Sinlung /
10 September 2014

Passport Seva Kendras For All Northeast Indian States

Agartala, Sep 10 : To overcome the growing backlog of passport- seekers, all the North-Eastern Indian states will get their own Passport Seva Kendras by Mar 31, a top Indian minister has said.

All the state appreciated the move which will help in further improving the relation between the people of this part of India with its neighouring like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand.

"Before the next financial year, that is March 31, we will open Passport Seva Kendras in all the North-East states," announced Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a press conference in Indian capital.

At present there is only one regional passport office at Guwahati of Assam in the region that caters to the 96 districts of six North-Eastern, while Tripura comes under the Kolkata office.

Earlier, there was provision of a special permit which later took the shape of India-Bangladesh Passport issued by the political department of Tripura.

This was for people who were keen to travel to only Bangladesh for family or business reasons but not to elsewhere in the world.

However, recently due to security related issues, this system has been stopped leading to a major problem in getting passport for those who often goes to Bangladesh for various reasons.

Swaraj also announced that the Centre has agreed to double the production of number of passport booklets published per year keeping in mind the recent demand of passports.

"Around ten million booklets used to produced annually, which led to a great shortage of passports. When I was made the External Affairs Minister, I found that the shortage of passport booklets to be more than six lakhs. Thus now, we have decided that the number of booklets produced shall be increased to two crores annually," she said.

The India External Affairs Minister further said that there was a plan to start passport camps, where the people would be able to get their passports made.

"We want to start passport camps, where people can come and get their passports made for those who find it difficult to travel to Passport Seva Kendras. We want to open a passport camp in every district in the country," she said.

As of December 31, 2013, the number of valid passport s in the country was 5,19, 29,132.


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