SURAT (TIP): This Independence Day, regional passport office (RPO) is set to win the hearts of tens of thousands of people in south Gujarat region who were waiting for the printing and dispatch of their passports for a long time. The passport office has cleared a printing backlog of more than 5,000 passports, which was stalled for one-and-a-half-month following a shortage of booklets that come from a press in Nashik.

From the Independence Day, the passport office will print the passports on the same day for those who cleared the appointment interview at Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) and the applicants will get the passport delivered within three days. “We have been successful in clearing the pending print queue for the passport. The cases cleared by the PSK will get their passports printed on the same day and that it will be delivered within two days via postal department, provided how fast the police is able to verify the cases,” said passport officer Kumar Nityanand.

Officials said that the huge backlog was because of India Security Press in Nashik that had suspended production of passport booklets owing to a shortage in import of laminated sheets required to make the 36-page booklets. The import shortfall, officials said, was a result of suppliers not being able to meet orders in time. This had left tens of thousands of applicants in a limbo.

Apart from job-seekers, several applicants awaiting their passports need to go abroad for medical treatment, officials said. The Surat RPO and PSK at Udhna Darwaja receive around 700 applications each day from Bardoli, Bharuch, Dang, Narmada, Navsari, Surat, Tapi and Valsad. Officials said that many job seekers and those wanting to travel for business, tour and immigration purposes now have a reason to smile. Nityanand said, “Passport holders applying for reissue at PSK will get their new passport within three days.”

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