Passport Office Chennai: Register online and wait in this queue

This is where it all starts - Regional Passport Office, Haddows Road, Shastri Bhawan, Chennai.

This is where it all starts - Regional Passport Office, Haddows Road, Shastri Bhawan, Chennai.

Without detailed comment at this stage, I am publishing this photo of the queue for checking of documents at the Regional Passport Office, Shastri Bhawan, Haddows Road, Chennai. There are other queues involved, first to certify whether you have all the documents (very unlikely, run around in circles), then this one, and then one to pay the fees. So if you are planning to apply online for a passport, consider this queue even on an inauspicious Tuesday. Just to clarify, I have no superstitions, I am just reflecting public sentiment.

Why is the Government punishing itself and the people? I have no clue. Why should people queue up after applying online? Again, an ‘only in India’ phenomenon.

More later, after I get my renewed passport.

This is one picture and story that you may not find in the mainstream media. Television is too busy to look at the problems of ordinary citizens. Newspapers…again, baffles me.



  1. […] Sumathi Ravichandran, Regional Passport Officer, nabbed Posted in India, corruption, journalism, tamil nadu by Ananthakrishnan G. on April 26, 2009 It is not everyday that one finds a top government babu, outside whose office people normally have to wait for hours to get an audience, being marched off to judicial custody. That small satisfaction is available today, when one reads of the arrest and remanding to judicial custody of Sumathi Ravichandran, the politically connected and influential Regional Passport Officer of Chennai. The report of the arrest is here and an earlier post of mine here. […]


  2. I am totally happy with the arrest of the RPO while it is just a beginning..

    The entire office is corrupt actually. But I can give you more names of the corruption as I went through the whole thing and my memory is fresh.

    1) Deputy Passport Officer:
    2) An agent, I don’t know what this guys position is in the passport office but he keeps roaming along with the RPO and the Dy. Passport Officer:
    3) The guy who issues passport as well.

    The whole thing is people are treated like scumbags in the passport office. As though we are their servants.

    I wrote the following E-mail to the PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER (PUBLIC GRIEVANCES) about the all prevading corruption in the Regional Passport office in Chennai. But the person just simply forwarded the E-mail to the RPO of Chennai without taking any action himself, while the RPO of Chennai herself is corrupted.

    from Arun Prakash

    date16 March 2009 15:25
    subjectDespicable Passport Office Staff in Chennai


    As a responsible citizen of this country I am writing my grievance to you. I am only writing with total shame, disgust and helplessness with the system in the passport office in Chennai and would like to share my experience, even though I do not expect a response or any action to my E-mail.

    I am Arun, residing in Chennai. As on January last week, I had an existing passport which is expiring on July 30 2009. I was required by my employer to travel abroad by the end of this February. However, to obtain visa the passport should be valid for six months. So I was pressed to apply for renewal of my passport as quickly as possible.

    I understand that the Tatkal system was introduced for the ease of public and the swiftness of obtaining the passport. However, when I applied for the passport, the date given to me was only March 6th, which makes absolutely no sense of the Tatkal system. The website says that renewal of old passports will take less than three days. However, March 6th is almost a month.

    The staff in the Passport office in Chennai are the most unfriendly, irresponsible, CORRUPT and callous. Furthermore, the system is entirely despicable. To know the process of renewal, one will have to wait in the enquiry for hours together. Even after waiting you do not get a proper response. The staff in the passport office treat us like we are their slaves and as though they are doing us a favour. The environment in the office is entirely favourable to fleece the regular public.

    The only way to obtain the passport is through travel agents who rip off the public conveniently using the conditions prevailing the passport office.

    In light of the above, I have a few concerns:

    When travel agents can obtain the passport hassle free, why can’t the same benefit be given to the general public?
    If tatkal scheme was designed for quick turn around in issuing the passports, why is the date for verification issued one month later? Can’t the Tatkal system be changed to issue passports swiftly?
    If we can download the forms from the internet, why do people in the counters reject it?
    Why is there such a long queue for enquiry? If there is no sufficient staffing to manage the crowd, doesn’t it make more sense to put more people to answer people’s questions?

    Somehow I got my passport and I am abroad now. But after comparing the Indian conditions here, I feel with shame that the situation in Passport office in India will not improve and match with the sytem here at least for another fifty years.

    Thank you for reading my grievance.


    (Individual names have been removed from this comment by the blog owner for legal reasons)


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