55 more immigration counters at IGI airport by Jan
New Delhi: As many as 55 additional immigration counters will be opened at Delhi's IGI airport and 1,800 more personnel deployed by January next year to deal with the rising passenger traffic, the Home Ministry said today.
Twenty of these counters will be opened by November-end.
At a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, it was also decided to take immediate action for technological upgradation, provision of modern equipment, additional space and professional manpower for improving services at the Delhi airport.
The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) will provide space for at least 10 more immigration counters at departure area by November 15, while additional space will be provided for another 10 immigration counters to be functional by January 2018, a home ministry official said.
At least 10 E-visa counters would be made functional for electronic visa facility for foreigners by November 30.
Another 25 more immigration counters would be made functional by January 2018.
"This will facilitate foreigners availing electronic visa which is becoming increasingly popular," the official said.
The Bureau of Immigration will provide additional manpower of 1,800 personnel for improving immigration services by filling vacant posts, including from central armed police forces and ex-servicemen.
There has been a 30 per cent increase in international passengers at the Delhi airport in the last two years, with serpentine queues at the immigration desks.
The home ministry official said that deployment of additional personnel will augment manpower strength at immigration counters to enable the staff to provide professional and courteous service to the travellers.
The government has a policy to encourage foreigners to come to India for tourism, medical tourism, business, studies etc. and several initiatives have been taken to improve visa and immigration services to provide the guests a pleasant experience, the official said.
The decisions will substantially improve immigration services at Delhi airport which will facilitate not only foreigners coming to India, but also Indian travellers visiting abroad, he said.
A team of home ministry officials, which visited the immigration counters at the IGI Airport to inquire into why so many complaints were coming from passengers, had suggested immediate increase in manpower and immigration counters and resource management to cut the long queues.