Indians visiting ‘protected’ areas of Ladakh, some in forward areas, will no longer have to secure an Inner Line Permit (ILP).
The local administration has scrapped the ILP system in yet another move to underline India’s sovereignty over the territory.
Tourists going to these areas will still have to pay the environment fee of ₹300 and Red Cross Fund fee of ₹100, which they can do online, Times of India reported on Sunday.
All visitors also need to carry identity proof. Foreigners will still need the Protected Area Permit.
The scrapping of the ILP, however, will not result in unfettered access. The Ladakh administration will separately notify areas, mostly ‘zero-km’ villages on the border, where tourists will not be allowed. The home ministry on Saturday asked for such a list, which will be finalised after consultation with the police and the army.
Thang village in Nubra Valley, on the border with Pakistan, will likely remain out of bounds, ToI said. So will Dungti, Koyul, Demchok and Chumar in Nyoma Subdivision in the east. In Kargil, tourists can now travel to places such as Batalik.
Ladakh was opened up for tourists in October 1974, but many areas in the region still remain out of bounds, mostly on the army’s insistence.