Special Correspondent: E-Gate at Shahjalal Airport was launched with great fanfare as the first country in South Asia. With which a passenger can complete his own immigration in just 18 seconds. E-Gate was first used on a trial basis at the airport on June 6 last year, 11 months and 8 days after its inauguration.
Although later fully operational, it is again largely inactive and unused. Sources related to the airport said that this project costing Tk 4,635 crore is not working well.
A total of 12 e-gates have been installed in the departure area and 3 in the arrival area of the airport. E-passport holders can go through e-gate after verification. According to the Department of Passports and Immigration, passengers with e-passports can cross the e-gate after verification within 18 seconds.
In this case, if you first hold the digital photo page of the passport in front of the e-gate monitor, the glass door will open within 10-15 seconds. After standing under the gate according to the rules, the camera will take pictures.
After that, if everything is fine, if you enter through the e-gate and stand in front of the scanning gate, the immigration process will be completed automatically after verifying all the information of the e-passport within 5-6 seconds.
The officials in charge there will assist the concerned person in using the e-passport properly. Immigration and Passport Department (DIP) sources said that the e-passport was launched on March 22, 2020. Since then, the Directorate of Immigration and Passports has issued e-passports to around 1 crore citizens.
Shahjalal International Airport receives an average of 5 lakh passengers per month. Since its inauguration, only 1 lakh 15 thousand passengers have used e-gate against 1 crore e-passports. Accordingly, 2 percent of the total passengers used e-gate. Germany’s latest 27 e-gates have been installed at this international airport.
After its inauguration, passengers going for immigration also used it for some time. Then started the server complexity of e-gate with central e-passport. Many passengers with e-passports find the e-gate closed at the airport exit.
A high-ranking official of a private company said that recently, he found the e-gate machine broken on the way back home after traveling to some countries including Malaysia-Dubai.
He said, I approached the e-gate with great interest in the hope of getting the automatic 18-second immigration service. Immigration will be completed quickly through this process written on the big screen next to the blue light on the immigration e-gate screen.
However, while going abroad and returning home, I found the machine broken while entering through the e-gate. At that time, a person in charge said that it is temporarily closed due to mechanical problems. Due to which he was forced to complete the immigration manually and exit.
Sources in the Directorate of Passports and Immigration said that their e-gate program is operational. It can be used only by e-passport holder passengers. E-Gate service is stopped sometimes due to mechanical failure but its operation is ongoing. On the other hand, immigration sources have informed about the issue of the connection complexity of the server of e-gate with the central e-passport.
According to sources, Bangladesh has not yet received the international certificate regarding the use of e-Gate. Therefore, concerned sources have expressed apprehension about using e-gate for immigration in the future. Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority (Civil Aviation) Air Vice Marshal Mofidur Rahman said that the e-gate service program is ongoing. State Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism to know about e-gate services. When Mahbub Ali called the MP, he did not receive it. According to immigration police sources, the information is not correct that immigration is completed in just 18 seconds. Visa and other information are verified at the immigration desk as part of the regular process after crossing the e-gate. The function of e-Gate is only to identify whether the passenger with the passport is the same person. The rest of the work has to be done manually as before. E-passport project director Brigadier General Mohammad Sadat Hossain said that e-gate is in progress. not closed Customer service is ongoing. E-Gate can be used only by e-passport holders. MRP is done manually. So far, we have given e-passport to about 1 crore people. Since it is less in number, its users are also less. I have already heard complaints from many passengers that the personnel in charge of e-gates at the airport are discouraging passengers from using it. Brigadier General Sadat Hossain said, maybe the people working in e-Gate are still not able to take the technology easily. Suddenly seeing a new technology can cause some skepticism. Many may be afraid of getting stuck in the machine. Besides, when e-passport will be available to three to four crore people, the issue of using e-gate will become easier.
When asked if the machinery of E-Gate is broken, this official said, if it is broken, we have engineers. Many electronic devices are installed. Maybe one of them is damaged. Or sometimes the technical power may be up-down. We have full time trained people. They have been trained. I don’t think there is any complication. In our 80 missions we are working with three airports Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Dhaka, Shah Amanat International Airport Chittagong and Sylhet Osmani International Airport three airports and two landportsBanglabandha Land Port and Benapole Land Port. These five ports have E-gates. And 22 checkposts have normal and automatic systems in operation.
So far, we have successfully launched 28 e-gates at Dhaka, 6 at Chittagong and 6 at Sylhet Osmani across three airports. 4 e-gates have been set up at Benapole and 2 at Banglabandh. All are active. 20 members of SB have been trained within the country to operate e-gate services. 5 people abroad. Attempts are being made to send many more for training abroad. They will also be trained in the country.
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