BENGALURU : Natives of Jammu & Kashmir who have migrated to Karnataka are forced to wait a long time for their passports. Reason: police verification process from their home town takes a good number of months to be completed. This is one of the issues that the Regional Passport Office is attempting to address in the ongoing Vigilance Awareness Week here.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Bharath Kumar Kuthati, Regional Passport Officer, Bengaluru, said, “The Vigilance Awareness Week is an occasion for us to improve on our processes and functioning. We found that a fair number of passport applications of natives of Jammu & Kashmir have been pending due to non-receipt of police verification reports.
It takes anywhere between six months and even a year for the reports to reach us.” The RPO has decided to approach the J & K police to speed up the verification process, he said. “It will be done in coordination with our passport office there,” he added.
While police verification is permitted after receipt of passports in case of Tatkal applications and reapplication of a fresh passport before the expiry of an existing one in case there is not much difference in the individual’s appearance, the same does not apply for residents of J & K as well as Nagaland.
“Passport can only be issued after a police verification report for them,” Kuthati said. On other improvements effected here, he said that only around 30 per cent of those who send in their applications in connection with complications pertaining to their passports are called for a personal interview to the Koramangala office.
“We want to minimize human interaction during the Covid times. Hence, our staffers make video calls,” he said. He said that from April to October 15 this year, 88,139 passports have been issued by the office. This is almost one-fifth of those issued in the corresponding period last year.