India has unveiled a new state-of-the-art visa centre on Saturday at Jamuna Future Park in the city that will gradually replace all the other four centres in the capital with modern facilities, promising shorter waiting times for applicants.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with his Bangladesh counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan formally inaugurated the centre, the largest Indian visa centre in the world, by handing over passports with Indian visa to a couple of visa applicants.
Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who was present at the inauguration, later told journalists that this is the largest Indian visa centre in the world and possibly the largest anywhere.
The Indian Home Minister handed over five year multiple entry tourist visa to Mohammad Nazrul Islam (Muktijoddha Category), the Home Minister of Bangladesh handed over five year multiple entry tourist visa to Amal Chandra Natta (Senior Citizen Category), the High Commissioner handed over one year Multiple entry tourist visa to Jannattul Ferdous and Special Secretary (Border Management) handed over Six Months Triple Entry Medical visa to Begum Sharifa, (going to Bangaluru for medical treatment) to mark the inauguration of the new IVAC.
This new IVAC at JFP will replace all the existing IVACs (Motijheel, Uttara, Gulshan and Mirpur Road) in Dhaka in two phases.
The new IVAC in JFP will replace the existing IVACs in Motijheel and Uttara from July 15.
The remaining two IVACs in Dhaka (Gulshan and Mirpur Road) will also be shifted to IVAC, JFP by August 31.
There will, thereafter, be only one IVAC at JFP for all categories of visa applications without prior appointment in Dhaka.
The new IVAC in JFP is a model visa centre, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
Located in an 18,500 square feet commercial area, the IVAC will have facilities like computer-generated token vending machines (expected waiting time will be indicated), comfortable seating arrangements in an air-conditioned waiting area, coffee and soft drinks vending machines, food kiosks and as many as 48 countresfor submission of applications.
Separate counters will be reserved for senior citizens, women, muktijodhas and business applicants.
A special help desk and counter for services, including printing, photocopying etc. will be accessible at cost prices.
The location of the new IVAC inside a spacious and secure shopping mall is expected to provide comfortable and seamless visa services to applicants and is expected to reduce waiting time considerably.
The consolidation of visa application services at the JFP and the provision of amenities, reflect the continuing efforts of the High Commission of India, in collaboration with its outsourced partners, the State Bank of India, to further streamline the Indian visa application process and strengthen people-to-people contacts between India and Bangladesh.
Later, they enjoyed a folk dance there.