Banke beeline for passports

Himalayan News Service

Nepalgunj, April 29:

The number of people in Banke district seeking passports has swelled considerably over the last few months. According to the Banke district administration office’s passport section chief, Ganesh Bahadur Shahi, around 248 passports were issued from mid-March to mid-April. Around 245 persons got their passports between mid-February and mid-March. Similarly, 191 persons got passports between mid-January and mid-February, 194 from mid-December to mid-January, and 244 from mid-November to mid-December. The hike in the passport fee dampened the ardour of passport hunters temporarliy, said Shahi. The passport fee is fixed at Rs 5,000 since mid-March, 2004. Earlier, the rate was just Rs 2,000. However, the number of women seeking passports has grown significantly, Shahi said. Women comprise 10 to 15 per cent of the applicants, he said.