The Union home ministry has excluded 29 inhabited islands in Andaman and Nicobar from Restricted Area Permit (RAP) with an aim to boost tourism.
Foreigners are not allowed to enter most of the hundreds of Andaman &Nicobar islands and they are required to obtain a RAP to visit the islands.
“The decision has been taken to dispense with the RAP for foreigners visiting the Andaman and Nicobar to boost tourism and overall development of the island. These 29 islands are being developed into tourist attractions on the lines of popular South-east Asian beach destination,” said a home ministry official.
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.
Besides, 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 the RAP to visit the island.