Kottayam Passport Seva Kendra shut temporarily, seeking alternative arrangement: MEA

Kottayam Pasport Office
Kottayam Pasport Office. File photo: Manorama

Kottayam: Kottayam Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) has been temporarily shut owing to technical and operational reasons. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has clarified that the centre was closed for maintenance of the building.

"We are trying to find an alternative arrangement at the earliest," MEA Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs) Ausaph Sayeed said.

Kottayam MP Thomas Chazhikadan had requested Chief Passport Officer Armstrong Changsan for an alternative arrangement for the public within Kottayam. A letter of request was also dispatched to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of State V Muraleedharan and the Secretary in charge of the PSK.

Meanwhile, a private party has expressed willingness to rent out a building near Kottayam Collectorate for the purpose. Shifting PSK to another building would incur an additional cost of Rs 9 crore.

Until a new facility is readied at Kottayam, the passport applicants from Kottayam district would be served by Alappuzha, Tripunithura and Aluva Passport Seva centres. The applicants themselves can reschedule the interview centre closer to them, Kochi Regional Passport Officer T R Mithun informed.

Considering that the applicants from Kottayam also need to be included, the number of passport interviews at Aluva, Thripoonithara and Alappuzha would be increased proportionately.

Regular passport applications, tatkal applications and requests for Police clearance certificates would be handled by these centres. Most applicants would be allotted Alappuzha as the centre considering it is the closest to the district.

Kottayam Passport Centre used to serve about 550 applicants on an average, every day. It is one of the busiest passport centres in the State.

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