“There are hundreds of applications pending in the passport office due to lack of granting officers. We need to increase the number of officers for swift processing and issuing of the passports. As a legislative member, it is my duty to solve the problems of the people in the district. I have raised such questions and I will follow up these issues until the problems are solved.”- MLC Ivan D’souza during a press meet on 11 August 2014
Mangaluru: Well said by MLC Ivan D’Souza in the above statement, but even after 10 months of his assurance to the public of rectifying the problems at the local passport office, just like other politicians who promise many things, it seems like, “I don’t practice what I preach?” kind of policy. But even before being a MLC, Ivan has protested many a times along with congress leaders to improve the services and facilities at the local Passport Office- but as of today nothing much has changed, people trying to get their passport work done are going through lots of hassles with the passport officials, and also facing many inconveniences at the office.
On behalf of hundreds/thousands of people who are going through a hectic time in getting their passport work done at the local PP office, I kindly request MLC Ivan D’Souza to look into the situations and make his promises to the general public a reality. And for that matter, I think even MLA JR Lobo who has been very helpful to the citizens of Mangaluru in various issues, can also intervene to solve the ongoing problems at PP office. Thank you!
Yes, be ready to be treated like a peasant of colonial times, the govt staff over here at the passport office doesn’t even think in their dreams that their salaries are paid by the very citizens they are supposed to serve. Forget about having addressed politely and all, they will treat you like animals. For simple things you will be made to wait in queue for hours outside, then once you are inside you have to wait for hours for your number to be called, then you may be made to run in a circle between the same rooms and staff from morning to evening office closing time.
There are many chances that you will have wait in several queues just for a small progress in your case, the staff will ensure to break a sentence in their remark so that you will need to get on to the same queue again for having that completed, a typical bureaucratic functioning, of course you need to be there by 8:30 am or even before to get a token of reasonable number though they will start issuing only at a later time. I heard from one staff that there has been a 30% cut in workforce and they are fed up with the work load. To me it somewhat appeared that the number of people they are handling in a day is very huge but if that’s the case why they should be making people comeback again and again to them for the same issues. Pathetic is not the word for having wasted people’s precious time whole day at the passport office for a simple passport work.
Speaking to me Kiran Fernandes of Kalpane/Kulshekar after completing his renewal of passport work at this passport office said, ” Very bad and pathetic service, sorry that I have to say about this PP office. Three to four staff to handle nearly 500 applicants makes people to wait and wait, and get frustrated. The first time I had my appointment, I went in at 11.45 am, got number 186 to see the staff, and waited for hours, before I came out at 5pm. I had to go back again for a document to be submitted which was not instructed to me earlier. The next day, I went in at 2.15pm, got 256 number, but through arguments/negotiations with the staff I managed to get out from that office at 4.30pm.”
Kiran further said, “This office can put anyone in inconveniences- the office space is too congested with so many people gathered in one place. I found out that there are not many exit doors in case of emergency. Someone who wants to have a coffee/tea or snacks at the canteen has to shell out some hard earned money- a coffee/tea costs Rs 25 and snacks prices vary from Rs 25 and above- a rip-off, I guess. There are constant arguments between customers and staff all the time pertaining to number allotment issues. The concerned authorities should appoint more staff, provide better facilities, better service etc, so that no one should go through all the hassels like I went through. I only hope this PP office will get better one of these days”.
NRI Sadanand from Muscat, who was coming out after finishing his passport/immigration related work after spending six hours at the office said, “You will be first made to stand in half a kilometer long queue in the humid weather, then once you enter the building the temperatures can even go up depending on the number of people inside the office, and in spite of AC/fans you will still sweat if you are not used to such kind of atmosphere. Also do not think of shouting or arguing with the staff, I felt like itching myself seeing their pathetic state of frustration for having to deal with PHDs to uneducated that too in so many numbers. Extra staff will go a long way to calm down people’s frustrations”.
Cheryl, yet another customer said, “There is some confusion about these numbers/tokens that the office issues. You should keep a watch on the TV monitors which display your token as it flows through the system. The tokens are assigned to counters automatically based on some heuristics, so, they cannot be biased (this is what I gathered after talking to some folks). But many customers get fumed over for the reason, that others number were called before theirs-because it depends on the nature of the service. People should be made known about this system, to avoid confusions and quarrels”.
Yes, sometimes there are customers who can’t handle patience and try to be rude with the staff- But in spite of that these staff are not willing to quit the job I suppose, one staff member (who was taking a break behind the office) who was apparently doing some good job in managing people said he needs to take 2 pills every day in the night to get sleep, well it looked like he was honest, but then his attitude towards people was that he is doing a great favor and thinks it’s his right to call persons by singular or even like an object. I think it’s always good to carry additional documents when you visit the PP office. These are marriage certificate, birth certificate, address proof etc. as you never know what you may need. According to my friend, the tatkal process is an unnecessary hassle especially from verification purpose and unless there is a real need for the hurry, you should apply in the normal queue.
These are just a few problems among the many that people face when they visit the local Passport office. The concerned authorities/ministers/political leaders should waste no time in looking into all these hassles /inconveniences /problems that innocent applicants are facing once they are inside the PP office and thereby facing the moody and grumpy staff. I thought there would have been some improvement with the new government in force but the state of affairs here is far from a corporately managed service. Until we hear or see changes being made at the Passport office in town, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. God save us.
Also read related articles below:
- Mangalore: Development of DK District is my Priority – MLC Ivan D’Souza
- Mangalore: Congress Leaders Protest against Lack of Amenities at Passport Office
- Mangalore: ‘Not Blaming the Govt, But The Officials at MIA for Inefficiency’- Ivan D’Souza