Moneylife Impact: Ministry of external affairs begins action on Pune Passport mess

While the MEA has solved several pending passport cases forwarded by Moneylife, in a week’s time it is sending its team to Pune to comprehensively assess and work towards a speedy workable solution

Taking cognizance of Moneylife’s persistent campaign of the Pune Passport mess and forwarding of complaints to the Regional Passport Office, Pune, the ministry of external affairs is sending its team in a few days time, to physically assess and inspect the Passport Seva Kendra and work towards a speedy solution.

 

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member from Pune, Prakash Javadekar, on Sunday, stated that making online appointments easier by releasing more appointments and allowing the applicant to choose from 15 days time; streamlining police verification which includes stopping the ridiculous method of the applicant being asked to visit the police station instead of vice versa and; establishing a counseling cell at the Passport Seva Kendra and Regional Passport Office to help applicants who are in doubt are the prime measures that he will address. Towards this goal, the team from ministry of external affairs (MEA) will soon come to Pune for inspection and speedy solution strategy.

 

In the meanwhile, the complaints forwarded by Moneylife to the Regional Passport Officer have been addressed by AK Sobti, Director, Passport Seva Project, MEA.


Recently, Mr Sobti had personally visited Pune after Moneylife’s series of articles created uproar amongst citizens. He invited activists who are fighting for this campaign to understand the problem. In order to make things easier for the harassed passport applicant, Mr Sobti stated that “a formula of online pre-payment at the time of filling the application form would bring in transparency and minimize the illegal activities of passport agents. This would be activated within two months.”  He did not portray any apprehension about difficulties that citizens who are not net-savvy would face.

 

Regarding the overload at the Pune Passport office due to the six districts it handles, Mr Sobti stated, “we have received requests from MLAs and MPs to start Mini Passport Seva Kendras in 50 odd places in the country including Maharashtra. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) had taken up the study and has given its recommendations. It is in an advanced stage of implementation. We will also activate 60,000 Citizen Facilitation Centres of the country to become hubs for accepting passport applications.” He also promised to look into the police verification aspect which is taking a long time. To this effect, he said that online verification will soon become active and this will reduce the time period for getting a passport.

 

In the meanwhile, Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol has questioned the figures given by TCS which had stated that over 30,000 police verifications are pending with the police. Mr Pol has stated that after asking for data from all the police stations and chowkies, the pending figure is only 1,500. It is the inefficiency of the TCS employees recruited at the Regional Passport Office who do not upload the verified documents in time that is leading to delays.

 

(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

Comments
CA PRADEEP AGARWAL
8 years ago
But, besides what about the penalty clause if any on account of late allotments of PP's
Suniti Nanda
8 years ago
Thank you so much for the seamless effort in raising the concerns for citizens and finding a path till closure.

Fantastic job.
CA PRADEEP AGARWAL
8 years ago
MLF is doing a great job, no doubt about it, we should ask PP office to put up at site same day the PP's dispatched and those pending reasons for the same on site and those dispatched(receivings of the same) should invariably be written, so anybody can check, plus reasons for delay should be mentioned.
CA PRADEEP AGARWAL
8 years ago
IS THERE SOMEBODY TO CONTROL THE OUTRIGHT MONOPOLISTIC ATTITUDE OF GOVT. DEPTS AND SOME PRIVATE INVOLVED WITH IT.
Sachin Purohit
8 years ago
Kudos, Moneylife! I wonder if the mainstream media channels make even superficial attempts at bringing about this kind of changes. There are some novel things being tried by them like "Citizen Journalist", etc. But I am more convinced about the kind of activism on the part of MoneyLife than any of the others.

Having gone through this passport ordeal recently, I can say that the whole process has been created for simply harassing the applicants. It would be great if the process is streamlined.
Vinay Joshi
8 years ago
Ms.Vinita, Mr. Vijay Kumbhar & PPGF,

'Abhinandan'.

This deserves an exemplary a mention of your painstaking efforts. Pleased to know that timely services are committed by PSK & MEA can't be a sleeping giant.

Regards,

Ankur Sharma
8 years ago
Great work Moneylife!! :) Start something in NCR as well guys..needed very badly here as well..
MOHAN SIROYA
8 years ago
Kudos to the undieng zeal of Vinita Deshmukh and Moneylife team. Yes ,sincerity to get the results has to be aimed as the Target. Badhai Ho .
Chandrasekaran
8 years ago
good work moneylife
shailesh gandhi
8 years ago
Congratulations Vinita, Vijay Kumbhar and Moneylife.
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