Silchar: There has been public demand for opening of Passport Seva Kendra at Silchar in view of the fact that the aspirants of passports have been on the rise. With that, they have been subjected to lot of harassment and inconvenience in terms of loss of time and wastage of money as the regional passport office is located at Guwahati. At last, a passport seva kendra was granted and it was mainly because of the initiative of Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India. Now, the crescendo for Visa office here is on the rise. There have been representations to the Centre for giving consideration to it.
The Visa office here is quite justified as the visitors from here to Bangladesh have to get the Visa either by going all the way to Agartala or Guwahati. This is not only time consuming but also entails expenditure. If the Visa office is set up here, people can easily get the required clearance for visiting Bangladesh from this valley of Barak as well as the adjoining areas of Dima Hasao district and other neighbouring places. With relations improving between the two countries, the number of visitors to Bangladesh is on the rise.
Business man Sakha Ranjan Roy who has to visit Bangladesh frequently for social and business purposes sharing his difficulties in obtaining Visa said, “I have to get Visa from Guwahati by greasing the palms of middlemen active in the valley who facilitate the procurement of Visa in lieu of handsome money.” Otherwise, he has to go all the way to Guwahati or Agartala. It is the same experience of Rabindra Acharya, a middle aged traveller. He said it is now easy to get passport than Visa. He justified the growing demand for Visa office here. This will go a long way in making the visit to Bangladesh hassle free.
The northeast based civil society Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Memorial Swartha Surakhsa Parishad in a memorandum submitted to the Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, to impress upon the Bangladesh government to open one Visa office at Silchar, the epicenter of Barak Valley for the convenience of tourists and traders. While expressing its thankfulness to the External Affairs Minister for opening passport seva kendra here, the setting up of Visa office will be a boon to the people of Barak Valley. Haran Dey, president of the Parishad, said this will also benefit the people of the entire southern Assam, Mizoram and western part of Manipur who have to travel all the way to Guwahati or Agartala for a Visa. Relevant to say that recently the Tripura Cabinet of Biplob Deb, Chief Minister, adopted a resolution to urge upon Sushma Swaraj to open one Visa office either at Commilla or Brahmanbaria in Bangladesh in order to enable Bangladesh tourists and traders to visit Tripura. The resolution also pointed out that the people of Bangladesh face difficulties to get Visa from Chittagong.
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