CHENNAI: Is your passport getting delayed? Here’s the reason — the city’s Regional Passport Office is running short of booklets.
With queries mounting on the status of passports, officials at the Regional Passport Office say that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has assured supply of more blank passport booklets. As per figures available with the MEA till February 21 this year, the Chennai Regional Passport Office had 14, 515 pending applications.
However, a source in the passport office said that supply of booklets had resumed and that the regional passport office here would bring down the pending applications within the next 15 days.
The booklets are produced and supplied by India Secu rity Press in Nashik.
Production had stopped in January since the laminated sheets needed for a few pages had been used up.
As a result, issuance of passport booklets across the country had been hit. “Since the printing has resumed, we hope to reduce the pendency of applications to zero in the next 15 days,” a source told City Express.However, several passport applicants, unaware of the issue, have been frequenting the passport office to know the status of their applications.
David Arokiya Durai, an official with the Chennai Corporation, said he had been frequenting the office for a passport for his wife so that she could visit pilgrimage sites in Jerusalem, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan.
“The only reply I get is that they are short of passport booklets. My wife is a government official and she comes under the special category. As per norms, I should be getting it within two days,” he says.
But officials said that they were giving special consideration to applicants on a priority basis.
“The Ministry of External Affairs should look into the issue. The delay in issuing passports will affect the livelihood of people. Many are worried that their work permit visas would expire before they get their passports,” an applicant said on condition of anonymity.