Manipur's dream comes true; CM Ibobi inaugurates passport office at Imphal

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Imphal, April 1: Taking into consideration the government’s pursuance of Visa on Arrival at Imphal and Moreh and upgradation of Imphal airport to an operational international airport, Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi on Tuesday inaugurated the passport office at Imphal.

On the occasion, he reiterated his government’s pursuance of Visa on Arrival at Imphal and Moreh and upgradation of Imphal airport to an operational international airport.

In his speech at the inaugural function of Passport Seva Kendra at Imphal Hotel, he said that all necessary facilities, infrastructure and human resource are already in place, we are only awaiting the positive response from both the Ministry of Home & Ministry of External Affairs. 

“This has been such a cherished dream for all of us. It is indeed a historic moment for us after a long anticipatory wait. We can finally avail citizen passport at our doorstep in a convenient manner and need not travel to Guwahati anymore,” Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam added.

The state officials has been extremely supportive in attaining such expeditious progress of setting up a PSK in Imphal within a year. The issuance of passport is one of the major and most visible citizen centric service render by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The government’s passport network comprises of 37 Passport Offices and 77 Passport Seva Kendras till June 2012. It is a very expansive passport service network, supported by 183 embassies and consulates abroad. Presently we are working on 18 additional PSK in several parts of the country and Manipur is one of them, news agency The Imphal Free Press reported.

The ministry is committed to provide closer and better Passport services to our fellow citizens in NE. Hence PSK centres are newly set up in Aizawl, Shillong and it is in full swing for the other four states as well.

Presently India is the third largest country in terms of passport services globally next to China and USA. About six crores Indian citizens hold valid passports. In 2014 more than one crore passports applications were serviced. In the NE about 85,000 passport applications were serviced for the eight states. With the upcoming PSKs we hope to increase this figure.

IT driven citizen centric Passport Seva Project is implemented by the Ministry of External Affairs as part of the national e-governance plan. It has comprehensively over-hauled the passport delivery system in the country.

All the processes are online and streamline towards transparency and accountability in the delivery of government service. Verification of documents and granting is done in the presence of citizens to ensure transparency.

The IT network connects Speedpost Centre India Post, India Security Press Nashik, Immigration Check Post and Embassies abroad. We plan to integrate with CCTNS to create a seamless IT enabled platform which can be easily accessible by all citizens.

Citizens can also access service from national call centre available for 24/7, for further assistance. Passport portal also provides comprehensive information about how to summit application and procedure for payment of passport fees on line.

PSK is a cashless operation hence there is no exchange of money at the PSK to promote complete transparency. CCTV are installed to ensure that citizens are not harass for some undue payments. We envisage that 400 Common Service Centres in rural hinterland of Manipur, can provide affordable internet service for filing applications on line and seeking appointments.

Most importantly we expect state government to finish police verifications in 21 days, then we can certainly give passport to citizens in 30 days. So if police verification is improved and fast track here, it will significantly speed up the process.

Some states have shown commendable progress on this front. For instance, Delhi police is able to finish verification in 12 days. Likewise Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Haryana in 17 days, Chandigarh in 18 days and Telengana in 19 days.

In all 600 out of 725 police districts in the country are integrated with passport systems online, this facilitates instant transfer of forms/files. Manipur have completed some of the requisite procedure for integration so that the police authority can receive and submit online.

Such procedure will save time and ensure complete accountability of each application form unlike cases of misplacement in the hitherto manual system. With this online system the state home department will also have access to the dashboard and can monitor directly and extend support towards speedy verification.

The historic function was attended by Members of Parliament, Ministers, MLAs and Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries and various other officials of the state.

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