Hyderabad: Passport applicants can directly chat online with Regional Passport Officer or reach out to him through a video call on every Tuesday from 12 pm to 1 pm by dialling 8121401532.
Apart from this, an additional Integrated Public Grievance Redressal Centre was set up to expedite the application process. The centre will now work one hour more every day till 12.30 pm. Earlier, emergency counters remained open only from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.
In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle, Regional Passport Officer Dasari Balaiah said that the Regional Passport Office is taking more citizen-friendly initiatives to address their grievances using sophisticated technologies.
He said the passport office has already addressed various passport-related issues and issued as many as 3.23 lakh passports in the last six months.
Balaiah said the time taken to issue a passport through a regular channel was brought down from 45 days to 15 days, even as attempts are made to reduce this further to a week. A passport under the Tatkal scheme could be issued in just one to three days.
“There are also instances, where the passport office had issued passports in one day in case of emergencies,” the Regional Passport Officer said.
Speaking about the workload post-Covid pandemic, the RPO said immediately after lifting the ban on international travel, countries across the globe began issuing student and employment visas, which put a tremendous burden on this office.
He said a large number of applications were from the ones, whose passports had expired during the Covid lockdown. “Against this backdrop, the issue of passports was delayed for two months in April, May and June. Currently, the passport issuance time was cut short to 15 days and very soon it would return to normalcy,” he added.
“Earlier, the verification process had numerous checks prior to its issuance such as attestation of documents, long queues, police verification and finally waiting for the postman to deliver it. The whole process used to take between 15 days to 45 days. However, by setting up additional Integrated Public Grievance Redressal Centres and deploying advanced technology, we have made the verification and passport issuance process easy. And very soon applicants will receive regular passports within a week and those applied under the Tatkal scheme in a day,” RPO added.
He also stressed that special attention will be given to those who are in emergencies like medical, employment and education....