Centre to ease access to border areas with an eye on tourism

Curbs on Protected Area Permits to be relaxed to attract foreign visitors

Published - March 24, 2018 09:05 pm IST - New Delhi

 The Tawang Monestry, Asia's second largest monestry located, in Tawan, Arunachal Pradesh.

The Tawang Monestry, Asia's second largest monestry located, in Tawan, Arunachal Pradesh.

The Centre is set to relax the Protected Area Permit (PAP) regime to enable foreign tourists to access border areas. The move follows several requests from the border States of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Nagaland and Manipur, as also the Tourism Ministry.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, an MP from Arunachal Pradesh, tweeted on Saturday that the Ministry had decided to relax PAP.

He was responding to a tweet by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who posted pictures of “Shungetser Lake at Tawang,” describing it as “paradise on earth.” “Yesterday, I took a review meeting in Home Ministry & decided to relax Protected Area Permit regime of this paradise on earth. People must see such amazing places, which also will create job opportunity & revenue for the State,” Mr. Rijiju tweeted.

Policy decisions

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Rijiju said, “The MHA is taking a lenient view to open up and relax the PAP regime in some border areas for tourists on the requests of the State governments, including Arunachal Pradesh. We are taking some policy decisions.”

Earlier, the Tourism Ministry had written to the Home Ministry, seeking to ease the registration of these permits. It also sought an extension of these permits from the existing one year to two years. Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the ‘Inner line’ and the International Border of the State have been declared as a ‘Protected Area,’ applicable to all of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who wants to enter and stay in a Protected Area, is required to get a special permit. Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are not issued the permit without the Home Ministry’s approval.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.