Foreign tourists do not now need special permits for visiting Manipur, Nagaland and MizoramBy ANI
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
IMPHAL - The Central Government is leaving no stones unturned in its effort to develop the northeastern region. Recently it excluded Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram from the protected area permit to promote tourism in the region.
A team of 19 NRI’s from Kenya and Britain were in Manipur after the protected area regime notified under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958 was done away with on January 1 for a period of one year.
They visited Hueiyen Lalong Thang-Ta Cultural Association, Irilbung, to see the traditional Manipuri sword dance.
“There is no word, which can describe how you felt after coming to Manipur. It is just wonderful to come here and witness the culture, traditions and the scenic beauty, which is absolutely magnificent,” said Anita Patel, a Kenyan tourist
“Definitely protected area permit that was lifted recently should have been removed earlier. The tourism and culture is so fantastic here that every one in the country and outside the country should visit Manipur,” she added.
“Government should have done it earlier and this will improve the image of the region in a big way. And people both from within and outside the country will come to visit the state. And it is a really nice state,” said Kd Shah, a tourist from England.
Rk Neimei, Secretary to Chief Minister, Manipur said: “Protected Area Permit has been removed on an experimental basis for one year, and I hope it comes out well so that it can be permanently lifted.”
Since 1958, the act required foreigners to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) in addition to a visa to visit Manipur. With the new guidelines, foreigners will have to register with the Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) of the district they visit within 24 hours of their arrival.
Citizens of some specified countries would, however, continue to require prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs before their visit to these three States.
Indian Missions/Posts have also been authorized to issue ‘Missionary Visa’ to foreign Missionaries visiting these three States as per the extant guidelines of the Government.
The decision to do away with the protected area permit will give a boost to tourism to the state that will help generate employment for the youth in the region. (ANI)