Uttarakhand wants permit regime near China border to end for strategic reasons
Uttarakhand tourism minister Satpal Maharaj has written to the Centre urging it to remove some areas from Inner Line restrictions near Indo-China border in the state to boost tourism there, said officials.
The letter was written by the minister on Tuesday in which he cited that removing some areas from Inner Line restrictions would also help in preventing migration of locals from those areas.
The move follows reports of China increasing troop deployment at the border adjoining Uttarakhand amid the tensions between the two sides after the Galwan Valley episode.
Maharaj said, “I have written to the Ministry of Home Affairs to remove some areas from the Inner Line including Gartang Gali in Uttarkashi district, Timmersain Mahadev in Chamoli and Om Parvat in Pithoragarh district. These areas presently fall under the Inner Line due to which there are certain restrictions on tourism activities there.”
“Presently, foreigners are not allowed to visit these areas apart from the limited number of Indian tourists permitted per day. If these areas are removed from the Inner Line, then not only foreign tourists will be allowed there but the number of Indians visiting them will also increase,” said Maharaj.
The minister said that a boost in tourism in those border areas will help in their development.
“If there is development there, then the locals will stay there and not opt for migration. This in turn will also help in security purposes as the locals could keep an eye on the Chinese activities near the border and inform the security forces,” said Maharaj.
He added that the state government was ready to develop various facilities to boost tourism activities in these bordering areas provided Centre grants the request.