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24 Oct 2021, 05:40 HRS IST
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  • Foreigners can visit 29 inhabited, 11 uninhabited Islands in Andaman

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19:21 HRS IST

New Delhi, Aug 7 (PTI) Foreign tourists can visit 29 inhabited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which were prohibited for visitors, without any restrictions, India's Home Ministry said on Tuesday

Foreigners will also be allowed to visit 11 uninhabited islands, to be notified by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration, only for day visits

The decision has been taken in the interest of promoting tourism and overall development of the Union Territory, a Home Ministry official said

The 29 inhabited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been excluded from the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, till December 31, 2022, subject to certain conditions, the official said

The islands are: 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, North Sentinel Island, Little Andaman, Chowra, Tillang Chong Island, Teressa, Katchal, Nancowry, Kamorta, Pulomilo, Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar, Narcondam Island and Interview island

A communication to this effect has been sent to the chief secretary of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration

However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require RAP to visit the Union Territory

In such cases, the 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 ministry

In order to ensure preservation of natural and marine resources, including marine parks and environment, of the Union Territory without affecting tourism and business at large, it should be ensured by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration that the guidelines issued by the Environment and Forests Ministry are strictly adhered to, the Home Ministry said in its communication

Separate approvals of the competent authority would continue to be required for visiting reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal reserves as is the case at present, the official said.

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