Confusion at Passport Seva Kendra
Confusion prevailed outside the Passport Seva Kendra on Lalbagh Road on Monday morning, as many applicants turned up for their appointments.
The officials of the Regional Passport Office, along with the civic and police officials, had a tough time convincing the people who had gathered to come back at the appointment time.
Admitting that there was some confusion with regard to appointments, Regional Passport Officer, Bengaluru, Bharath Kumar Kuthati, told The Hindu that the situation was now under control. He said the operations had resumed after a two-month gap.
Usually, the Passport Seva Kendra, that operates from 9.15 a.m., gives 1,500 appointments a day. The RPO has now reduced the number of appointments a day to 33%, around 350. The appointments slotted for Monday were rescheduled to Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Considering the extraordinary situation, we had reduced the number of appointments, so that we are able to maintain social distancing on the premises. The applicants were also sent messages on re-scheduling of appointments. However, many people were probably confused after receiving a series of messages and turned up at the seva kendra,” he said and added that a few people, who applied for new passport or renewal through agents, may not have been informed by them.
Stating that the situation was now under control, Mr. Kuthati said that applicants should download Arogya Sethu app on their mobile phones compulsorily. “Those who don’t have smart phones may furnish a non-COVID certificate from a registered medical practitioner,” he said and admitted that this could have been another reason for the confusion outside the seva kendra.
“Now, to reduce confusion, we are checking at the gate itself and only letting in people based on the appointment time slot,” he pointed out.
Applicants are also required to wear masks and bring their own sanitisers. The number of officials attending to the applicants had been increased to reduce congestion on the premises. That apart, the biometric machines and common areas, door knobs and washrooms are sanitised periodically, he added.