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Current Affairs

Border tourism in Uttarakhand

Date: 10 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

In the backdrop of repeated Chinese incursions along the LAC, the Centre is planning to build a second line of defence in villages bordering China by relaxing tourism-related activities.

 

Background

The first step in the direction will be to free some parts of the Gangotri area in Uttarakhand from the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system. Uttarakhand has a 350-km border with China.

 

Details

  • Government agree that there should be some tourism and economic activity so that the border villages remain inhabited.

  • Uttarakhand has also decided to provide subsidy for the installation of mobile phone towers in the remote border villages, which are currently mostly out of network coverage area.

  • There have been demands for relaxation of the ILP even in the tribal areas of Kumaon. These areas are seeing intrusions from Nepal, with some foreigners settling in border villages, along with an increased use of satellite phones.

  • The ILP system restricts movement in areas close to the border for everyone other than those with a formal permission from the Union Home Ministry.

  • Several experts have advocated greater human activity on the Indian side of the border, including more settlements and tourism activities in the border areas that could act as additional eyes and ears of the security forces, and perform as a second line of defence against external aggression or infiltration.

  • Relaxing the ILP regime of restrictions would allow for houses in the beautiful border villages to be developed as homestays, and will directly contribute towards helping the village economy.

  • Such a step will help in the permanent protection of borders, and also generate livelihoods for the local population and discourage them from leaving.