DEHRADUN: After Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said that the Army is planning to ease out inner-line restrictions in Uttarakhand to boost tourism in the border areas, long pending demand of approval of tourism activity in border areas and removal of 'inner line permit' from certain border areas may come to fruition.
State tourism minister Satpal Maharaj, welcoming the move said, "This is a welcome move which will help tourism industry of the state. My gratitude to the CDS as this will also help in reverse migration."
At initial level, plans are to open up Mukhba, Bagholi and Harsil in the Gangotri with ILP, said Maharaj.
General Rawat was on visit in Dehradun where he met top officials of the state including Ashok Kumar Director General of Police, Uttarakhand.
Rawat had said, "Law and order situation in Uttarakhand is good, which makes it ideal for growth of tourism sector. The Army is planning to relax inner-line permit."
Uttarakhand state government has been seeking clearance for approval of tourist activity in Gartang Gali area, located on the Indo-China border in Uttarkashi district and several other areas such as Nelang valley, Nabhidang, Chakrata, Tyuni and many others.
The areas where restrictions for 'Inner Line Permit' removal has also been requested includes border areas of Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Chamoli, the districts mainly bordering with China.
Receding population on Uttarakhand-Nepal-China border has become a source of worry for the state government and Indian security forces amidst increasing border tensions with Nepal.
Uttarakhand shares 350 kms border with China and 275 Kms with Nepal.
By lifting restrictions on ILP, the aim to develop areas for 'Border Tourism' acting as 'Second line of Defence' and to encourage tourism and settlement of inhabitants which will help security forces develop vigil on ground.
The ILP is required to visit in some areas of the state which are ecologically and otherwise deemed sensitive to regulate footfall in those areas.