Arunachal Pradesh government wants to merge multiple Inner Line Permits that domestic tourists need to apply for to access different regions into a single permit, while increasing air connectivity. P.D. Sona, Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism of Arunachal Pradesh, speaks to TRAVTALK about the same.
Aware of the hurdles that its Inner Line Permits creates, not just for foreign tourists but even domestic, Arunachal Pradesh’s Department of Tourism has said that it is working towards easing it. Voicing this concern is P.D. Sona, Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism of Arunachal Pradesh, who says, “We are aware of the problems that Indian passport holders face when entering and travelling within Arunachal Pradesh. So we have planned a review meeting for the same. We plan to resolve issues like multiple Inner Line Permits that Indians need to apply for to access the different districts in the state. We want to make them into a single permit with a time limit.”
The state is also aware of the lack of connectivity to the mainland and has therefore put a plan of action in place. Sona reveals, “We have developed multiple Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in remote areas for defense purpose that will now serve dual purposes and be used for civilian operations as well, which should sort a lot of problems of connectivity.” These airports are already in place and are not under the UDAN scheme. Sona adds that the department has floated a tender and is in talks with multiple airline operators for charters that will include small aircraft and choppers.
While domestic tourists arrivals have shown an increase, it is the international tourist arrivals that are worrying for the state due to security restrictions. To this Sona adds, “We do get a lot of international tourists but the only hitch is the restrictions on them entering the state. They have to seek Protected Area Permit (PAP) which is creating a bottleneck. We have been pursuing this matter with the Central Government but understandably they have reservations regarding this because of the international border.
“We have planned a review meeting on issues such as multiple Inner Line Permits that Indians need to apply for to access the different districts in the state,”- P.D. Sona Honorary Parliamentary Secretary Tourism of Arunachal Pradesh