A new integrated state-of-the-art Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) was inaugurated at Jamuna Future Park in the capital on Saturday morning.
Indian home minister Rajnath Singh along with his Bangladesh counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan opened 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 in Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Jamuna Group chairman Nurul Islam Babul, among others, were present, reports UNB.
Later, they enjoyed a folk dance there.
The existing e-token (appointment) system for submission of Indian visa applications has simultaneously been withdrawn.
The new IVAC at JFP will replace all the existing IVACs in Motijheel, Uttara, Gulshan and Mirpur Road in Dhaka in two phases.
The IVACs in Motijheel and Uttara will be replaced from July 15.
The remaining two IVACs in Gulshan and Mirpur Road in Dhaka will also be shifted to the visa centre at Jamuna Future Park by 31 August.
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 counters for submission of applications.
Separate counters will be reserved for senior citizens, women, muktijoddhas 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.