Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday assured legislators that the State government would urge the Centre for early clearance of the proposed tourism circuit in troubled Tirap district.
Responding to a query by senior Congress MLA Wanglin Lowangdong during Question Hour in the Assembly, Mr. Khandu said the State government had written a letter to the Union Tourism Ministry a few years ago to approve the proposal, which is awaiting clearance from the Union Home Ministry.
“The matter is pending with the Home Ministry as at that point of time the security scenario of the district was not conducive. I will soon convene a meeting and send a fresh representation to the Home Ministry for early clearance of the tourism circuit within this year,” the Chief Minister said.
Two other troubled districts – Changlang and Longding – in the eastern part of the State, also need to be included in tourist circuit so that they develop on a par with other parts of the northeastern State, he said.
Mr. Lowangdong also wanted to know the status of the tourism circuit connecting Deomali-Khonsa-Laju areas of the district with Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam.
In reply to the question, Tourism Minister Nakap Nalo said that efforts are on to open up tourist circuits in several districts of the State.
“The government has been discussing with the Centre for opening more tourist circuits in the State by resolving all the issues including Protected Area Permit (PAP) and Restricted Area Permit (RAP).
“The Centre is working on the criteria for approving tourist circuits in the State,” Mr. Nalo said adding, approval of tourist circuit is under the jurisdiction of the Union Tourism Ministry with due clearance from the Home Ministry.
Last year, the Centre had declared three districts and four police stations in Arunachal Pradesh as “disturbed area” under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) for six more months from October 1, 2020, after a review of insurgent activities and the law and order situation there.
Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in the State and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of the four police stations in Namsai and Mahadevpur (Namsai district), Roing in Lower Dibang Valley and Sunpura in Lohit district bordering Assam were declared as “disturbed area” up to March 31 this year.
The three districts of the State and the areas within the jurisdiction of the four police stations have presence of banned militant outfits such as NSCN, ULFA and NDFB.