Pune Passport Department Issued Over 4.5 Lakh Passports This Year; Highest In Last 10 Years

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Pune, 30th December 2023: The Pune Passport Department has experienced a substantial increase in passport applications and distribution this year, reaching a milestone of four and a half lakh passports issued within the year. This marks a significant doubling compared to the average distribution figures over the past decade. The heightened interest in international travel for education, employment, business, and tourism has contributed to this surge.

Dr Arjun Devare, Regional Passport Officer of Pune Division, provided insights into the growing trend, stating, “The number of people going abroad for education, jobs, business, and tourism has increased manifold in ten years. Apart from advanced cities, the number of applications for passports from small towns, suburbs, and rural areas is remarkable. Hence, the number of passport distributions is reaching a peak every year.”

In 2022, the Pune Passport Department distributed 3,44,447 passports. However, this year, the department achieved a record-breaking four and a half lakh passports by the end of December 2023, surpassing the previous year’s figures by a quarter of a lakh.

To address the increased demand and minimize waiting times for appointments, the Ministry of External Affairs directed the Pune Passport Department to work on Saturdays, accept applications as needed, and streamline the process. This proactive approach resulted in a reduction in appointment waiting times to ten to fifteen days.

Dr Devare highlighted the improved accessibility for citizens, stating, “Passport Seva Kendras are functioning at Mundhwa and Solapur in Pune Passport Department. Apart from this, there are 17 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) in 14 districts, including Satara, Sangli, and Kolhapur. Earlier, citizens of these districts had no option but to reach Pune to get their passports. However, nowadays they make an appointment at the nearest POPSK and submit their application.”

The simplified application process, the availability of online services, and enhanced technology for verification have collectively contributed to a more efficient passport issuance system. Dr Devare advised citizens to avoid using agents and to exercise caution when handling personal information.

Year-wise Passport Distribution:
– 2014: 2,10,422
– 2015: 2,80,795
– 2016: 2,67,539
– 2017: 3,33,772
– 2018: 4,317
– 2019: 4,986
– 2020: 1,61,295
– 2021: 2,31,346
– 2022: 3,44,447
– 2023*: 4,55,210
(*Statistics till 28 December)