Have you ever wished to explore North East India? The mystical land of tribals, waterfalls, forests, tea gardens, hills, and unexplored locales, gets a break from the more than half-century restrictions. The Home Ministry has now proposed to relax Protected Area Permit (PAP) India for foreigners.
The tradition of over six decades ends, making way for foreigners to enjoy North East’s beauty, bliss, and adventure. The proposal is valid for five years. Coming as good news for Indian Tourism, the relaxed PAP is expected to bring tourists from all over the globe to the picturesque and unexplored locations of the country in North East India.
In special circumstances, the Home Ministry shall also grant permits. In certain circumstances, where subordinate authority cannot issue permits, the special permit will be referred to the home affairs ministry for approval. The permit needed to be applied for at least eight weeks before the date of the expected visit.
What is a Protected Area?
The Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order of 1958, declared areas that fall between the Inner line and the International Border of some states as protected, which were allowed to visit only by permit.
These areas currently include the whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim in the North East. The other such protected areas comprise some parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jammu, and Kashmir, and also some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area.
What is a Protected Area Permit (PAP)?
The permit to the protected areas is known as PAP. The Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958 requires non-Indian citizens to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit the protected/ restricted areas in India.
• The permit is required in addition to an Indian visa.
• The permit for foreign nationals will be issued after scrutiny by authorities issuing documents.
• Even Indian citizens who are not residents of those Protected/ restricted areas require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter these places. The Inner Line Permit is, however, significantly easier to get.
• Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Afghanistan, and Myanmar are not allowed for the permit.
What are the requisites of PAP for the North East?
All Foreign tourists, except those from Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan, from now on will be allowed to visit the out-of-bound locations of the North East.