Getting a passport under the Tatkal scheme has just got easier.
Applicants will no longer be required to get ‘verifica tion certificates’ from senior gazetted officers.
The decision will end harassment that a common man without access to men and women in power corri dors face and also axe an un holy nexus between a section of travel agents and government officials that put a stiff price on issue of these verification certificates.
People usually apply for Tatkal passports in exigency
when there is a sudden travel requirement with insufficient time for processing a regular passport application.
From now on, an applicant will need only an Aadhaar number to be eligible for a Tatkal passport.
Online time allocation for passport queries
Regional passport officer Bibhuti Bhushan Kumar said: “Annexure B allows an applicant to get the passport issued before police verification. The police verification certificate (PVC) comes to (regional passport office) RPO post issuance. For an applicant, particularly for a commoner, it was difficult to obtain such certificates.
“Now a tatkal passport applicant needs only her/his Aadhaar number. Along with this, she/he needs to file Annexure E (self-declaration) and any two of 12 listed documents.”
Another measure that will bring huge relief to applicants, particularly those residing in distant towns, is the decision to introduce online allocation of time slots for resolution of queries instead of the present first-come-first-served process that led to serpentine queue. The RPO used to distribute 180 tokens to applicants daily. Now, 250 slots will be issued online.
The Kolkata RPO will also set up the third passport seva kendra (PSK) in the state at Silugri next month. At present, there are only two PSKs here, one in Kolkata and the other in Berhampore. The Siliguri office will be inaugurated by Darjeeling MP and union minister of state SS Ahluwalia.
By March 31, the state will also get four new post office passport seva Kendra (POPSKs) at Darjeeling, Malda, Barrackpore and Burdwan. At present, there are four POPSKs in Bengal including one in Kolkata at Beadon Street head post office.
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