Now Kashmiris need to visit Jammu for passport
Our Srinagar office was hit by floods so we decided to use Jammu office: RPO
Reflecting the apathetic attitude of Regional Passport Office (RPO) Srinagar towards the flood-hit people, the Central government department has stopped its services here and is issuing and renewing passports from Jammu.
Even as other government departments have started operating from make-shift offices, RPO Srinagar has said that people of Kashmir region who want to get new passports or renew their old ones should contact the Jammu passport office.
The RPO office has wound up its services here and will start them only after the weather condition improves.
The move has evoked resentment from people who are still reeling under the impact of the devastating floods.
“When other government departments can run their offices from make-shift arrangements, why can’t the passport office Srinagar do the same? This is unbecoming on their part that they expect the people who have already been hit by floods to travel all the way to Jammu to get their work done,” said Tabish Ziya, a resident of Budgam.
Senior PDP leader and MP Srinagar, Tariq Hameed Karra, said he will take up the matter with the Union Minister for External Affairs.
“When the people of Kashmir Valley have been hit hard by the floods how does the office of the RPO expect that people will go all the way to Jammu to process the applications for getting or renewing the passports. It is wrong on their part to suspend the services here,” Karra said.
When contacted, Regional Passport Officer Srinagar, Firdaus Ahmad, however defended the move.
“It was not possible for us to run the operations from any of the make-shift accommodations so we decided to use the facilities of our office at Jammu so that people of Kashmir don’t suffer,” he said.
Firdaus, however, didn’t commit about the time by which the services will be resumed from Srinagar.
“The decision to run the application processing facilities from Jammu was taken due to extraordinary circumstances prevailing in Kashmir. Our office at Srinagar was affected due to the floods due to which we took the decision to entertain the applications from the people of Kashmir at our Jammu office,” he added.