Police Initiative makes US Visa Applicants Happy
Mumbai police from May 21, started a unique service that has been winning hearts of US visa applicants at the Bandra-Kurla Complex.
The police have started a safekeeping service to help US visa applicants keep their smartphones, laptops and other electronic gadgets banned in the US Consulate, safe. A police van stationed there has been converted into an unofficial cloakroom where visa applicants can keep these banned items by paying a token sum of Rs 10. They have to register their mobile number at the van and get a receipt along with a token. The fee is deposited in the Police Welfare Fund.
The patrol van has 107 lockers and is open for safekeeping from 6 am till 2 pm. After 2 pm the applicants can go to the BKC Police Station and claim their belongings. The van is manned by sons of two constables who get a stipend for their work and are supervised by a head constable.
Earlier, these applicants had no other option but to dump these items outside the consulate gate or to ask strangers to look after their belongings. There have been instances where applicants have paid anywhere between Rs 400 and Rs 1000 to auto drivers to look after their belongings while others have asked for a re-appointment.
The service was started after the police patrol in the area found unattended bags near the consulate leading to two bomb scares in two months.