Sikkim seeks lifting of Inner Line Permits for tourism benefits

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Gangtok, Nov 07 (UNI) The Sikkim government has requested the Centre to lift the Inner Line Permit (ILP) for attracting more foreign tourists to this border Himalayan state.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today formally presented the demand before Union Cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, now on a two-day visit to the state with a large delegation of officials.

Sikkim with the third highest mountain peak in the world and its exquisite range of flora and fauna has always attracted domestic as well as overseas tourists in large numbers. But owing to its unique geographical location, the development choices are limited. However, the restrictive regime imposed by the Inner Line Permit formality has discouraged many of the prospective tourists to visit the state, the chief minister said.

Therefore, the Central Government might consider lifting of the Inner Line Permit inclusive of Restrictive Area Permit (RAP) and Protected Area Permit (PAP) formality for all the visiting foreign tourists in the state,'' Mr Chamling said.

ILPs are required for any foreign national to enter this sensitive border State.

Among the other demands, the Chief Minister appraised Mr Chandrashekar about the need to widen the existing NH 31 A and construction of an alternative highway for Sikkim owing to its strategic location.

UNI BG KK DB1847

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