CHENNAI: Getting a passport or making changes to it will be easier from now on with three new Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) inaugurated here on Friday.
The three PSKs — in Saligramam, Tambaram and Nelson Manickam Road —can together receive 1,400 passport applications a day as against the 600 that the regional passport centre in Shastri Bhavan currently process. A biometric entry system of all 10 fingerprints to prevent individuals from holding multiple passports, assistance in submission of applications and fee collection for it by trained, e-literate young service crew, reduced time in conducting transactions are part of the PSK initiative. The PSKs are operated in public-private partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) under the National e-governance plan.
At the inaugural event, Chief Passport Officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi said 18 of the proposed 77 PSKs in the country were presently functioning, while the rest would be operational by February 2012. Tamil Nadu has eight PSKs — three in Chennai, two in both Tiruchy and Madurai and one in Coimbatore. The new system mandates the presence of the applicant for his biometric entry. With such a system, it would be easier to achieve the government’s target of delivering a passport in a month’s time, he explained.
The PSKs will also help bring down the rush at the Regional Passport Office, which has been shifted to Raheja Towers on the Mount Road. Pardeshi said the need for approaching Regional Passport Office would arise only in complicated applications. The largest PSK in the city is situated at the Bhanumathi Ramakrishna Salai in Saligramam. The other two kendras can daily receive 300 applications each. The PSKs will receive applications from 9 am to 4 pm.
CoP J K Tripathy, IG (North Zone) C Sylendra Babu, Principal Secretary of Home Department Rameshram Mishra, CBI Joint Director Ashok Kumar and Head of Operations at TCS Rajesh Dogra participated.