BENGALURU: The Regional Passport Office here has opened up its doors to the public since Monday. Expectedly, there was a huge rush of passport applicants. The four offices across the state started operations with only one-third of the staff strength as allowed by current regulations.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Regional Passport Officer Bharath Kumar Kuthati said, “We opened one Passport Seva Kendra in Mangaluru and Hubballi each and two Kendras were opened at Lalbagh and Marthahalli in Bengaluru. Since prior appointments have to be sought, only 33% of the usual number of appointments was made available by the system.” The RPO was also functioning with only one-third staff strength, he said.
“On a normal day, we receive a maximum of 1,500 applications at the Lalbagh office. Since Monday, only a maximum of 450 applications are permitted. At Marathahalli, we accept only 200 applications instead of the usual 600,” the officer explained.
All the offices in the State were completely sanitised and all steps to ensure social distancing were put in place, Kuthati said. The 23 Passport Seva Kendras located at Post Offices across the state have not been opened yet. “We are holding talks with the Postal Department to open them too shortly,” he added.
Rly Board to decide on intra-state service
Union Minister of State for Railways, Suresh Angadi, on Tuesday said that a decision on allowing train services within Karnataka will be taken in the next 2-3 days. The Railway Board will discuss whether to allow train service in Karnataka.