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Online tracking of foreign nationals visiting Odisha soon

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, Se 11 :

In order to develop and implement a secure and integrated service delivery framework that facilitates legitimate foreign travellers while strengthening security in the state, the Commissionerate Police would be able to track all visiting foreign nationals online within a few weeks when the Central Government sponsored project ‘Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration and Tracking (IVFRT)’ system is put in place, Bhubaneswar DCP Nitinjit Singh said here on Wednesday.

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Under the National e-Governance Plan the project aims to upgrade the immigration service IVFRT system online and maintained through a centralized distributed database. This project has been identified as one of the MMPs (Mission Mode Projects) and undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

IVFRT software was developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC), a Central Government agency, and was introduced after extensive testing. NIC officials have been providing training to Government officials to use the software.

A workshop was organised for the hoteliers, managers of guest houses and chiefs of Dharmasalas and service apartments in the city on Wednesday to make them aware of the use of the online system to send foreigners’ details checking in to their facilities.

The NIC officials and the police trained the hospitality sector professionals about the online submission of Form ‘C’ which contains vital information including date of arrival and date of leaving the hotel, purpose of visit and destination.

“It’s mandatory for the hotels and other accommodating agencies, where foreigners stay, to submit the details of the foreign nationals online. If it goes online, a centralised system will be available to share information about the foreigners who visit India,” IVFRT State project coordinator Sasmita Sabat said.

After completion of the work in the city, the same system will be implemented in Puri in the next phase as the beach town witnesses many footfalls of foreigners round the year, Sabat added.

“System to track foreigners would go online within a few weeks in the city after the completion of infrastructural works. More than 100 hotels of the city would be added with this system in its first phase,” said the DCP.

At present, foreign registration office (FRO) located at the DCP office here manually pens down details of foreign tourists arriving in and departing from Bhubaneswar, making it difficult for police to track the travelers.

“IVFRT will bring more efficiency in immigration, visa and online registration of foreigners and security and other services. National Informatics Centre (NIC), which will provide us the technical support, has already started preparations,” the DCP added.

Sources said the IVFRT would cover 80 immigration check posts, 10 foreigner regional registration offices and over 650 foreigner registration offices in different states. It can help track immigrants, who were on the watch-list, look-out list, no-entry list and the foreigners overstaying their visa.

Nearly 35,000 foreign tourists visit the city every month, said Rajendra Kumar Puhan, Operation Manager of Hotel Swosti here. The number is more in Puri, he added.

 

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