Hyderabad, Jan 29 (INN): The Regional Passport Office, Hyderabad, has issued a record number of 6.95 lakh passports in calendar year 2014. This achievement made the RPO Hyderabad, the top and largest passport office out of 37 RPOs in the country.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, RPO Ashwini Sattaru informed that the RPO received nearly 7.17 lakh applications in the year 2014. On an average 4,000 applications were received on daily basis which include nearly 60 per cent fresh applicants. She informed that the RPO had organised 30 Passports Melas in the year 2014. The biggest Mela was held at NIT Warangal where almost 1,000 students applied for their passports. Further, 16 Passports camps were oranised at different places.
There was a 13 per cent increase in the number of passports issued in 2014 compared to previous year. In 2013, as many as 6.32 passports were issued as against the 6.56 applications.
Sattaru said that the passport applications from Mahabubnagar and Medak in Telangana State were issued in record six day period while applications from Adilabad were cleared in nine days. In Andhra Pradesh, passports were issued in just six days for applicants of Krishna while Kadapa and Tirupati stood second with seven day period. She said all the applicants, whose passports are pending, may directly approach the RPO till February 28. From March 1st onwards, they will have to visit after taking an appointment.
The RPO informed that while Hyderabad Police Commissionerate was sending the police verification reports within 21 days, the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate was completing the task in 13 days.
Sattaru also informed that eight districts of Andhra Pradesh State, which are currently under the jurisdiction of Hyderabad RPO, would be transferred to Visakhapatnam Passport Office in the next few months. This includes transfer of Passport Seva Kendra in Vijayawada and Tirupati as well. All the applications from Anantapur, Chittoor, YSR Kadapa, Kurnool, Nellore, Vijayawada, Guntur and Prakasam would need to approach the Passport office in Visakhapatnam for all queries and passport related issues/services.
She also said that From 24 November 2015, all hand-written and non-machine readable passports would become invalid. All passports holders who have been issued handwritten passports with 20 year validity and those who have non-MRP are required to renew their passports for a machine readable one. As per International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) norms, all hand-written and non-MR Passports across the world become invalid after this date. She also said that all passport holders should have a minimum validity of six months for applying for any visa. All passport holders should carefully check for such validity and apply for re-issue of passport. The universal practice in vogue now is, “Once your passport crosses the nine-year mark, it is time to get new passport.”
The RPO also urged the Haj pilgrims of 2015 to apply for passports well in advance to avoid last minute rush and tension. She said her office would ensure smooth facilitation at PSKs and early issuance of passports to all Haj pilgrims.
Assistant Passport Officer L Madan Kumar Reddy was also present during the press conference.