Zapped!

ppoffice pune

I was asked to report at 9.45 am today for an interview at 10.00 am at our local Passport Office to get my old passport renewed. I was dropped off at the entracne to the office at exactly 9.45 am and my interview slip was signed in at 9.50 am and I had to wait in a queue for Senior Citizens for exactly five minutes before I was attended to. I needed to provide photocopies of some pages of my old passport and there was a photocopier present just twenty feet away doing that for a pittance. I returned to the counter and did not have to wait for long before I was given a token number and asked to wait in a lounge. At exactly 10.05 am I was cleared for an interview by a display board and the interview, photographing, fingerprinting etc all took all of ten minutes. I had to go to two more desks where again it was efficiently managed and efficiently looked after and exactly at 10.45 am I was out of the office.

I must confess that this was totally different from what I had expected from a government department. It was a modern office with proper signages and very courteous and helpful staff and the efficiency levels due to computerisation was simply mind blowing. The only link to the old ways of doing things was the brown paper file that they used to keep all supporting documents which I had to lug around before the last counter where I was given an acknowledgement form and was advised that I would receive my new passport by Registered Post in a couple of weeks’ time.

If only all our local, state and other central government departments could become like this, India can take a quantum leap into modernity.

My zapping did not stop there. I could not get an autorickshaw or a cab to return home. I however remembered my old mechanic who has a garage in the neighbourhood but in a more crowded place, and I called him up with a request that he get one for me and send the same to pick me up. Instead of doing that he came personally in a car driven by a chauffeur who was employed by me six years ago! It was a grand reunion of sorts and I was dropped at home all in one piece.

All in all a very unusual but fruitful day!

This entry was posted in Customer Service, Gratitude, Relationships and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Zapped!

  1. Parag Parekh says:

    Till Counter A (Photo, Biometric) is managed by TCS/Infy. 2,3,4 are Babus now getting used to Public-Private Partnership Culture.

    If you didn’t have any changes in your Passport and were renewing before expiry, you would get it in 2-3 Days.

    Lookout for a clause of “Police Verification” in your receipt you got at last counter. It “NO” or “Post”, you get your passport in 2-3 days. If “Pre”, you need to wait till local cop visits you, you visits them and they send OK to PP Office (approx 1 Month).

    Cheers!

    • Mine had expired and Manjiree discovered it and shooed me to get it renewed. The receipt clearly states that there will be no Police Verification,

      Whatever the arrangement, it was totally unexpected and the babus were the most so.

  2. Grannymar says:

    For just £81.25 instead of the usual £72.50, we, in the UK, can get our passport application Checked & Sent on the same day to the Passport office, a service that’s recommended by Her Majesty’s Passport Office. It is normally returned within three weeks by recorded delivery – we hand to sign for it!
    Grannymar recently posted..The little witch

    • ray says:

      Its amazing-how services have improved in some sectors in India! In a Southeast asian country where I live, we do the entire application process for a passport online includind scanning photo/payments etc.And behold- 2 hours later we get to collect it in the branch office of our choice!!

      • I am delighted to see you here Ray. You must give some allowance for the sheer numbers involved in India. In a comparitively smaller city like Pune, I would have seen at least three hundred people in the PPO. That is for the morning appointements. Imagine how many there would be during the whold day!

    • We have a similar scheme called Tatkal.http://passport.gov.in/cpv/TatkalScheme.htm

      There was a fairly long queue for that counter as well and they too were processed very efficiently.

      Tatkal can be translated as Instant.

