Odisha to regulate tours of tribal areas

Odisha to regulate tours of tribal areas

Stern action will be taken against those violating rules: Patnaik

The Odisha government has decided to regulate the visit of foreign tourists and researchers to the areas inhabited by particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) like the Bondas, Dongaria Kandhas and other tribal communities.

Henceforth, these tourists and researchers are required to obtain permission from district collectors and adhere to a set of pre-conditions while visiting the areas of the PVTGs.
Violators will face criminal charges. Instructions in this regard have already been sent to the tribal-dominated districts.

The decision was taken following media reports that some tour operators were trying to lure foreign tourists promising them a trip to backward districts inhabited by people belonging to the primitive tribes.

The tour operators have to register themselves with the state government’s department of Tourism and Culture for a tour of the PVTG areas. However, they are not allowed to use photographs, video clips and write ups on the PVTGs in their websites or brochures in an inappropriate manner for tourism promotion.

Moreover, no permission will be granted for any performance by the PVTGs for amusement of the tourists.

This apart, foreign tourists should be accompanied by a local guide belonging to the PVTGs. The tourists can neither take photographs of the tribals nor would they be allowed to visit PVTG areas at night.

A copy of the permission granted by the collector will be sent to the local police station. The officer-in-charge of the police station will ensure strict implementation of the conditions mentioned in the permission.

“Anybody found violating these very clear regulations will be taken to task and dealt with very sternly,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in statement.