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Extract from Foreigners' Order 1948 issued vide Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs notification No. 11013/4/78-FI of 9.1.1979 provides that:
PARA 11(a) OF FOREIGNERS ORDER 1948
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Foreigners (Exemption) Order, 1957 dated 9.1.1957 no foreigner or group of foreigners shall climb or attempt to climb any mountain peak in India without obtaining the prior permission in writing of the Central Government on an application made in that behalf through the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and without complying with such conditions, including specification of route to be followed, accompaniment by a Liaison Officer, use of photographic and wireless communication equipment as may be laid down in this behalf.
SECTION 14 OF THE FOREIGNERS ACT 1964
If any person contravenes the provisions of this Act or of any order made there under, or any direction given in pursuance of this act or such order, he shall be punished with punishment for a term which may extend to five years and shall be liable to fine, and if such person has entered into a bond in pursuance of clause (f) of sub-Section (2) of section 3, his bond shall be forfeited, and any person bound thereby shall pay the penalty thereof, or show cause to the satisfaction of the convicting court why such penalty should not be paid.
All expedition teams are advised to plan their expeditions in such a manner that the schedule or route is not changed and leader/members are not added or substituted at a later date. It may be noted that any change in the schedule or route and addition/substitution would entail a further delay of upto one month in issuing permits. However, deletion of names from planned list does not pose any problem, hence the need for keeping adequate number of reserves is emphasised. Other points for consideration are :
It will facilitate processing, if application along with required documents, is sent to the IMF, at least three months before the proposed date of arrival of the expedition to India. If the required details are not received at least three months before the date of arrival of the party, grant of the permit from Govt. of India and issue of `X' Mountaineering Visa by Indian Embassy/High Commission abroad may get delayed. Also, if any particular detail required in the application form is not correctly furnished, the expedition application will not be processed.
Members of the expedition are advised :
Those expeditions desirous of availing rescue facilities through IMF are to deposit, Rupees One Million ( Rs. 1,000,000), OR Equivalent in USD at the time of briefing at IMF and before leaving for the mountain area.
Rescue for all other expeditions would have to be undertaken by the tour operator through their respective embassies.
On arrival at the last district or sub-division of Garhwal, Kumaon, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, the leader and the Liaison Officer must report to the District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner or the sub-divisional officer and Superintendent of Police and the Army's formation headquarters. Expeditions are advised not to engage porters by direct negotiations with them. The district authorities will endeavour to help in engaging porters for expedition, at the prescribed rates and the Liaison Officer will assist in this task.
Members of the expedition must have insurance cover for accident risks and ground/ helicopter search and rescue. A copy of the insurance policy is required to be handed over to the IMF at the time of briefing of the expedition in New Delhi. This insurance policy should have a clause that in the event of an accident, all charges connected with ground/helicopter search and rescue would be covered.
All the team members, for climbing peaks in Indian Himalaya, must have 'X' Mountaineering Visas endorsed on their passports from the Indian Embassy/ Mission in their country before leaving their country for India. However 'X' Mountaineering Visa is not required for 113 peaks that are listed in the schedule of Foreigner's Order 1948 as amended vide MHA, Foreigner's Division Order No. 25022/26/05- F IV dated 9th March 2007. To download a copy of the order, please click here.
Conversion of Tourist/Entry Visa into 'X' visa after arrival in India is NOT entertained by Govt of India.
'X' visa is endorsed on passports of foreigners by Indian Embassies/Missions abroad only after the Govt of India informs them (Indian Embassies/Missions) that the expedition has been cleared which is normally done one month before the date of commencement of the expedition.
All expedition teams are required to plan to stay at Delhi for one working day each on their arrival at Delhi and departure from Delhi for briefing/debriefing respectively and to complete other formalities at the IMF headquarters in New Delhi.
Adventure Tour Operators/ Travel Agents
Expedition teams are advised to use the services of Government recognised Tour Operators/Travel Agents affiliated with IMF to carry out administration and liaison work in New Delhi and in the mountains. Adventure Tour Operators handling the expedition will ensure adequate supply of cooking gas and kerosene, insurance of porters and HAPs, provision of good service to the expedition and help to the Liaison Officer detailed by IMF in keeping mountain trails and camp sites clean as also in organising search and rescue operations when required.
Affiliation of Adventure Tour Operators/Travel Agents dealing with adventure activities is done by IMF on year to year basis to help foreign expedition teams by way of services required by them during the course of their expedition in India. Foreign expedition teams desirous of availing of the services of Tour Operators listed with IMF may send their request to IMF to furnish the particulars of the tour operators.
Notwithstanding the above, expedition teams can climb peaks in the Indian Himalaya on their own without engaging the services of an Adventure Tour Operator affiliated with IMF.
International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute