Centre Assures eVISA

e-Visa facility at Bhubaneswar International Airport will be available soon as the Ministry of Civil Aviation(MoCA) has taken up the matter with Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) with all seriousness.

Union Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey has informed the State Government in this regard. He revealed that this issue is under active consideration of MHA and he is hopeful of allowing e-Visa in Bhubaneswar Airport soon.

Mr.Choubey said few issues were raised by MHA and as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has replied all the queries relating to e-Visa facility pointed out by MHA, now things will move in right direction.

As the details have been presented to MHA, it will be soon cleared and senior officials of MoCA are coordinating with MHA in this regard, said sources.

Principal Secretary Finance and General Administration Ashok Kumar Meena, who is handling Civil Aviation Affairs in the State Government, said that we are now hopeful about e-Visa after the Union Secretary cleared the air.

A high level meeting was held at State Secretariat under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, where Mr.Choubey along with other senior officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation including Joint Secretary MoCA Usha Padhee also attended the meeting.

Development Commissioner Asit Tripathy, Principal Secretary Finance Ashok Kumar Meena, Secretary Tourism and Sports Vishal Dev, Secretary Works Nalini Kanta Pradhan and other senior officials were present.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also requested Union Minister Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh in this regard, while requesting him to facilitate e-Visa in Bhubaneswar International Airport keeping in view the growing demand for the facility as International Centers are being connected with Bhubaneswar now.

Chief Secretary A P Padhi had also written to Union Secretary Home Affairs in this regard, while requesting to allow e-Visa before Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup.

This would have helped those, who came to see the Global Event on Hockey, however due to issues raised by MHA it got delayed, sources said.

Direct flights from Bhubaneswar to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are running and more such flights are in offing, officials say.

Secretary Tourism and Sports Vishal Dev, who attended the meet, said that e-Visa facility will benefit many tourists and this move will not only benefit those foreign tourists who want to come and explore Odisha.

He also informed that the state has registered an increase in the number of tourists. "In 2015-16, there has been an increase of 31 percent as far as foreign tourists are concerned whereas there has been a nine percent increase in the number of domestic tourists visiting the state.

Knowledge and awareness about Odisha outside is limited but today visibility is no longer an issue. He said State Administration is trying to promote Odisha through various mediums, Mr.Dev informed.

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