Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urges Union External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to set up new Passport Seva Kendras in Sambalpur and Berhampur. Patnaik said this in a letter to Union External Affairs Minister SM Krishna.
Patnaik said that, “With the expansion of opportunities for mobility across borders for education, tourism and business, there is steady and substantial increase in the demand for passport services. Currently, there is only one Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in Odisha located in the State Capital at Bhubaneswar which is serving all the 30 districts which are geographically dispersed. As a result, citizens of the districts located in Western and Southern Odisha are facing difficulty in obtaining passports.”
He further added that, “The average distance of the 10 districts located in the Western part of the State is 312 kms from Bhubaneswar and as many as 9011 applications for passport were received in the year 2011 from these districts. Similarly, the average distance of the 8 districts located in the southern part of Odisha is 367 kms from Bhubaneswar and a total number of 7578 citizens from these districts applied for passports in the year 2011.”
Patnaik said that, “Keeping in view the geographical distance of these districts from Bhubaneswar as well as the numberiof citizens applying for passports, I would request you to take immediate action for setting up two Regional Passport Seva Kendras at Sambalpur (which will serve the districts in the western Odisha) and Berhampur (which will serve the districts of southern Odisha). In case these two PSKs are established, the average distance of the districts located in the western region to the PSK (proposed at Sambalpur) will be reduced from 312 km to 116 km. Similarly, the average distance of the districts located in the Southern region to the PSK (proposed at Berhampur) will be reduced from 367 km to 178 km. Establishment of these two additional Passport Seva Kendras in the State would, thus, help the citizens applying for passports in no small measure.”