Finally its over! My passport is renewed & I am free to travel as & when I wish. I had been putting off going to the Passport office because honestly speaking, I hate going to any Government office. I just cannot stand the stoned officers or the general lethargy in the atmosphere. But I was in for a surprise at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in Mumbai.
I filled the application for reissue of passport online. After paying the necessary sum, once again online, I booked an appointment. They allowed me to choose the date & time of the appointment. I had chosen the first slot early in the morning in order to avoid the rush which might result due to delay in processing of initial applications.
I reached the PSK half an hour prior to my appointment. Only the applicant is allowed inside the PSK unless you are a senior citizen or physically challenged. From there a guard checked my printed application form & directed me to the counter assigned for reissue. There the lady checked my application & attached the photocopies of my submitted documents. After waiting for thirty minutes I was given a token & then directed to the next counter. Here I didn’t have to wait at all & was immediately taken in for getting my documents scanned. At the same counter they collected my fingerprints & clicked a photograph. After paying Rs. 40/- at this counter I was asked to move in to the next room. Here the wait lasted for almost an hour before I was called inside. The officer here verified my documents & stamped my old passport as “canceled”. After waiting for 15-20 min I was called to the last counter where they approved my request for passport reissue. From here on you collect the acknowledgement slip & fill in the feedback form & exit the PSK. If all your documents are in proper order the entire process from the time you enter the PSK to the time you exit it takes about three hours.
Everything is very well managed in the PSK & the service provided is much better than what one would expect from a Government office. My last experience at their Worli office had not been so good. Since I had submitted my application form online there was no question of data entry errors & hence everything on my passport be it my name, address or birth date, were correctly printed.
The delay at the third counter is because they prioritize senior citizens & tatkal applicants. Hence the rest of the applicants often have to wait for some time before their token numbers start.
I received my passport within 3 days of going to the PSK. Throughout the process the PSK keeps you well informed about each & every stage, from your passport application being processed, your passport being printed & it being dispatched.
The only problem I encountered in the whole process was with the Speed Post Department. The postman dropped a note stating that no one was at home, even though all of us were very much at home, and asked me to collect the passport from their office. They do not hand over the passport to anyone except the applicant. Even that is done after careful verification of your identifying documents.
Other than the final hitch with the speed post delivery of my passport my entire passport reissue went very smoothly. A big thank you to everyone who has managed to get things in order since the last time I was there at their office.