Posted by: Prashanth Rajan | July 10, 2008

Uncomforting passport experience at Bangalore One

Around 2 months back, I had approached the Bangalore one center inside RTO at Rajajinagar for applying for passport. The person was before me was an elderly gentleman who was angry with the authorities for their bad service. Apparently the passport required a proof of marriage. The previous day, it seems the authorities had actually told him since he was a senior citizen, such a proof wasn’t required and he was actually sent back since the photo of his required to be in a white background . But on that day, he was told that they couldn’t continue with the process since there wasn’t a marriage photo or certificate for proof of marriage. Hence it was natural of him, considering that it was the authorities’ mistake, that they acting as if it was no fault of theirs was not acceptable. So imagine the mistake on the authorities part that there were 2 women who were in charge of processing the form, one would tend to be a little forgiving for their mistakes, considering pity since they weren’t rude. The gentleman had come from a considerably far-off place( think chandra layout). So such a experience , that too considering his age was truly harrowing for him. He might as well considered another place for his submission but he thought this wasn’t that busy so he might approach here.

Such an experience did not elude me as well. At first I was sent back stating that there needed to be an attested copy of the Xth report card(which served as a proof of date of birth). The next day I submitted the particulars and they apparently told me that nothing else was wrong  with the other documents. Around a month and a half, I completed my police verification by going to the police station and submitting some necessary documents( There I had to submit some extra records, some which was missed by the authorities, again I had to take the trouble of doing that). After the verification, I thought everything would finally fall into place. But last week, nearly 50 days after applying , I received a letter saying that there needed to be a proof of date of birth and that after further enquiries, that the Xth report card wasn’t enough was what I was told. Hence I had to first get my original date of birth certificate, ( That was another time consuming process), then i had to submit the attested xerox copy of it.

Will the concerned higher authorities take notice, apart from easing the red-tape work that usually takes place? ( There are several instances where certain people, if they find out that you are new for things like , say renewal of passport at such places say RTO, then they would misguide you to saying that the process if carried out by them would take lesser time and in the process force you to shell out more money from you for processing red-tape work. The time taken would generally be almost the same even if you did it on your own, and at the half the expense. No doubt there are link ups between the some of the officials and the middle-men, and these middle-men if they come to know that there happen to be people who are unaware of the processes, force them to fall into this predicament. This is a true instance of my friend’s).

SUGGESTIONS :

1.There needs to be more clear protocols that people need to be known about before approaching such places for such purposes. This way it would discourage corruption.

2.Also people need to be enlightened about the procedures involved for carrying out their requirements( such as issue of pamphlets saying what needs to be done where and so on).

3.The service at such important centres such as this passport outlet at bangalore one needs to be improved and feedbacks/complaints need to be seriously considered.

ADVICE:

Take any friend/ family member who knows all the processes involved along with you if you are there a particular reason for the first time.

Ask the officials who are seated inside for instructions and help

Do not talk to any strangers who might look like prospective middlemen. (They might cleverly lure you by saying that the work can be done faster, but do not pay any heed to them). Such middlemen usually keep wandering around without any fixed place, looking for people they can lure.

Do not have a look on your face saying you are lost. Be confident and try to look as if you know what you are doing even though you really don’t.

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Responses

  1. Having taken for a ride at several govt offices i know what it takes to get your work done:

    – Have patience, if you don’t atleast control your impatience, if you yell at the official getting your work done is next to impossible.

    – They want to get rid of you as soon as possible. But don’t let them. When they tell you to get some document(requirement) hand over the application and tell them to check in detail and tell what more documents are required and what mistakes are there in application.

    – Some places have bribes which act as “TATKAAL”.

    – You have rights as a citizen, remember that, don’t let anyone take them away from you.


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