Passport Office – Part 2

In the queue in front of me, there were about 50 people. There was one queue and one “document processor.” In Sholay dialogue style, “Hum Pachas The, aur Woh Sirf Ek.” Twenty minutes into the queue, I realised that the rate of clearing one person was about 6 minutes. Which means, I would be standing in the queue for the next 5 hours. (I was reminded by a fellow queuer that I also needed to factor in their 30-minutes-stretching-to-50-minutes lunch break.)

There were 10 chairs – for the first ten in the queue. The rest needed to stand in place. There were people in the queue coming a second and third time because some document was missing. All accepted the reality of the situation, meekly.  I got my documents checked by a person in one corner – he suggested adding a couple copies which I did. I had no intention of coming again.

The utter ridiculousness of the situation kept starting at me. In today’s day and age, to ask people to wait 5+ hours to submit papers for a passport is absolutely crazy. We have got all the technology in place, but we haven’t changed our people’s attitudes and processes. The same inefficiencies which were there a decade ago are still there. Because no one is thinking it from the citizen’s point of view. The influential get it done by agents; the aam aadmi stands in queue – quietly.

Continued tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Passport Office – Part 2

  1. From my experience in Delhi, where I went for the exactly same purpose, 1. you should never take an internet appointment, 2. if there is a token system, ask somebody to stand for you at 7 in the morning, be the first person to take token at 10 a.m and go straight to the counter.

  2. Hello Rajesh Sir

    You will find more worse such situation in Govt. Offices starting from Talathi to District Collector office, Police station, RTO,etc. This situation will never change because we are now habitual of it. No one raise the voice and political leaders, top Govt. officials, bureaucrats,etc are not facing such situation otherwise they would have realise the same. If they will come to know how horrible is our system.

    Now I read somewhere that TCS is developing the process for Passport office. So hope next time you will not come across such situation.

    – Vijay

  3. Hi Rajesh,

    There is no way to reach you otherwise, hence, I am using this method.

    I am one of your non-customers who get an average of one spam from your companies. Have unsubscribed this mail id many a times, but I guess it doesn’t matter to your guys out there, who keep churning these bulk mails every night. Or may, you have outsourced this work to your servers who pay no heed to lesser mortals like me. One of the comments about your passport story is that policy makers do not have to use the systems or the law the way normal people have to. Doesn’t that apply to you? Have you ever been the victim of your spams? I guess not. And that is why you worry about your international travels and people like me desperately try and look for ways to protect our mail boxes from your servers.

    May better sense prevail in this world before I disown my mail id forever.

    In anticipation,

  4. I had a rather frustrating situation at the passport office last month in chennai.

    However ,the one thing that they did was to provide a token for those with the appointment.
    After that there was a display on each floor that gave the status of the token number.

    Based on a average of 10 minutes per token , at least many of us were able to take off for a couple of hours to attend to other tasks.

    Apart from this every other piece of the process was a nightmare including the rude behavior of the officers

    I sent a complaint to the passport commissioner who at least replied with an apology and the right words to mollify my anger.

    progress albeit glacially.

  5. The country does not work at ANY level.
    have had all sorts of experiences from useless “Convent” schools, to Registration (Property) Offices, to Passport Offices (Mumbai and Pune), govt offices in Mumbai and Pune, law courts (reeking of the stench of urine).