Margao: Dismissing the scheduled inauguration of the Passport Seva Kendra at Margao on Thursday as an election gimmick, Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco demanded that the BJP-led government at the Centre first provide a fulltime passport officer to the passport office at Panjim.
Briefing media persons, he said the passport office at Panjim has been functioning for the last seven months without a fulltime passport officer and the officer of Bombay office is given additional charge of Panjim office.
“When we decisively voted against merging with Maharashtra during the opinion poll, why are we being made dependant on Maharashtra through devious means?” he asked pointing out that functioning of the passport office at Panjim is adversely affected with a junior officer signing the passports.
“The Passport Officer is empowered to take certain decision in case of an emergency which is not happening at Panjim presently in cases of emergency regarding somebody already overseas,” he said pointing out that even the Tatkaal passport service is not functioning properly.
Pointing out that the passport office had started operating at the Matanhy Saldanha Administrative Complex many months back, Aleixo said the inauguration scheduled on Thursday is only a gimmick to garner publicity as Lok Sabha elections are round the corner. [H]