Umling: First entry-exit point for visitors inaugurated

Meghalaya inaugurates first entry-exit point for visitors, tourists in Umling

Representative image: iStock Photo

 The first-ever entry-exit point for visitors and tourists in Meghalaya was on Monday inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong at Umling in Ri-Bhoi district, an official said.

The move comes at a time when the northeastern state is witnessing protests by civil organisations demanding swift implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) to check influx of illegal immigrants into the state. Its inauguration also coincided with the reopening of the state for tourists after a gap of nine months due to the pandemic. The official said, all visitors to the hill state are mandated to register themselves at the facilitation centre through a dedicated app of Meghalaya Tourism.

"We inaugurated the entry point as wanted by the people of the state long time back. Today is a red-letter day as we are able to inaugurate the entry point for those entering the state," Tynsong said.

Visitors will have to upload his or her photo identity on the app and provide the complete tour itinerary besides showing proof of confirmed booking (in hotel/ guest house/ homestay) for the first two nights at least, an official of the tourism department said.

"Governor Satya Pal Malik had okayed the setting up of the facilitation centre which will be functional from today," political department secretary CVD Diengdoh said.

If the tourist is staying as a guest of any family or friend in the state, then the individual will have to declare the full address and contact details of the family or friend and complete itinerary for an e-invite.

Once the process is completed, the visitors will receive the e-invite which will have to be shown at the entry checkpoint along with a COVID-19 negative certificate which should not be more than 72 hours old.

The centre will provide facilities such as registration, Covid-19 testing, isolation rooms, VIP and emergency counters, infiltration cells and cafeterias. The civil organisations are in favour of setting up of entry-exit points to curb the influx of immigrants.

They have also been demanding the implementation of Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 but the governor is yet to give his assent to it.