To boost tourism in Northeastern state, Indian government has decided to remove the ban on entering the protected areas of Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
The official announcement is expected in a day or two. As reported by livemint.com a senior government official on condition of anonymity. “It was decided keeping in view repeated demands made by representatives from the North-East and (to) promote tourism in the states.”
Till now Indian and foreigners who wish to visit North East states need to obtain permission from the government. The Indians require the permission of inner line permit (IPL), and foreigners need to take the protected area permit (PAP) and restricted area permit (RAP) to visit the mentioned North-Eastern states.
As of now only the restrictions on PAP will be lifted. Rest permissions will be in place as before. Indians need ILPs to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram and RAPs are necessary to visit certain areas such as near military bases or insurgency-affected regions in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
Sikkim already draws the maximum number of tourists among all the North East states. The lifting of PAP will only help in promoting tourism in Sikkim.
The home ministry official said the move to ease restrictions under PAP “will not only help to boost tourism… but also help those foreigners who have family and friends in prohibited areas of these states.”