Thursday, June 08, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 18, 1444 H
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No fee for passports lost or damaged during Shaheen


A section of residents who were affected by the cyclone Shaheen will get passports free of cost, as many who faced the cyclone either got their valid documents damaged or lost them while braving many other hardships.

An announcement to this effect was made during an ‘open house’ held under the chairmanship of Amit Narang, Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.

During the ‘open house’, the community members appreciated the support they received from different agencies of the Sultanate of Oman during the cyclone which caused extensive damage in the geographical area where it made landfall. The most affected areas were Musannah, Suwaiq, Saham, Khabourah and Sohar in Batinah region. The affected areas faced 60-knot winds and 12-metre waves.

As per government estimates, more than 5,000 people had to be shifted to temporary accommodations after the severe storm destroyed homes, and damaged infrastructure.

According to sources involved in the community welfare work, requests for issuance of some 400 passports have been received so far and the modalities are being finalised to issue fresh documents as soon as possible.

Since a notice regarding this has been posted on the Indian Embassy website, the officials are expecting more requests from those who have lost their passports during the cyclone.

Those who attended the open house called the re-issuance of passports for the cyclone-hit people “a huge relief” as many of them were clueless after they lost vital documents, including passports.

“Leaving everything, I kept my passport with me soon after the rain started in my area. But the impact was so huge that I could not keep it safe and got lost somewhere while being transported to a safe location by the civil defense officials of the Sultanate of Oman. I am really thankful to them for taking care of us so nicely until normalcy returned. Thankfully, we had easy access to food and shelter,” said S Prasad from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. He could not attend the ‘open house; but was happy over the decision of issuance of fresh passports without any fee.

Many other issues were raised during the session that gave a walk-in opportunity to Indian nationals to discuss their consular and other problems for early redressal. “All cases brought forth will be taken for timely resolution,” said the officials while responding to the queries of the open house participants.


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