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International flight operations begin: India to issue free visas to first 5 lakh passengers 

To another question, he said that his ministry was seized of the need for protecting heritage monuments by bringing in an Act with stringent provisions and implementing it effectively.

Published: 28th March 2022 09:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2022 09:53 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purposes only

Image used for representational purposes only

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: On the occasion of resumption of long-awaited international travel on Sunday, the Central government has decided to issue visas free of cost for the first five lakh passengers arriving in India, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said.

“To promote tourism which has been badly mauled by Covid-19, the Centre has decided to extend the facility and at the same time give a facelift to  the tourist destinations in India,” he said at a news conference here.

The Union Minister said that he had reviewed the post-Covid situation obtaining on the tourism front and called upon tourism operators and agencies to ensure that maximum possible facilities are provided to the tourists all over the country.

“The Centre has also decided to make obtaining visas to visit India easier. Henceforth, in 170 countries, one need not approach the Indian embassies and stand in queue for visas. All they have to do is simply send an application online and an e-visa would be granted to them,” Kishan Reddy said.

To another question, he said that his ministry was seized of the need for protecting heritage monuments by bringing in an Act with stringent provisions and implementing it effectively.

Kishan: TS not cooperating in tourism works 

“For instance, at Golconda, there are too many encroachments. The State police had not addressed the problem, despite repeated requests from the ASI. The problem is similar almost everywhere and therefore there is a need for an Act,” he said, asserting that the relevant bill would be introduced in the next session of Parliament after discussing the issue with the Prime Minister. The Union Minister was livid with the State government for not cooperating in grounding tourism projects in the State. “The Centre is ready to clear MMTS line between Ghatkesar near Hyderabad to Yadadri where Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple has been renovated but the State government has to sign an agreement with the Railways,” he said.

“Similarly, for Ram Temple at Bhadrachalam, the Centre wants to lay a railway line to the temple town from Kothagudem. But State hasn’t provided land.”

E-visas for travellers from 170 countries

The Union Minister said that the Centre has also decided to make obtaining visas to visit India easier. “Henceforth, in 170 countries, one need not approach the Indian embassy and stand in queue for visas. All they have to do is simply send an application online and an e-visa would be granted to them,” he said.



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