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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK
Visa queues 'hitting businesses'
People queuing outside the consulate
Some people began queuing in the early hours
Birmingham firms say they are being affected by crowds queuing outside the Indian consulate to get tourist visas.

Consulate General of India staff can only deal with a limited number of applications daily from people, who travel from as far as Devon and Leeds.

Andy Munro, of the local regeneration partnership, said problems for Jewellery Quarter businesses included litter and entrances being blocked.

The consulate said extra staff were being employed to help the situation.

The Birmingham office is one of only a few places in the UK where people can obtain tourist visas for India.

Many people had been queuing from the early hours to receive their documents.

'Disappointment'

Mr Monro added: "Obviously it's not very good for an area within the conservation area with lots of lovely shops - it's not the image we want."

The BBC's Peter Cole said by 0800 BST on October 26, there were already about 200 people in the queue and for some it was their third attempt.

"Today the consulate will issue only 150 visas to the waiting crowd but with several hundred in the queue and people coming from as far as Devon, Manchester and Bolton many went home disappointed," he said.

One man who was waiting told the BBC: "This morning I left Cambridge at 4 o'clock and got here hoping to beat the queue, but it must be a good one - there are 80 to 90 people ahead of me."

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