Noida to get its own passport centre in February

NOIDA: Here’s good news for Noida residents — from February next year, you will no longer have to travel to Ghaziabad for a passport. The city will get a by January, Union minister and local MP Mahesh Sharma announced on Monday. A similar facility is being looked at in as well, he said.
“I have got the approval from the ministry of external affairs to set up services from head post offices in Noida/Greater Noida under the Union government’s scheme of utilising all head post offices (HPO) in the country as post office passport seva kendra (POPSK) across all parliamentary constituencies as well as districts/cities which are 50km away from the nearest passport office,” Sharma told TOI.

Sharma said he “is in talks with Noida and Greater Noida authorities to provide space for PSKs in post offices in both the cities as a minimum of 300 sq ft space is required to begin the facility”. “In Noida, I aim to have the facility by December-end, but it may take a while to get all necessary clearances as well as logistical move, so may be by January next year, it could be in place,” he added.

While in Noida, the Sector 19 main post office is being looked at for the POPSK facility, preliminary talks have already been undertaken by senior superintendent of post office (SSPS) from Ghaziabad with GNIDA officials for land location to set up such a centre in that city.

Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate BN Singh welcomed the move, and said he was yet to get an intimation. “A passport office for Noida will be most beneficial, but I haven’t got any written order. However, I will definitely look into facilitating its setting up once I receive the order,” he said.

Noida Authority’s OSD Rajesh Kumar Singh added, “We will provide all necessary assistance for the setting up of the POPSK in Noida as per directive of the government as well as the district administration.”

Currently, the regional passport office in Ghaziabad is the only centre for all passport-related services for Gautam Budh Nagar residents. And it’s already overloaded with work having to cater to Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Hapur and other places. “We get maximum applications from Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Hapur,” said Subroto Hazra, deputy passport officer at Ghaziabad passport office. Residents also welcomed the move. “We have raised this demand in all our previous meetings with ministers and local lawmakers. We look forward to the facility at the earliest,” said NP Singh, president of Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Associations (FONRWA).

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