To expedite passport processing, Digilocker — the virtual cloud storage for essential documents like Aadhaar card, driving licence, PAN card and results of major examination — has been integrated with document verification. However, the police verification report (PVR) remained the weakest link in the passport issuance system. A whopping 56,000 cases are currently pending with police in Bengal.
If a passport applicant agrees to get his or her documents electronically verified on Digilocker, the applicant will not be required to carry any document in person at the time of interview at Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). Documents in the Digilocker can be accessed with Aadhaar-mobile number authentication.
“We have integrated Digilocker into the passport processing system. Applicants often forget important documents pertaining to address, date of birth, nationality, etc. The individual then needs to seek a fresh appointment. But if the applicant gives consent, he does not need to upload those documents with the application or bother about producing them physically at the time of interview at PSK,” said regional passport officer of Kolkata Bibhuti Bhushan Kumar.
Inordinate time taken to complete the police verification report in Bengal, Kumar said, has been delaying the passport issuance process here. While all India average for PVR is eight-nine days, it is 34-40 days in Bengal. Significantly, 93% of police districts across the country complete PVR within 21 days.
Some states like Telangana, Kerala, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh complete PVR in four-five days. In Bengal only two police districts — Kolkata and Bidhannagar — use the mobile app to complete PVR. Bidhannagar Police commissionerate is the most prompt to issue PVR within 10 days. Kolkata police does it in 20 days. North Bengal districts, like North Dinajpur, take 117 days.
RPO has again warned against falling prey to fake websites, which are duping a large number of pass-port applicants by charging hefty fees.