Rs 100 reward hastens police passport check
By Merlin Francis | ENS | Published: 07th August 2013 08:01 AM |
The Regional Passport Office in Bangalore, in an effort to speed up police verification, has been offering an incentive of Rs100 per application to the Police Department if the process is completed within 21 days.
The effort follows the ‘Direct to Station’ initiative that links Passport Seva Kendras and police stations, so that applications for verification are directly sent to police stations.
“Nearly 80 pc of the time taken for an applicant to get the passport is the time taken for police verification. Bangalore, at present, has a waiting period of about 51 days, which is above the national average of 41. We are taking initiatives to reduce this waiting period, and the Direct to Station initiative as well as incentives offered to the Police Department are a step in this regard,” said P S Karthigeyan, Regional Passport Officer, Bangalore.
With this, the waiting period is decreasing, Karthigeyan added. In 2012, the average waiting time was 59 days against 65 in 2011.
“But there is scope for improvement,” he said, adding that Delhi completes the process in 14 days.
The Rs 100 is sent to the state government, and not to police stations or officials. It is added in the budgetary allocation to the police, said Raghavendra Auradkar, Bangalore City Police Commissioner.
“We are making every effort to finish police verification in 21 days, which is also stipulated in the Sakaala Act. Generally, we are able to complete it, except when applicants are not at home,” he said.
According to figures provided by the Regional Passport Office, the percentage of police verifications completed within 21 days has increased from 31 in 2010 to 41 (July 2012). Pending applications in the state are at an all-time low of 33,243, till June 2013. “Bangalore’s model has been appreciated and will be used across the state,” Karthigeyan said. According to former Lokayukta Justice Santhosh Hegde, while this is an incentive, it is not a good practice. “Government servants are bound to complete work within the stipulated time,” he said.