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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

3 Hrs Experience at Passport office , Lucknow

I am sharing 3 hrs experiences I had when I reached Regional Passport office in Lucknow to submit my application form for a new Passport. During my 50 meter on-foot visit from Main road to the door of Passport office, I was approached by more than 20 agents ( or Dalals) asking for help .They were talking to me as a slave talks to a king, but when I said that I was there to submit online filled form, they didn't say me anything. I saw nearly 1000 persons standing in different queues for different purposes.

As I had filled form online, I was asked to go to counter 2 which was for online forms and senior citizens, I went there at 12 PM which was scheduled time for me but counter person said to wait in 10 men queue. There were some prescriptions written on a paper about what documents to attach and how to enclose them and believe me you will have to change settings of your documents if you have filled form online (so keep stapler with you).I rearranged all documents and submitted them with my original documents, after verification originals were returned to me and I was asked to move to next counter for submitting 1000 Rs, I submitted the fee and got a receipt back. That was over for me.
But what I saw during those few hours is story of every government office be it RTO office, Railway station, Banks. I saw policeman whose job was to control crowd, carrying bundles of application forms and going inside and then he submitted all those forms to counter person to check. After checking my form, counter person started to check all those forms carried out by police person and persons in queue kept waiting for their chance. There was an air force person with me who I had met within an hour of reaching there, when he submitted his form, counter person didn't ask any question and within minutes cleared his form. When I went out of office for retuning back, I met a person on auto abusing a police person very badly in Hindi because police person had taken 200 Rs from him for a simple work of correcting a single mistake in form and re-submitting form. Later I came to know that police persons who were carrying forms directly to counters were charging money to applicants ranging from 500 to 1000 and that money would have been shared between police person and counter person.

Corruption as we all know has become a toxic part of Indian society, believe me we can’t amputate it with a RTI until people found guilty are punished severely. I am planning to buy a pen camera or spy camera so that when police officials come to my house for verification and ask for bribe I could record that. I believe every one of us should have one spy camera or pen camera to make India corruption free.

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