NONTHABURI, March 18 – People flooded to the passport processing unit at the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road, which begins operation today.
The Department of Consular Affairs has opened a temporary office to issue passports at the Government Complex’s B Building after reaching an agreement with anti-government protesters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
The service was disrupted during the group’s siege of Bangkok which began on January 13.
The first person reportedly queued up at 3am, though the office began to pass out queue numbers at 7.30am and opened for business at 9am.
Minor arguments were reported as officials refused to give out queue numbers to those who reserved a queue space for others.
Ms Pailin Suvalaksorn told the reporter that she was among those who arrived early to reserve the queue for her sister who said she would catch a 5am train ride from Ayutthaya province.
Ms Pailin said she had to ask the authorities to let her reserve the queue and assured them that her sister would arrive in time.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director-General of Consular Affairs Prasitthiporn Wetprasit has instructed officials to increase capacity in order to process up to 500 passports per day as the limit of the complex’s Internet system is now at 350.
Since a number of people have gathered at the Government Complex today, another 150 queue positions have been reserved for tomorrow.
Mr Prasitthiporn said the department’s passport offices nationwide could altogether accommodate up to 8,500 passports a day.
The passport offices in the provinces are now becoming less busy, but those in the capital continue to be quite busy.