Passport office to tie up with e-governance centres

TOI BANGALORE: To do away with the tout menace, the regional passport office has decided to collaborate with e-governance centres like Bangalore ‘One’ across the state. 

The tie-up is expected to take off within the next 10-14 days, said L Madana Kumar Reddy, acting passport officer, on Tuesday. Reddy, who was with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) before taking up the assignment, took over the duties of his predecessor KJ Srinivasa on Monday. 

“By paying a fee of Rs 25, citizens who come under special categories like the aged, children and physically challenged will be able to generate their applicant reference numbers (ARN) at these centres. They can also get advice on the documents required for obtaining passports,” he said. 

This facility can also be used by those who have queries regarding the police clearance certificate. “Our main aim is to reduce citizens’ dependency on touts, who charge huge sums for passport-related works,” Reddy said. 

CCTVs AT KENDRAS 

Live videos from passport seva kendras (PSKs) across the state, streaming seamlessly from CCTVs installed at the branches, will be a reality soon. 

The proposal to include this facility at passport offices was recently submitted to the ministry of external affairs, said Reddy. “We also hope that all the 77 PSKs in the country will be equipped with this feature soon,” he said. The plan is to have a centre in New Delhi from where officials will monitor activities at PSKs across the country, Reddy said. 

However, activities across passport offices in the state will be monitored by the regional passport officer and his team in Bangalore. “This may take some time since we will have to tie-up with internet service providers and get the necessary infrastructure in place. But we intend to make it happen soon,” he said.

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