Tourism in North Eastern states set to get a boost as governmnet relaxes area permit norms

The central government is set to relax the Protected Area Permit (PAP) norms to boost tourism in many North Eastern states. Indian citizens from other states as well as foreign tourists will now find it easier to visit the border states.

The PAP norms are being relaxed after several requests from the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand. According to reports, all areas falling between the ‘inner line’ and the international border of the states have been declared as ‘Protected Area’ under the foreigner’s (Protected Areas) Order, 1958. It is applicable to all areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim and certain parts of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Every foreign national, except a citizen of Bhutan, has to obtain the PAP to visit these areas. Citizens of Pakistan, China and Afganistan have not issued the PAP without the Home mInistry’s special approval. Indian citizens of other states need Inner Line Permits to visit the specified areas.

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Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday tweeted some pictures of the beautiful Shungetser lake at Tawang.

Replying to the CM’s tweet, MoS Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju announced that the central government will soon relax the PAP norms to enable a greater number of tourists to visit the border areas. He stated that people must see the amazing places which will also create job opportunities and revenue for the state. He added that he had taken a review meeting with the Home Ministry and decided to relax the PAP rules for this paradise on earth.

According to reports, the Protected Area Permit, which was earlier issued for only two years will now be issued for five years. This was decided after a meeting of the inter-ministerial coordination committee on tourism. While Arunachal Pradesh will be the first state receive the benefits of the relaxed norms, Sikkim and Ladakh in J&K will follow up.

The government is hoping to increase tourist flow at the serene locations of Tawang Valley, Ziro and Bomdila. More areas will be gradually opened up. Kiren Rijiju who is a Lok Sabha MP from the Arunachal West constituency frequently posts pictures of the beautiful locations of Arunachal Pradesh on the social media and encourages people to visit.

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