Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 9:
Around 15, 000 applicants are yet to get their passports in Odisha. The time taken to get a passport is 7 to 15 days, according to Regional Passport Office (RPO) but in reality the passport remains elusive even after months of wait.
Many a times, the details in the police verification form are wrong or an incomplete application is returned from the police station or the application is returned stating that the person is unavailable.
Applicants are running from pillar to post to get their police verification done. The unhelpful attitude of police personnel on the mandatory verification has stalled many applicants’ passport dreams.
More than 15, 000 applicants are waiting for their passports without success as these passports are stuck due to lack of police verification, according to passport office sources.
If a person applies online for passport, then a police verification report is sent to the district SP or DSP office. The application is then redirected to the local police station mentioned by the applicant. The police station in-charge has to fill a report consisting of 11 points and send it to the DSP or SP office. If the report is correct in all respects, it is sent by post to the passport office. If even one of the points is not filled or incorrectly filled, the applicant cannot get the passport.
The passport office sends reminder every 6 months to the DG and SP/ DSP office on the reports which have some lacuna or persons who could not be contacted by the police.
“Every month, we get 11 -12, 000 applications, while 10, 000 applications are printed every month. Police verification being a crucial part of the passport process, the applicant is forced to give bribes to police officials filling up their reports,” admitted a official in the passport office.
A police officer in Bhubaneswar said that most of the times, the applicants are working outside the state and are not there in the address given in the passport. “We also get around 50-60 police verification reports every day, and as we are under-short staffed, it is difficult to do the verification,” he said.