passport has always been a tough nut for the city’s aam aadmi to crack. However, it seems that with the advancement of technology and the slothful attitude of our babus, it’s getting even tougher. Last year’s decision of the Regional Passport Office (RPO) to give prior appointment to people applying for passports seems to have gone haywire.
The step was taken to ensure that people, without facing much inconvenience, get their documents verified. However, the never-ending queue of people waiting for their turn outside the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in Mundhwa speaks otherwise.
‘The line never ends’
“I had got the appointment for 1 pm, but when I reached here, I saw around 40 people waiting for their turn. I don’t understand the logic behind the new system, as people still have to wait for long hours despite being called at a scheduled time,” lamented a woman, requesting anonymity.
Besides, this is not the first time the new mother has been to the Mundhwa office to get her documents verified. “As the officer didn’t accept my documents, I’ll have to come again on some other date. This is the third time that I have been here. Besides, as my baby is just three-months-old, it causes me sheer inconvenience to come and wait for long hours,” she added. As the PSK in Mundhwa also caters to Ahmednagar, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Solapur district, apart from Pune, people coming all the way from other cities get inconvenienced the most.
Shamli More (name changed), who had came all the way from Kolhapur to get her documents verified, alsogrumble about the system. Sharing her experience, she said, “Firstly, the work here doesn’t happen at once. It’s not only annoying for me, but also my friend who accompanies me all the time I come here. He has to take leave from work, and bear with me to get a simple work done.”
Lost, yet not found
Nitin Chavan (name changed) said that he lost the opportunity to go to Japan, as he couldn’t get the passport on time. “As this was my third attempt, I was sure that I would get the passport this time. I submitted my Aadhaar card as one of the document for address proof, but the officials rejected it saying that it has been just 11 months that I have received the card, and hence it couldn’t be considered as bona fide.”
When this reporter called Regional Passport Officer Shakuntala Rane to get her version on the allegations made by passport seekers, she said that people always blamed her despite her offering better facilities to them. Soon she disconnected the call and despite repeated attempts, she didn’t take the call.