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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Be wary of brokers, passport applicants told

B. Madhu Gopal

Applications routed through SP offices in districts are being cleared much faster, says official


VISAKHAPATNAM: It was 11 a.m. on Monday morning. Long queues were seen outside the Passport Office. The ‘enquiry' queue extended onto the road. A man was seen asking another, who was waiting beneath the shade of a tree, whether there was any train to go to Nidadavole in the next couple of hours. He was overheard pouring out his tale of woe to the stranger.

“I have come all the way here as I haven't received my passport even after two months. A person (perhaps, a broker) promised to send my passport, but I am being made to run around the Passport Office.” It was a difficult proposition to push the glass door at the entrance to the first floor, as applicants stand close to the door. The large hall was packed to capacity with hardly any space even to stand freely. Women with children in their arms were seen trying to keep their babies cool from the sultry summer weather.

“It's unfortunate that gullible applicants from other districts are falling a prey to brokers in the city while they can get their work done much faster when they approach the SP office of the district concerned,” Passport Officer V.S.D.L. Surendra said when the issue was brought to his notice.

Wrong impression

“Applications routed through the SP offices from the districts are being cleared faster as they are being received along with police clearance certificates. Some applicants, who are under the wrong impression that submission of applications at the Passport Office will enable them to secure their passports early, are approaching brokers,” he said.

Applications from the districts will not be directly accepted at the Passport Office. Some brokers are securing details of the applicants and making online applications. They are taking a printout and making false claims that the passport officials are seeking police clearance certificate. The brokers are collecting hefty amounts for filling the application form. The gullible applicants are under the false impression that the broker has done his part of the processing work with the officials. “Ordinary applications for passports from other districts will not be accepted here. Even in the case of applications under ‘Tatkal', applicants from other districts have to approach the SP office concerned, get the police clearance certificate, and bring it along with them when they come here,” says Mr. Surendra.

The total number of applications received at the Regional Passport Office have been shown in the table.

(Total input is the total number of applications received at the Regional Passport Office from the city and those from the five districts of West Godavari, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam. The ‘Z' input refers to applications received from the districts alone. The output refers to the number of passports issued.)

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