Date:07/11/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/11/07/stories/2008110753110600.htm
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Tamil Nadu

New system of verifying passport applicants

Special Correspondent

Police verification report to be sent through e-mail

— Photo: K. Manikandan

EASY, QUICK PASSPORTS: S. R. Jangid, Chennai Suburban Police Commissioner, and Sumathi Ravichandran, Regional Passport Officer, explain the new system of verification of passport applicants on Wednesday.

CHENNAI: The Regional Passport Office and the Chennai Suburban Police Commissionerate have simplified the process of verification of people who have applied for passports, thereby reducing the time taken to despatch the travel document to the applicants.

Briefing reporters on Wednesday, Sumathi Ravichandran, Regional Passport Officer, and S. R. Jangid, Chennai Suburban Commissioner, said that from now on, the details of police verification would be sent through e-mail between the respective offices. At present, soon after the application forms are received, they are processed at the Regional Passport Office and sent to the Commissionerate in St. Thomas Mount. From there, the details and forms are given to Constables and Head Constables of the respective police stations.

These constables do the legwork, go to the address given by the applicant for verification and return the forms during the weekly meeting at the Commissionerate. Under the new system, the details would be forwarded online through e-mail in a software specially designed for the project.

“With the new system in place, we hope to reduce the time taken for issuing passports by about two weeks to a month,” Mr. Sumathi Ravichandran said.

At present, the average time taken for despatching passports to the applicants was about two months and the verification process alone took a lot of time, she added. Under the new system, people also had the option of converting their application into the Tatkal category once the verification is completed through e-mail, she said.

Mr. Jangid said the new system was put in place after it was tried for over two weeks and constables of Intelligence Section too were trained.

When the application forms arrive at the Commissionerate, the applicants’ photos are scanned and sent to the constables’ e-mail id along with the other details. Until the time all the police stations received broadband internet connections, the constables would visit browsing centres daily in the evening and send the details to the Commissionerate about the application forms they had processed, Mr. Jangid said.

Ms. Sumathi Ravichandran added that in the past two years, her office had issued three lakh passports.

Despite the creation of an office in Coimbatore with five districts in its jurisdiction, the Chennai office would continue to issue a large number of passports.

During October, it had completed a special drive and issued 30,088 passports.

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