New Delhi, Jun 20: To reduce non-availability of appointments and to check "no-shows" of applicants at Passport Seva Kendras, the government has made prior online payments compulsory for booking appointments at more centres, including in the NCR, with effect from June 21.
Reviewing the operations over the last one year, it was observed that a large number of applicants were not turning up at the PSKs despite taking appointment.
"This was not only resulting in lesser utilisation of processing capacity of the PSK but was also causing denial of appointments for other genuine applicants," an official statement said.
To resolve the issue of non-availability of appointments and to reduce no-shows of applicants, the External Affairs Ministry has launched online payment system for booking appointments, the statement added.
With the launch of online payment-based appointments, applicants will be required to make payment at the time of booking appointment on the MEA website.
"With this, only genuine applicants will book the appointment and number of no-shows will reduce," the statement said.
Under the new process, payments can be made while booking an appointment on the website – www.passportindia.gov.in - either by credit or debit card besides internet banking of State Bank of India.
Applicants can also use the challan option provided on the website and deposit the money in State Bank of India (SBI) branch after generating the challan online, it said.
"In such cases, upon the confirmation of payment receipt by SBI in online system, applicants can take appointment.
"Further, instead of an applicant choosing the date and time slot of appointment, the system will automatically give the earliest available appointment," the statement said.
From June 21, online payment system will be applicable for taking appointments at Ghaziabad, Herald House ITO, Shalimar Place, Gurgaon, Bikaji Cama Place, Lalbagh, Sai Arcade, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Raipur, Shimla, Bareilly, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur PSKs.
Earlier this month, the online payment system was made applicable for taking appointments at many PSKs.
The new system will be gradually rolled out in all PSKs across the country in coming weeks.