Protected areas has been defined in the section 2 of the Foreigners Protected Area Order 1958 which is as under:-
A Protected area means any border areas falling beyond the inner line as described in schedule-I
No foreigner shall enter into or remain in any protected areas except under and in accordance with the permit issued by the Central Govt. or any official authorised by the Central Govt. in this behalf.
Following areas in Himachal Pradesh require protected areas permits Khab, Samdo, Dhankar, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza, Morang and Dubling (Lahaul & Spiti).
At present the foreign tourists/foreigners are being permitted to visit the restricted/protected areas by the authorities specified under section 3 of the Foreigners ( Protected Areas) Order 1958 by the State Govt.
Diplomatic & Officials Passport holders who wish to visit, stay or pass through the above mentioned areas and required to obtain necessary protected areas permits from Ministry of External Affairs. Application (in triplicate) should be submitted to the Northern Division, MDA, South Block, Room No. 235, New Delhi giving a minimum of 8 (eight) weeks notice to process the relevant case. However, application does not imply automatic issue of permits.
Such permits for the foreigners who want to visit such places in connection with their engagement with some U.N. Aided or World Bank Project are required to submit their applications to the Resident Commissioner, Himachal Govt., Himachal Bhavan, Sikandra Road, New Delhi. This Officer issues such permits to foreigners required to visit such places in connection with the World Bank or U.N. Aided projects and the Projects sponsored by the Govt. of India or any State Govt. or U.T. Administration. In such cases Resident Commissioner would insist upon a letter of requisition from the sponsoring authority i.e. World Bank or U.N. Agency or a concerned Union Ministry or State Govt. or U.T. Administration under whose aegis the project is being implemented.
Foreigners intending to visit protected areas which are now open for tourism, as tourists in group consisting of four or more foreigners, sponsored by the recognized travel agencies in India with predawn itinerary can gets protected area permits from the State Govt. The H.P. State Govt. has further delegated these powers to District Magistrates in their Jurisdictions.
In this regard following District Magistrates and Sub-Divisional Magistrates in H.P. are authorised to issue Protected Area Permits' in their respective Territorial limits.