All Northeastern states will soon have passport offices


passport-goodThe Ministry for External Affairs, on Tuesday, has announced the setting up of passport offices in the remaining northeastern states to ensure passports are issues in much faster and easier manner.

“Currently a passport office in Guwahati and a Passport Seva Kendra in Imphal (Manipur) are functioning. A Passport Seva Kendra would be set up in Agartala on Thursday,” said an official of the Tripura government’s political department.

According to sources, the ministry has taken decisions to set up, either a passport office or a passport Seva Kendra at the capital cities of the remaining northeastern states.

The Passport Seva Kendra in Agartala is likely to be inaugurated by Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh on Thursday thus abiding to a long pending demand of the Tripura government.

“At present on an average 15,000 passports are being issued yearly to the people of Tripura. After setting up the Passport Seva Kendra in Agartala, the number would at least double,” the official said. Presently, the Kolkata regional passport office issues all the passports to Tripura residents and applicants.

Addressing a public meeting in Silchar, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, announced that a regional passport centre would be set up in Silchar to ease the problem faced by the people of southern Assam also known as Barak Valley.

In a recent visit to the state, Director of Passport Seva Project (PSP) A.K. Sobti said that the handwritten passports have become invalid across the world since November 24. Officials made the visit to oversee the arrangements to set up the passport office in Agartala.

An official circular said the government was issuing machine readable passport (MRPs) since 2001. Those issued before 2001, particularly in the mid-90s with a validity of 20 years, fall into the non-MRPs category.