Regional Passport Office to organise Passport Mela in city on July 15
By S.N. Venkatnag Sobers
It was on January 25, 2017 Mysuru got its own Passport Seva Kendra. Though not a full-fledged centre like in Bengaluru, it has been catering to the needs of people in an extended part of the Post Office in Metagalli as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK). Even though it is just a processing centre which only verifies the applications before despatching them to the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Bengaluru it has not only helped Mysureans but also people living in neighbouring districts of Kodagu, Hassan, Chamarajanagar and Mandya in getting their passports on time.
People travel from neighbouring districts to get their passport done. In fact, people are seen travelling together in tempos from neighbouring towns to POPSK to make sure they are at the Centre to keep their appointments.
“I was given an appointment at 11.30 am but my application was processed a little late than the stipulated time. The officials at the Kendra are co-operative in helping us to rectify the mistakes in the applications so they are not repeated,” said G.R. Suhas, Engineering student from Ponnampet.
Every day nearly 110 people visit the POPSK in Mysuru. The staff attend to each of them by checking their documents before submitting it for final approval. Currently, a 10-member staff including four from Postal Department, four employees of Tata Consultancy, an IT person and one from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) have been deputed to work in city’s POPSK.
“The POPSK in city has processed around 10,000 applications since Day 1 and the granting of passport is done in Bengaluru. The commencement of POPSK in Mysuru has been of great help to Mysureans and people in neighbouring district as they do not have to travel all the way to Bengaluru for the grant of Passport,” said D. Rajendran, Senior Passport Assistant, POPSK Mysuru.
The POPSK was in news recently for pendency of Passport applications. Now, the matter seems to be resolved as Regional Passport Office has deputed the four Granting Officers in Bengaluru to look into applications from Mysuru POPSK. The RPO in Bengaluru has cleared as many as 4,000 pending applications till date.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Regional Passport Officer Bharath Kumar Kuthati said that there was maximum utilisation of slots in Mysuru with RPO releasing 130 appointments every day.
“The RPO has so far processed more than 10,000 passport applications from Mysuru and there was no pendency of applications in Karnataka. All passport applications, if in order, are being processed in the shortest possible time. We are also planning to have a Passport Mela on July 15 (Saturday) all over Karnataka including Mysuru to serve citizens who are not able to apply during week days,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha said that he would meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the upcoming Parliamentary Session with a request to appoint a Granting Officer to Mysuru’s POPSK. Though people are happy to have a Passport Kendra in Mysuru, they are of the opinion that functioning of the POPSK could be streamlined with respect to maintaining appointments and giving priority to minors and senior citizens.
“It is good that we have a Passport Seva Kendra in Mysuru. But the authorities concerned need to give priority to senior citizens and children who come for renewal or for fresh passports. Even if the appointments are not maintained still a lot of time is saved by avoiding travelling to Bengaluru,” said Ranganath Swarup, a resident of Jayalakshmipuram.