After missing three internal deadlines, the Passport Seva Project of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which aims to issue passports in three days, is expected to be launched by next month, a senior government official said.
"TCS Passport Seva Project is all set to be launched by end-March. The infrastructure is ready, software problems have been fixed and security issues are in place for the project to start," ministry of communication & information technology, additional secretary, SR Rao, told reporters on the sidelines of a CII-organised event here today.
A final announcement in this regard would be made soon, he said.
The contract for implementing the Rs1,000 crore project was given to TCS in October 2008 with an implementation time-line beginning in June 2009.
Since June 2009, the project has seen several alterations in its deadline. The project failed to take-off as TCS was reportedly unable to provide fool-proof software.
"According to an agreement with TCS, a pilot study was to be launched in Bangalore and Chandigarh in March 2009. However, the project missed its deadline citing delay in the physical infrastructure and technological problems," Rao said.
The Passport Seva Project, based on a public-private partnership model, aims to provide passport-related services to Indian citizens in a speedy, convenient and transparent manner.
According to the agreement an internal pilot study was to be launched in Bangalore and Chandigarh in March 2009 followed by a roll-out of the project in these two cities three months later in June and later a nationwide launch, comprising 77 Passport Seva Kendras and incorporating the 37 regional passport offices, by January 2010.
When the June date was missed, the internal deadline was first moved to October and then to November. Both were not met.
However, TCS, chief executive officer and managing director, N Chandrasekaran, did not wish to comment on the matter.