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Amritsar: Visitors to passport office at receiving end

Demand certain basic facilities for them, accompanying relatives or friends

Amritsar: Visitors to passport office at receiving end

Visitors to the passport office on the Mall Road wait outside the office in Amritsar. Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, June 23

With the day temperature hovering around 45°C these days in the city, visitors to the passport office face a lot of inconvenience as the authorities have failed to provide proper seating arrangements, sheds, drinking water and toilet facility to them.

The Regional Passport Office, Amritsar, accommodates around 1,300 applicants daily. Applicants from Majha and several districts of Malwa visit the office daily. Generally, it opens for five days in a week. The passport office gives appointments for a particular time slot and allow the applicants to enter the office. However, the accompanying family members of the applicants are not allowed to enter the office. They have to wait out on the roadside where they have to face searing heat. Even the parking facility is not available near the building where applicants park vehicles properly.

Most of the applicants are students who aspire to study abroad. Girl students often visit along with parents, who have to wait outside the passport office. Even the applicants who reach before the scheduled appointment have to wait for their entry outside the office where no seating arrangements have been made. The reception desk issues tokens to applicants as per their scheduled appointment.

While waiting for their appointment, applicants brave extreme weather conditions outside the office. In the absence of proper arrangements, most visitors can be seen sitting on scooters parked outside the office or on the stairs of the nearby shops.

Mansimran Singh, an applicant, said, “Getting a passport is not an easy task. The summer is at its peak, but not even a single fan is provided in the waiting area of the office for candidates or their accompanying near or dear ones. People have to wait for a minimum of one hour to get their work done.

The applicants, who have applied for the passport, have to use their passport application forms as paper fans while standing in a long queue. Fans can only be seen over the officials sitting behind the counters. In this regard, arrangements should be made by authorities as there is always a huge rush.”

Visitors have demanded to relocate the passport office to some other site where facilities can be provided. “Applicants from Muktsar, Ferozepur and other Malwa districts visit here. Youth can be seen sitting on the railing of the BRTS corridor. There is no toilet facility even for woman visitors. MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla should take up the matter with the authorities concerned and relocate the office,” said Saurabh Sharma, a resident.

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