The United States consulate officially opened its new office at Bandra-Kurla Complex 10 days ago.
Even, the American Center (and its famous library and commercial services) is now housed alongside the consulate, bringing together the disparate American institutions.
Keeping in mind the burgeoning India-US ties, the visa section has a whopping 40 windows compared to 11 in the previous consulate building on Breach Candy Road.
The consulate complex, which houses 10 buildings spread over 4.05 hectares, was built at a cost of more than US $83.5 million, and has an area of 18,700 sqm. David Bodicote, manager of the consulate, said the material were mostly of Indian origin, including pink sandstone for the exteriors. “To conserve both energy and water, the buildings make maximum use of natural light and has rainwater harvesting facility.”
Consul General Peter Haas said the extensive number of windows for visa clearance was made keeping in mind the growing demand. “On an average, visa requirements are growing at 10% to 15% annually. These include visas for tourists and business, students, and immigration,” he said. Currently, the consulate issues two lakh visas every year, or 1,000 visas a day.
The new premises have ample space for visa applicants, both inside the building and on the garden, should the numbers spill over.
Consular chief David Tyler said the Mumbai consulate was one of the largest consulates in the world, on a par with those in Guangzhou and Frankfurt. He added that all immigration visas, excluding Delhi, would soon be handled by Mumbai consulate.
On the anvil are digital services to reach out to more people, Haas said.
1 Dec 2011
American Center, Bandra-Kurla Complex, David Bodicote, David Tyler, Peter Haas, United States consulate
40 visa windows at new US consulate
Posted on December 2, 2011