TODAY -

Passport office finally comes to town : No explanation for the long delay
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 02 2015 -



Putting the horse before the cart.

Sounds comical but the very decision to upgrade Tulihal airport to an international status before opening a passport office here came close to this.

Anti-thesis to the much trumped Look East Policy as well as the later avatar Act East Policy.

This was the situation before March 31, 2015, that is before a passport office was opened here in Imphal.

No official record with The Sangai Express on how many people go abroad annually but it is a fact that a large number of people had to face the inconvenience of having to go to Guwahati to get their passport or get them renewed.

And to think that this was the situation when the world had come to be understood as a global village and it just beat all logical thinking that Manipur had to exist sans a passport office for decades.

Something unacceptable especially in the backdrop of the fact that Manipur has been talked about as the gateway of India to South East Asia.

Why this was so is something only Delhi or the policy framers of the country can answer but it makes no sense to keep a State without a passport office for so long.

If the absence of a passport office here was unacceptable, more unacceptable was the long delay taken by the State Government in opening the office here.

It has been months, if not years, that the State Government announced amid much hoopla that the green signal to open a passport office here has been received.

Not surprisingly this piece of news kicked up a great deal of interest amongst the people but not surprisingly nothing much was heard about the passport office after the announcement.

No formal announcement was made on the failure to open the passport office and probings and questionings too did not evoke much explanation.

Even now there is no formal announcement on why it took such a long time to open the passport office here. It seems everyone is satisfied and happy that the passport office has finally seen the light of day.

There is every reason to feel elated, no doubt about it, but it would do the image of the Government a whole of good if the reasons for the inordinate delay can at least be spelt out now.

Judging by the responsiveness or rather failure of the Government to respond to issues which concern the interest of the people, it would not be surprising if the Government adopts the line that silence is the better part of valour.

More than likely that the Government will not deem it fit to explain why it took so long for the passport office to be opened here and even if there is any response, it is most likely to be the standard explanation that there was just no adequate space for the office to come up.

The passport office has been opened now and while this will prove to be a boon to thousands of people seeking to travel abroad, the Government needs to take care to ensure that officialdom does not come in the way of smoothly issuing passports to the intending travellers.

Let the benefits of opening a passport office here percolate down to the people. Hope this is not asking for too much.



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