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By November, a Rajdhani to Arunachal

State agrees to relax the rigid norm of inner-line permit for passengers with reserved tickets.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi | Published: September 22, 2014 1:53 am

The Indian Railways is set to kick off the Rajdhani Express between Arunachal Pradesh and New Delhi by November. To make travel more passenger-friendly, Arunachal has agreed to relax the rigid norm of inner-line permit, which is otherwise mandatory for “outsiders” entering the state.

After a series of meetings at the Prime Minister’s Office between Railways and state officials, as well as correspondence between the state’s Chief Secretary and the Railway Board recently, it was decided that passengers who have made a reservation will not require the permit.

The Railways had reasoned that details of the identity of a passenger with a reserved ticket are entered into the railway system at the time of booking, and are verified when they board.

“The state has agreed that as long as a passenger holds a reserved ticket, inner-line permit is not required,” Devi Prasad Pande, Member-Traffic, Railway Board, told The Indian Express. The Rajdhani Express to Naharlagun, 15 km from the state capital of Arunachal Pradesh, will run twice a week to and from Delhi. Another AC-only express train linking Guwahati to the Capital is also on the cards. In both categories of trains, unreserved tickets are not issued.

The problem of running trains with general class coaches, in which passengers can travel with unreserved tickets, is still being discussed.
The two sides have discussed the possibility of creating a ‘holding area’, where credentials of passengers with unreserved tickets can be verified and state officials can issue inner-line permits to them .

Ever since the 33-km railway line between Harmuti in Assam and Naharlagun   — the last stage in the Rajdhani project which will connect Arunachal with the rest of the country  — neared completion earlier this year, local groups have stepped up protests against the prospect of outsiders inundating the state.

“How does a reserved ticket meet the requirements of the inner-line permit? The permit system was introduced as per a law which still exists to protect locals from exploitation. What is the problem in procuring a permit before boarding the train? I don’t think the new arrangement will be acceptable,” said Ninong Ering, Congress MP from Arunachal East Lok Sabha constituency.

Ering was referring to The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and the Chin Hill Regulations, 1896, which are meant to provide special protection and safeguard the “peaceful existence of the indigenous tribal people” in Arunachal.

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  1. B
    Bhavin
    Sep 22, 2014 at 9:03 am
    I just don't get it. Why do Indian citizens need a permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh, since Arunachal Pradesh is a sovereign Indian territory. Aren't we merely strengthening China's claim on Arunachal Pradesh when we deny our own citizens unrestricted access to our land? China will then very easily claim - look even India accepts that Arunachal is a disputed territory, and that is why Indian citizens need a separate permit to visit that Chinese territory.This is absurd and does nothing to help integrate Arunachal Pradesh with India
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    1. I
      IndiannotAmused
      Sep 22, 2014 at 7:08 pm
      This all stems from an archaic law crafted by the British to keep the " Hills people " of the Northeast separate from the " Plains people" of the Northeast.All part of a ploy to balkanize India and ure their paramountcy.....the sad part is so many years after independence the Khangress never cared to take steps to integrate these beautiful parts of India into the national mainstream.Please note how it is a Khangress leader who has protested the effort.Finally Indian policymaking is coming of age.....finally we are erting ourselves.As patriotic Indians,let us all support the government in these initiatives.Jai Hind.
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        tulsi
        Sep 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm
        If an Indian state can stop other Indians from entering, howcome Bengal has failed to stop Bangladeshi foreigners from entering and illegally settling in Bengal?
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          tulsi
          Sep 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm
          Is it allowed by Consution that a state can restrict any Indian from entering?
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            murty
            Sep 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm
            nonsense process all the congress malfunctions,J&K,AP every where.How come they can come anywhere in INdia settle but others can not come there???
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