Based on inputs by Rachana Kesarkar
Police commissioner Sanjay Barve has launched a cloak room service, at US Consulate in Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai. The Police have converted a patrol van stationed outside the US consulate into an cloak room where visa applicants can deposit their phones, laptops and other items banned on the premises for Rs 10.
A police officer said “Though the consulate website lists all the items that are prohibited on the premises, applicants still carry their phones and electronic gadgets along with visa documents. As consulates do not have a facility to store prohibited items, visa applicants either discard them at the gate, request strangers to look after them or come back later with another appointment. Earlier, when stopped at the consulate gate, applicants would dump their phones, headphones, Bluetooth devices, watches, keys and other banned items outside the compound. Some would even pay Rs 400-Rs 1,000 to auto drivers to safekeep their belongings,” ”
The patrol van has 107 lockers for around 1,000 visa applicants who visit the consulate daily. The cloak room service starts at 6am and is available till 2pm every day. And if delayed, applicants can collect their deposited articles from the BKC police station. To avail the service, an applicant pays Rs 10, registers his phone number and gets a token, along with a payment receipt.
The fee collected is deposited in Police Welfare Fund.