Passport applicants visiting the lone passport office in the city allege that they are being harassed and subjected to rude behavior by office staff and being forced to visit the office frequently to submit documents, because of acute manpower shortage.
Applicants are now alleging that passport officer S G Rane never picks up their calls and does not meet them even for major passport-related issues.
Going on Hajj is Mohammad Abdul Razzak (70) and his wife’s long cherished desire and they applied for passports around 18 days ago. Though their passports were supposed to be delivered within eight days since the date of application, nothing has happened so far.
Razzak alleges that he was told to collect the passports under the tatkal scheme and visited the passport office on three different occasions, but in vain.
“If I don’t get my passport till Thursday, I have to wait for an entire year to go on pilgrimage,” he said.
Manish Rohatagi entered a contest and won a couple pass to watch a football match in Manchester. He is scheduled to leave the country on May 4 and applied for his daughter’s passport under the tatkal scheme on April 13.
“I was supposed to get the passport within seven days from the date of application, but didn’t get it yet. My wife met the passport officer a few days ago, but she refused to help us in the matter,” Rohatagi said.
Rohatagi and his wife already have passports and their plan was to take their 13-year-old daughter along on their own expense.
The Jaywant family is all set to attend a family function in Canada in July, but do not have their passports in hand.
Sujata Jaywant said, “We already have passports with twenty years validity. However, we shifted to Pune from Shanghai in November last year and approached the passport office in February this year to change our residential address. Even after repetitive visits to the office, we are yet to receive our passports.”
Jaywant further said that she and her husband wanted to attend a relative’s marriage in July, for which the tickets have already been booked.
“It seems we have to skip our trip to Canada,” Jaywant said.
Camp resident Rehan Rajkotwala said he has been trying to get a passport since last year. “Everyday I come here with the bunch of required documents, and every time the officials here reject them after scrutiny.”
When this reporter approached passport officer Rane, she refused to meet the media.