Thursday, February 29, 2024

No plan to scrap 140-year-old law for entry: Arunachal govt

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Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh government has no plans to scrap a 140-year-old Act which mandates prior official permission for an individual before entering the state, considered as a barrier by many for free movement of people.

Official permits–Inner Line Permit (ILP) and Protected Area Permit (PAP)–are required for entering Arunachal Pradesh, which shares border with China, Myanmar and Burma, as it comes under the restricted area category.

A person entering the Arunachal Pradesh is given an identity card as per the mandatory provisions under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873.

“There is no proposal to abolish it,” Arunachal Pradesh’s Chief Secretary Hari Krishna Paliwal told PTI.

He said the process for getting the permit has been streamlined. “One can also apply online and pay fees through the internet,” Paliwal added.

ILPs are required by Indians other than natives of Arunachal Pradesh for entering any place in the state. This permit is issued by the state government offices at Delhi, Kolkata, Tezpur, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Jorhat.

A foreigner requires PAP or Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for getting into Arunachal.

They can obtain the permit from all Indian missions abroad, Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRRO) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai, Home Ministry, Delhi, and Arunachal Pradesh Home Commissioner’s office at Itanagar.

Migrant labourers or skilled workers who comes here for work in fast-growing tourism and hospitality sectors in the state complain of difficulty in getting the permits and want the government to abolish them.

“There is a lot of red-tape involved in getting this permit. We also need to get it renewed in time. At times, we face a lot of harassment,” said T Baruah, who hails from Assam and works in a local hotel here. His collegaue Tezi, who has come from neighbouring Mizoram, also complains of a similar treatment.

“Authorities need to give free access to the people, after all we are all Indians,” she said.

A number of labourers come to Arunachal Pradesh from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and other neighbouring states.

“We come here to work and we need to pay a fee to get these permits. It is unfair. If the government removes this provision, it will help us,” said a labourer from Assam.

Arunachal is the largest state, area-wise, in the north eastern region with evergreen forests providing 82 per cent cover.

President Pranab Mukherjee, who had last week visited the state, has emphasised the need for ensuring connectivity between the state and the rest of the country.

“No longer should this state be considered remote. The Centre and the state government should together rapidly build the infrastructure linkages and connectivity with the rest of India that is required and this legislature and the people of Arunachal should extend every assistance possible in this venture,” he had said in his maiden address to the state Legislative Assembly. (PTI)

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