New Delhi, Jul 10 : Two BJP lawmakers Bidyut Baran Mahato from Jharkhand and Sudheer Gupta from Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday recorded their appreciation for former External Affairs Minister and senior party leader Sushma Swaraj for her able stewardship in setting up of Passport Seva Kendras in the country.
Raising supplementary queries, both the members Mr Mahato (representing Jamshedpur) and Mr Gupta (from Mandsaur constituency) said both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former External Affairs Minister Ms Swaraj deserve credit for bringing in revolutionary changes in terms of setting up of passport issuing centres and also for allowing such mechanism from post offices. Ms Swaraj, a party veteran and experienced parliamentarian and who was External Affairs Minister in PM Modi's previous dispensation, did not contest this year's general elections on health ground.
Responding to members, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the Passport Offices and Passport Seva Kendras are working with "best amenities" and the state-of-the-art architecture for passport issuance. He said drastic change has been brought in the system of issuing passports and now an applicant can get his travel document within 11 days and for Tatkal applicants it is in fact done in one day.
He also said since 2014 due to concerted efforts of the Modi government, as many as 412 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras have been set up in the country. The number of passport issuing centres in north east has also gone up from mere one to 16 and now all the states in the far-fling region has passport issuing centres, Mr Muraleedharan said. Among others Congress member Manish Tewari also asked supplementary and he sought opening of passport offices in all the districts in the country.
"The right to travel is considered a fundamental right according to a Supreme Court judgement," he remarked. The Minister also said as on July 4, there are total 36 passport offices in the country and 93 Passport Seva Kendras. He said that introduction of a special app has helped expedite the process of police verification which was once an avenue of corruption and delay. (UNI)