Get passport in 30 days, under tatkal in 24 hrs

With the complete computerisation of the Regional Passport Office in Chandigarh, the waiting period for receipt of passport, from the date of submission of forms, has been reduced to 30 days against around six to eight months, and in some cases, a year. Under the tatkal scheme, passports can be obtained in 24 hours.

Post computerisation, through tie up with Tata Consultancy Services across the country, the passport office issued 2.68 lakh passports in 2011. The office has been giving over 1,600 appointments on a daily basis to fresh applicants, while earlier it could not take more than a 1,000 applications.

For illiterates or those who find it difficult to fill up the online form, to apply for a passport, the passport office has authorised Suvidha centres (in concerned districts) and Sampark centers in Chandigarh to fill up forms of applicants by charging a nominal fees (not beyond Rs 100).

While the manual procedure saw a host of difficulties suffered by applicants, the new method is swift and time saving. Consider this: the entire process of getting documents checked and completing other formalities does not consume more than 45 minutes.

Under the present system, one can download and fill up the application from the website - www.passportindia.gov.in. After filling up the form and taking a print out, the applicant has to visit the Passport Seva Kendra in Industrial Area, and produce original documents to confirm his/her identity. Under the present system, biometrics is used to ensure no fraud is committed by applicants in obtaining passports. Also, the photograph of the applicant is taken by the officials at the kendras.

For senior citizens, the time taken by the authorities is even less. After the formalities are completed, the passport authorities immediately send request for police verification online to the concerned superintendent of police. Police officials, after conducting verification, confirm the same online to the passport office. Once a go ahead is received by the passport authorities from the police department, the passport office sends a text message to the applicants informing them that they will shortly receive their passport. Also, a unique tracking number is generated and sent to the applicant with the help of which the applicant can know the hourly status of the passports before it is issued.

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