While inability to produce required documents would lead to cancellation of a passport application earlier, applicants can now return to submit the papers within a month
Applying for a passport can be a daunting task, with a scramble to find all the necessary documents and book an appointment before all the time slots are snatched up. It’s no wonder then, that one of the greatest fears of passport applicants is getting their documents wrong and having to go through the process again.
Boon: About 80 applicants benefit from the new scheme every day
To address this, the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Pune has introduced a new scheme that will allow applicants to submit their applications even if they do not have all the necessary paperwork. Passport officers have begun giving applicants up to a month to return and submit their documents at a convenient time.
“Earlier, passport seekers had to make several rounds of the RPO when they forgot to bring the necessary documents. However, according to this scheme they can submit their documents within a month from the date of application for passport,” said Pune Regional Passport Officer, Atul Gotsurve (IFS).
The scheme is already proving beneficial to many, particularly for applicants who travel long distances to Pune from Ahmednagar, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Pune RPO. “We have been receiving 80 such applications on a daily basis,” said Gotsurve.
Save money and time
Passport seekers pay charges of R1,500 for a regular application, and R3,500 for a speedier tatkal application. Earlier,
they would often lose their money when their applications were rejected because of the lack of documents. With the new move, however, they do not need to spend again on new applications and can simply return with their papers later. “They don’t even have to take a fresh appointment to submit their remaining documents. Our staff will ask them the duration in which
they would be able to submit their documents,” said Gotsurve.
Anyone who has ever tried applying for a passport will know how big a boon this is, as passport appointments are notoriously hard to come by. Despite the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) introducing an online system last year to automatically generate appointments, the time slots are often snapped up within minutes of release.
Gotsurve told mid-day that those who want to benefit from this scheme will have to fill up a special yellow form, which is available only with the staff, and not with agents. “Their biometric and other necessary data will be collected and then they can produce the documents within a month,” he said.
In an effort to meet the rising demand for passports, the RPO is conducting a Passport Mela on Saturday, during which 200 tatkal passports and 600 regular passports will be issued. Online booking for the event will be open at 12 pm on August 19 and 21 for regular and tatkal passport seekers respectively.