Sunday, February 9, 2014

Now, passport application in post offices

TRICHY: Passport applicants have more reason to cheer now. Henceforth, applications for passport-related matters can be filed online at the kiosks set up at select post offices in the central region of Tamil Nadu. The step is to prevent private agents from exploiting the public who collect exorbitant charges. The facility, said to be the first-of-its-kind in the country would start from February 10.

The regional passport office (RPO), Trichy region entered into an agreement with post master general, central region to open a kiosk at head post offices in the region. A postal staff at the kiosk will process the online application for passport-related matters. "With a view to ensure hassle-free process to the passport applicants, the new system of applying for passport at post offices is going to be started in the central region with the help of the postal department. It will surely help make the online application perfect so that it cannot be rejected at the time of procession in the passport seva kendras," K Balamurugan, RPO, Trichy told TOI.

Balamurugan also said the people who do not have access to the internet in rural areas can make use of the facility.

The head post offices in Trichy, Lalgudi, Srirangam, Thuraiyur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Karur, Kulithalai, Kumbakonam, Melakaveri, Mayiladuthurai, Sirkazhi, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Pattukottai, Thiruthuraipoondi, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Papanasam, Mannargudi, Vriddhachalam, Koviloor, Kallakurichi, Cuddalore and Chidambaram would have the facility.

In Trichy, the facility will be available at the sub-post offices in Golden Rock, Teppakulam and Fort. People can make use of the facility from 9am to 3pm in head post offices and from 10 am to 3pm in sub-post offices on all working days.

The applicant has to pay Rs 100 per application in the post offices except in Trichy district. The postal department has agreed to render the service for Rs 70 per application in the post offices in Trichy. However, some of the unauthorised online passport application centres are allegedly charging Rs 200 to Rs 300 per application. On the other hand, the applications filled in at those centres had a lot of mistakes which led to their rejection at the PSKs.

The passport office provided training to the 35 postal staff who will be handing the application filing process. The rest of the process after filing the application will be carried out in the PSK as usual. 
Times of India

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