With aim to make better cooperation with states and people, Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs Minister) inaugurated first Videsh Bhawan of the country at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). This pilot project will assimilate all regional passport offices(RPO) of Mumbai and its allied departments under a single roof at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
Regional passport officer Swati Kulkarni informed that in this first pilot project four offices of MEA will be integrated together to work under one roof at the state-of-art office in BKC.
The four MEA offices are:
- Regional Passport Office (RPO)
- Protector of Emigrants (PoE) office
- Branch Secretariat and
- Regional Office of ICCR
The inauguration ceremony of country’s first videsh bhawan was attended by Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh (Retd), Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Administrator of Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Praful Patel, besides other dignitaries.
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The department has Passport Seva Kendras in Thane, Thane-II, Malad (Mumbai) and Nashik. These Passport Seva Kendras will also be working from their current locations but will work under the control and administrative jurisdiction of the RPO Mumbai.
This is a great step and will help in speeding up the services. The project is started as a part of Government policy to bring together all offices that are functioning under MEA and to collaborate them to improve working and to make better coordination with states.
Currently most of the RPOs and PoEs across the country are working in rented offices. Creating similar kinds of Videsh Bhavans in other states will help government to reduce their expenses and to improve their services.
These days number of Indians going to abroad for various reasons such as for work, employment, business and tourism are increasing. This has increased the workload a lot and to make services better, the merging is required.