  3. TSK. Raman says:

    I read it completely without a batter of the eyelid. To be honest, I was expecting there would be sting in the end, much like an “O. Henry” short story. Seems is nothing short of a life time experience. I even pinched myself to check if I were in a “trance.” It’s too true to believe, but because it comes under your signature. It is true, if only we can expect the other government agencies to act like wise, there is no stopping “India.”
    My personal belief…………
    We are Quality People
    Basic Premise – We are Good Citizens of communities in which we live and work.
    Quality people work to provide outstanding thoughts, ideas, suggestions and offer themselves as great team members with unsurpassed service that, together, delivers premium value to our lives – ours and our others.
    We Trust people and develop relationships that we hope will make a positive difference in our lives.
    We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions. If you have ‘Integrity’ nothing else matters, if you don’t have ‘Integrity’ nothing else matters.
    We as conscious human beings true to self, who hold their dignity and respect at the highest levels of Commitment. We tend to hold ourselves personally accountable for delivering on our commitments. Management study calls this Personal Accountability
    We work together, across boundaries, to meet our needs and of our community and to help the community win – Management study calls this Teamwork
    We value our people, encourage their development and appreciate performance – Management Study calls this Respect for People
    Chao

    • Welcome to my blog TSK. I agree with you to a large extent for the middle and upper middle classes. At the so called bottom of the pyramid as my late friend Prahlad called it, corruption and harsh treatment at the hands of petty bureaucracy is mind blowing. You can find more about it if you just ask your help at home. My help informed me that they had to pay bribes to get their Aadhar cards!

  4. Delirious says:

    Are you planning to travel abroad?
    Delirious recently posted..Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Retribution

    • Let me put it this way Delirious. My son and daughter want to be left alone for some time and are planning to send me off on a jaunt after and if I successfully navigate the coming winter months.

  5. So, we can’t lose them all. What a red letter day!
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Two Quotes

  6. Cathy in NZ says:

    great service all round – congrats….

    I have to visit at my local income support office regularly. Usually I have to make an appt but once I was so close to the deadline date, I went to office locally and discovered “because no changes” could get form all looked over and dealt with at the front office 🙂
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Labour Day Holiday

  7. Big John says:

    “I would receive my new passport by Registered Post in a couple of weeks’ time”. I hate to ask, but how reliable is the postal service in India ? We just sold ‘Royal Mail’ ! … 🙂
    Big John recently posted..Did she not notice the notice ?

    • It is still functioning reasonably well and particularly in our rural parts, which is large beyond description the only service to depend on for money orders, mail and even savings banks.

  8. Maxi says:

    Wow, personal, chauffeur driven. Maybe I should call you Mr. Rummy.
    blessings ~ maxi
    Maxi recently posted..What’s In Your Bag?

    • That is a temporary aberration. I now use a chauffeur on a per hour basis when I need to take my car where parking will be a problem. I normally just take an autorickshaw if I know I can get one back without too much trouble. But, during my Corporate life days, I did have the luxury of chauffeur driven cars for decades! You still do not have to call me Mr. I am just a has been.

  9. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    We take less than 20 minutes to take a passport, because it is all digital now. But to have the actual passport in your hand, it can take between one day and 3, depending on the fee you pay.

    I like the way India respects the seniors. Before our systems were digitalised, we had no queues for the elderly (it was so disrespectful). But I always let them pass first.

    India will be modernised eventually, you’ll see :).

    Cheers
    Max Coutinho recently posted..Maxiavelli: What’s Your Favourite Appeasement Label?

    • I attended the interview on the 29th of October. I got a mail yesterday from the PPO that my passport has been sent through speed post giving a tracking number. I expect it to be delivered today, ie the 2nd of November. I am impressed.

  10. We have lots of “expired passports stories” in our family. Flights to Seattle to stand in line, etc. All are self-imposed, however, because we know how long it takes and just somehow neglect to have our passport updated when it expires. Then it is panic time when the ship is leaving the dock.
    So far this hasn’t happened to me because I love travel so much that I am always at the ready!
    Talk to Me…I’m Your Mother recently posted..El Dia de los Muertos

    • As I read this comment, the door bell rang and my renewed passport was delivered! I am like you and do not like to be without a valid passport as I never know when I will get into a mood and take off.

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