In a bid to assist the Hajj aspirants—2023, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India has accorded special approval to the Regional Passport Office in Srinagar to hold a day-long awareness and passport-related assistance camp, officials said on Saturday.
Regional Passport Officer Srinagar (RPO) Davinder Kumar told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that he applied with a request to the MEA to hold a day-long awareness cum passport-related information, and upon the approval of request, more than 400 applicants approached the office.
“We witnessed a huge rush of Haj aspirants earlier this week, and we preponed their application dates for speedy process for issuance of passports after the completion of due legal formalities. However, a request was sent to MEA to grant approval for holding a day-long specialized camp regarding the issuance of passports, which was approved,” he said.
“It is a welcome step as assistance is being provided to us to facilitate our issues and concerns related to the passport, but majorly the issues which are concerning us are the validity of the passports and we are hopeful that the concern will be addressed,” a Haj aspirant told the media.
RPO Srinagar said that the concerned officers from the UT’s Haj Committee were also called to formulate a plan to address the passport-related issues of the Hajj aspirants.
“Prior to the camp, a discussion was held with the concerned officers and it was decided that the recommendations should not be unabated, and that those 70 plus of age, senior citizens should be prioritized for re-issuance of passports,” RPO Srinagar said.
Stating that there is a lack of awareness while applying for passports, RPO Srinagar said that they along with the UT’s Haj Committee will hold special awareness camps in the future for Haj aspirants so that they don’t face any problems when they have to leave for the holy journey.
He further said that in case any of the applicant applying for the passport faces any issue or any discomfort at his office by any of the employee, can approach him directly.