Chandigarh: Whether it is a compulsion or a hobby of going abroad, on an average every fourth person in Punjab has a passport today. Passports of those inclined to go on a study visa have piled up. According to the information received, 77.17 lakh people currently have passports in Punjab, a state with a population of about three crore.

According to the latest details provided by the Union Ministry of External Affairs, there are 9.58 crore passport holders across the country and Punjab ranks fourth in the entire country in this list.

Kerala is at number one with 1.12 crore passports, followed by Maharashtra with 1.04 crore passports. Uttar Pradesh has 87.03 lakh passports, which is at number three. Similarly, Punjab is at the fourth position with 67.26 lakh passports. There are 39.06 lakh passports in Delhi and 3.16 lakh in Chandigarh.

Pertinently, ever since the trend of study visas has increased, the verification work of Punjab Police has also increased rapidly. A large number of youth from the villages of Punjab are migrating on study visas. According to the information, the number of people going on study visas has increased rapidly since 2017. Till November 2022, 7.40 lakh passports have been made, compared to 6.44 lakh in 2021.

Jalandhar district has the highest number of passports at 9.58 lakh, followed by Ludhiana (7.28 lakh), Hoshiarpur (5.67 lakh), Patiala (4.88 lakh), Sangrur (3.20 lakh), Bathinda (2.47 lakh) and Mansa (86,352). It has also come to light that those who did not have study visas in Punjab did not even renew their passports.

According to the data, there are 5.62 lakh passports across Punjab, which have not been renewed. Out of this, 1.10 lakh passports of Ludhiana district, 69, 489 of Jalandhar district, 35,055 of Hoshiarpur district, 30, 632 of Moga district, 20,889 of Bathinda district and 11,994 of Barnala district have not been renewed.

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