Currently there are 218 such centres in the country where passport applications are accepted, including 30 in Karnataka, "We are working with the department of posts to increase the number of such centres to 500 by August 2006," Union Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said.
He was speaking at the launch of a new service 'Acceptance of applications for a Passport' at BangaloreOne centre, a Government of Karnataka initiative, which offers residents of Bangalore various Government-to-Citizen and Business-to-Citizen services.
Ahamed said about 21 per cent of the total number of applications are submitted at speed post centres and these have emerged as a popular means to submit passport applications in the state.
Noting that the total number of passports issued by the regional passport office in Bangalore in 2005 was approximately two lakh, he said there has been an increase in demand for passports due to the city's rapid growth as an IT destination.
The new services, which the Minister described as a trendsetter in many ways, are initially available at five BangaloreOne centres, where applications for passports can be submitted without any service charge over and above the prescribed passport fees.