Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said Thursday that a new passport office will soon be set up in the state that already has four passport offices.
Achuthanandan told the state assembly that the government has already approached the centre for the setting up of the fifth passport office in Mavelikara town of Alappuzha district.
"We have already taken up this issue with the centre because a passport office to cater to Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta is a must if you look into the number of passport applications from these three districts," he said.
Achuthanandan said that of the total 55,727 passports issued by the Thiruvananthapuram passport office till July 7 this year, 11,317 passports were given to people from Pathanamthitta district.
"Likewise, of the 87,906 passports issued by the Kochi passport office till July 7, 15,630 were issued to people from Kottayam while 11,290 were given to people from Alappuzha district. This clearly shows that a fifth passport office in central Kerala is a must," added Achuthanandan.
Kerala is the only state in the country to have four passport offices. The fourth one was opened in Malappuram district in north Kerala last year while the other three are in Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, a record 616,906 passports were issued in the state in the previous fiscal year.