If you speak to people who have visited Arunachal Pradesh, they may describe the scenic beauty of Tawang, Roing, Bomdila and Ziro, but most of them are also likely to say something about the tedious process of getting Inner Line Permit (ILP), a mandatory document require to enter the frontier state. But thanks to the technology intervention, that tedious process has now become just a matter of a few online clicks. Recently, the Arunchal Pradesh government launched an online portal – arunachalilp.com to ensure a hassle-free experience for those who apply for an ILP to visit the state. According to government officials, the newly launched portal is a feature-rich platform that allows online submission of required documents, photograph and payment by a visitor or group of visitors. Now any visitor can apply for and obtain the mandatory ILP, online from anywhere in the country.
“The old way of getting ILP was time consuming as applicant had to apply manually at the government centres in New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. The entire process used to take at least two days. But for the people who were from other than these three cities, the challenge was more compounded as they had to first travel to the nearest government centre to get their ILP. For example, if somebody from Bangalore wanted to visit Arunachal Pradesh, first he had to go to Delhi to apply for the ILP and then he could proceed towards Arunachal Pradesh. But fortunately, this complexity has been removed now,” said Abhijit Bhuyan, managing director, Bohniman Systems, an IT solutions and consulting firm based in Guwahati which created this digital platform for the state government.
Interestingly, the online platform is integrated with central government DigiLocker system. So, if a person has a DigiLocker account, he does not need to give any document. He can log into the website, upload his/her required documents from DigiLocker directly and then can get instant approval of the ILP application. DigiLocker is a ‘digital locker’ service run by the Government of India that enables Indian citizens to store certain official documents on the cloud. After fulfilling all criteria online, visitors receive the ILPs with unique identity number and codes in soft copy in their emails, which can also be displayed on their mobile handsets or tabs at the entry gates.
There are 25 check gates across the interstate borders with Assam and Nagaland. An ILP for temporary visitors is valid for 15 days and can be extended, while for those taking employment in the state and their immediate family members, it is valid for one year. The newly issued ILP have bar and QR codes for verification. According to officials, the government has trained security personnel manning the entry gates and they have been given smart devices that can read QR codes and detect fake ILPs. In addition, training has also been given to the personnel at designated offices of resident commissioners, deputy resident commissioners and deputy commissioners so that they are familiar with the system and can issue ILPs promptly.
“This hassle-free and paperless system has lead to significant increase in number of visitors to the state. Since the launch on July 1, over 2376 ILPs have already been issued and this number is likely to increase in October–November, when the winter season starts,” said Bhuyan.