Online permits stump tourists
Tezpur, July 9: The sudden implementation of online inner-line permits (ILP) without notification has caused a lot of problems for visitors and tourists from across the country and abroad travelling to Arunachal Pradesh as most of them are unaware of the new facility.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu launched e-inner line permit in Itangar on June 30.
The web portal, www.arunachalilp.com, allows visitors and tourists to apply and obtain the permit online from anywhere in the country.
Inner-line permit is required for Indian citizens to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
The deputy resident commissioner (DRC) of Arunachal Pradesh in Guwahati, Dilip Kumar Chetia, has written to the state government to continue with manual issuance of ILPs for tourists and visitors to the Himalayan state for some more days in order to facilitate their smooth entry that has been affected by the sudden shift to e-permits since Thursday.
The ILPs issued earlier have also become invalid immediately after the introduction of the e-permits and visitors with the ILPs secured earlier were forced to return from the inter-state border checkgates, the source added.
None of the e-permit issuing offices in Guwahati is being able to cater to the increasing number of applications.
The DRC office at Parvati Nagar here has witnessed a sudden rush of visitors and tourists in the past three days as those who had earlier secured ILPs are now being made to wait for days for application of e-permits.
ILPs are mandatory identity documents to those entering Arunachal Pradesh according to the provisions under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873. The permits to Arunachal Pradesh are issued by the state government offices in New Delhi, Calcutta, Tezpur, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Jorhat.
The permits are issued by the secretary (political) of the Arunachal Pradesh government and they are required to enter the state through any of the checkgates across the inter-state border with Assam or Nagaland.
An ILP for temporary visitors is valid for 15 days and can be extended, while the permits for those taking employment in the state and their immediate family members is valid for a year.
Kulen Bharali, a Tezpur-based visitor to Arunachal Pradesh, said: "On Thursday, I was at the DRC office and applied for the ILP to go to Namsai in Lohit district around noon only to find officials issuing a notice that no application would henceforth be received manually. They also closed the form submission counters immediately."
Several visitors failed to submit the applications online as they are not subscribed to online banking, a requisite to pay fees, while others are not familiar with the online process.
An applicant at Seppa in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh asked: "What is the online process? How can I submit my application?"
Most of the applicants are yet to get their confirmation owing to insufficient staff at the Guwahati office. About 200 applications are being submitted online every day.
"My office has been constantly monitoring the process but because of staff shortage, it is taking some time. We need more people at the office and I have written to the government about it. I am expecting a positive response very soon," Chetia said, adding that the initiative is good for visitors and tourists and the process is easy but the people need to get used to it.