Despite the fact that passport office authorities in Pune have started a new website and a passport seva kendra in Mundhwa, the citizens had to face inconvenience when the passport office authorities at Senapati Bapat Road office refused to accept application forms on the grounds that it was downloaded from the old website.
The Pune passport office situated at Senapati Bapat Road deals with applications from Pune, Ahmednagar, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur districts. The office receives nearly 800 applications every day. In an attempt to ease the pressure on the office, the passport authorities started a passport seva kendra at Mundhwa where new passport applications are processed and the Senapati Bapat Road now only processes Tatkal passports. On June 1, the authorities also started a new website
www.passportindia.gov.in to enable applicants to download passport application forms.
However, on Friday, some applicants having application forms downloaded from old website www.passport.gov.in were not allowed to submit their forms. Applicants alleged that they were called for interview on Friday but after reaching the office, the authorities asked them to fill up fresh forms according to the new format. Some of the applicants had come to Pune from other districts but they had to return without submitting their forms.
Sandesh Salunke from Satara, who had come to submit his daughter’s form told DNA, “We had downloaded the form from the old website before June1 and according to the procedure, we got a message for interview scheduled on Friday. But when we reached the new passport office in Mundhwa, the authorities told us that they cannot accept the form saying it has been downloaded from old website. I was shocked to hear from authorities when they told me to download a new form and come again for the interview.’’
Salunke said, “I had taken leave to come to Pune for my daughter’s passport. But I am disappointed because the authorities did not inform us about changes in the form system and refused to take the old form.’’
Vaijayanti, another applicant, said, “They could have sent an SMS or an email. The authorities did not even tell us that the forms are not valid. When we reached office, they told us to come back with a new form.’’