Thursday, March 13, 2008
OPENING UP OF RESTRICTED AND PROTECTED AREAS
The Minister of Tourism and Culture Smt. Ambika Soni informed the Lok Sabha today that a comprehensive review of the Protected Area Permit / Restricted Area Permit (PAP/ RAP) regime to relax the restrictions imposed to visit some locations in the concerned State / UTs, from the tourism perspective has been undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Specific proposals in this regard have been received from the concerned State Governments / UTs. In a written reply she said, these proposals are examined from the tourism and security perspectives with the concerned State Governments / UTs and an appropriate decision expedited in the matter by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Protected Areas: The Protected Areas are those areas falling between the ‘Inner Line’ and the International border of the State. (i) Whole of Arunachal Pradesh (ii) Parts of Himachal Pradesh (iii) Parts of Jammu & Kashmir (iv) Whole of Manipur (v) Whole of Mizoram (vi) Whole of Nagaland (vii) Parts of Rajasthan (viii) Whole of Sikkim (partly Restricted & partly in Protected area) (ix) Parts of Uttarakhand.
Restricted Areas: Under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963 the following areas have been declared as ‘Restricted Areas’. No foreigner can enter or stay in the restricted areas without obtaining a permit from the competent authorities.
(i) Andaman & Nicobar Island – entire Union Territory (ii) Sikkim – Part of the State. A foreigner is not normally allowed to visit a Protected / Restricted Area unless it is established to the satisfaction of the Government that there are exceptional reasons to justify such a visit.