Access to Andaman Eased
24, Aug 2018
Why in News?
The Union government has decided to exclude 29 inhabited Andaman & Nicobar Islands from the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime, subject to certain conditions, to boost tourism and overall development of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime
- RAP regime has been notified under Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963.
- Under it, foreign nationals are not normally allowed to visit protected or restricted area unless Government is satisfied that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify their visit.
- Every foreigner, except citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in protected or restricted area, is required to obtain special permit from competent authority having power to issue such permits to foreigner, seeking it.
- Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are exception and are not allowed to enter such areas.
List of the islands permitted for foreigner’s visit include:
- East Island, North Andaman, Smith Island, Curfew Island, Stewart Island, Land Fall Island, Ayes Island, Middle Andaman, Long Island, Strait Island, North Passage, Baratang, South Andaman, Havelock, Neil Island, Flat Bay, Little Andaman, Chowra, Tillang Chong Island, Teressa, Katchal, Nancowry, Kamorta, Pulomilo, Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar, Narcondam Island and Interview Island.
- Foreigners will also be allowed to visit 11 uninhabited Islands, to be notified by Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration, only for day visits.
- Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require RAP to visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In such cases, RAP may be granted only after obtaining prior approval of the ministry of home affairs.
- For visiting Mayabunder and Diglipur, citizens of Myanmar will continue to require RAP which shall be issued only with the prior approval of the MHA.